From TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure
The Labour Party in Ondo State yesterday rounded off its rally with pomp and ceremony, as the candidate of the party in the Saturday election, Governor Olusegun Mimiko called on the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega to ensure the election is free, fair and devoid of all forms of malpractice. Mimiko said the call became imperative, reminding the commission to protect its image by desisting from any election manipulation and rigging in favour of an unpopular party.
He also called on security agents to be up and doing during the election to ensure that the election was violence free.
Governor Mimiko assured the people of the state that his administration, if voted in for the second term, would continue his developmental programmes that would further take the state to a greater height. Also at the rally, the National Chairman of Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu called on the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega to remove the Federal Commissioner of INEC Professor Lai Olorode, whom he described as card-carrying member of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Nwanyanwu, while addressing the LP supporters at the grand rally of the party in Akure said that for free, fair and credible election in the Saturday governorship election to take place, the federal INEC commissioner must be removed.
According to him, Olorode was representing the interest of ACN and working for the party in all states, saying investigation had shown that with him in INEC, the election in the state might be manipulated in favour of ACN candidate.
The former secretary to the Federal Government and leader of Afenifere, Chief Olu Falae in his turn lambasted Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of throwing decorum to the wind and displaying rascality in the public glare.
Falae also described him as an ingrate who, he said, forgot about the past easily. He said if not for his backing Tinubu would not have been governor of Lagos State.
The former minister of finance who went down memory lane said that his intervention saved Tinubu from being dropped as the candidate of Alliance for Democracy, saying that the late Funsho Williams was unanimously picked by the chieftains of the party and the late Abraham Adesanya that Tinubu must be picked.
“ Of course because of the respect we have for the late Adesanya we could not change his decision when he said he had picked him, I appealed to other elders to abide by our leader’s decision on the choice of Bola. That was how he was our party candidate.”
In a swift reaction, the Akeredolu Campaign Organization (ACO) has described the utterance of Chief Falae at the Labour Party (LP) Rally in Akure yesterday as a disappointment and unbecoming of someone who pretends to be an elderstatesman.
In a statement signed by Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, (ACO) director of media, publicity and strategy, the group said: “Falae is a man who has enjoyed so much goodwill from the Yoruba nation with nothing to show for it.
“The question that one who need Chief Falae to answer is why he would at old age stoop so low to tell lies in the name of canvassing for Governor Olusegun Mimiko, why would Falae forget so soon that at the formal declaration of Mimiko, he personally confirmed that he has failed to provide jobs for the teeming youths of Ondo State? Why would an old man like Falae be in concert with Mimiko to celebrate markets, fountain in a roundabout, boreholes as achievement by an oil-producing state in the 21st century?