Chief Olusola Oke and Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, candidates of the two major opposition political parties in Ondo state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) respectively who lost their petitions against the victory of Dr Olusegun Mimiko in the October 20, 2012 gubernatorial election have described the judgment of the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure, as disappointing and a sham.
Candidate of the ACN in the election, Mr Akeredolu in a statement on Saturday, described the Friday judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal, as a thunderous flash that will not last.
Also, his counterpart in the PDP, Chief Olusola Oke in his reaction posited that the pronouncement of the judges have dashed the hope of the people of the state who have been longing for good governance and true democracy.
Akeredolu and Oke’s petitions were dismissed by the Justice Andovar Kaka’an-led three-man Tribunal on Friday on the grounds that they were based on hearsay and therefore lacked merit.
The ACN gubernatorial candidate vowed in a statement made available to newsmen that he would challenge the tribunal ruling at the Appeal Court.
According to him, “the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ondo State just dismissed my petition and that of my party, Action Congress of Nigeria. I received the news with equanimity as I am convinced that the path to ultimate victory for the just is always strewn with thorns.
“This judgment will be challenged at the Court of Appeal. This thunderous flash in the pan will surely not last. Recent history on electoral dispute in the country confirms that forensic issues are better appreciated upon review at the appellate level. This possibility we intend to explore to the fullest”.
While expressing the belief that the party will get better judgment in the upper court, Akeredolu appealed to numerous supporters of the party in the state to remain calm and not to despair.
He stated : ” We appeal to our supporters to remain calm and keep hope alive. What our people are currently experiencing in Ondo State is temporary. To thunder is not to rain. A mere apparition that appears like a partial eclipse is a mirage. Light comes with the glorious dawn”
“We are of the firm belief that the primary purpose of government is the welfare of the people. The people of Ondo state are too sophisticated to be hoodwinked by empty technical legal verbiage which stands at variance with the socio-political realities on ground, ” he noted
On his part, Chief Olusola Oke described the judgment as a brazen defeat of the expectations of the people of Ondo state who had desired light after four years of total darkness.
He said he had directed his legal team to study the judgment with a view to subjecting it to a review and reversal by the higher court.
Oke posited that “while profoundly thanking all the good people of Ondo state for the uncommon support and encouragement, I wish to remind them that the fight to enthrone democracy, justice and freedom is not an easy walk.”