ONDO GUBER: How Mimiko Deceived ACN, By Tinubu

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AS the tumultuous cloud raised in the
build-up to the Ondo State governorship election of October 20 gradually
settles, the major actors are still evaluating the process and its outcome. While Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who was
returned winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), finds
it convenient to explain the game plan that fetched him the winning results,
the two major opposition parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) are still searching for details of why they
lost.
As at last week, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed
Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and leader of the ACN, did not concede
victory. Instead, he alluded to being tricked by Mimiko to stay action on an
offensive to overrun the State, in the understanding that Mimiko’s Labour Party
needed time to blend into the ACN.

Not realising early enough that Mimiko
was only buying time to stabilise himself and his lonesome Labour Party (LP)
platform, Tinubu said he refused to put life into the structures of the ACN in
Ondo State, to give it competitive edge. By the time it became a reality that
the LP and ACN would not be together, at least for now, the latter did not have
any other choice than to hurriedly mobilise for the October election. The
outing was, thus, more of an afterthought and less effective.
Tinubu, the acclaimed master political
strategist, was outsmarted and he conceded that much.
Apart from starting late, Tinubu also
raised issues with pre-election processes of INEC and the security
arrangements, which he said could not have provided the best of level-playing
ground.
Tinubu explains how he waited patiently
for Mimiko to make up his mind. “We did; we consulted leaders, some leaders
even approached us, but there was a limit to our patience here. Just realise
one thing, I am not a skater on the wheel of Nigerian politics. I have a party,
the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). I can only promote along with others and
other leaders, the interest of that party. I cannot belong to two parties at
the same time. So, if there was no commitment of any kind, there is no way I
will join hands with a Mimiko for a Labour Party.
“ I would have worked hard then for
their failure or their destruction, but we waited only on the promise of Mimiko
coming to our party. Then we said ‘ok, if you will share that common goal, and
vision, wewill work together to actualise your dream,’ and we did.   We
said to him; ‘if you know you were cheated, we will work with you,’ and we did.
Then, he promised that within 30 days of his inauguration, within one month, he
would move over; that is the truth! Then, the first, second, and third year
went; we left our party un-serviced. Men of goodwill came and discussed with
us, and suddenly, we saw the shifting.”
Tinubu disclaimed insinuations that the
loss of Ondo is a signal that Southwest is no longer within his control.
According to him, it only thought him a lesson on the need to be firmer on
future political collaborations.
On 2015, he said the opposition must
come together to dislodge the PDP, adding that President Jonathan has failed to
perform.
On Pa Obafemi Awolowo’s legacy, Tinubu
said: “I have read Awolowo in several books, and he is our hero and mentor, but
I cannot but be Bola Tinubu. I can only thread the path of Awolowo, without his
shoes… I didn’t know his size; I can’t step into his shoes because they are
either bigger or smaller, and his image and legacy are bigger than myself. I
can only use and share the vision. He went away with his shoes and his cap, but
he left a legacy, a vision.”
The ACN leader also said  that
attempts to  rubbish the report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task
Force headed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu  with the motive of undermining his
integrity would not succeed.
Source: Guardian

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