The tension was palpable, as I watched the live broadcast of the press conference on AIT, addressed by Dr Olusegun Mimiko, incumbent governor of Ondo State a moment ago, seeing a visibly enraged and extremely perturbed Mr Governor.
His anger was predicated on the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) to postpone the scheduled November 26 gubernatorial election, as to allow Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the newly court-authenticated candidate of the PDP, the incumbent party in the state, enough time for campaigns, as the judgement that returned his name to the ballot was delivered barely 48hrs to the elections.
According to Dr Mimiko, the court order by Justice Abang, which was obeyed by INEC, upon which Jimoh Ibrahim’s name was published in lieu of Jegede’s, has been described by the Appeal and Supreme Courts as a “fraud”.
He therefore opined that INEC should have at least showed remorse by postponing the election, harving predicated its decision on a “fraud” ab initio.
Another issue that got Dr Mimiko so visibly enraged, is the “compromise” of the party agents.
He alleged that the present list of PDP’s party agents was submitted by Jimoh Ibrahim and expressed the fear that these persons are working inadvertently for an opposition party, since the candidacy of Ibrahim has been invalidated by the courts.
I watched a visibly enraged Mimiko said repeatedly, “we shall not take it”!
“You cannot tie my hands to my back in a race and expect me to contest fairly”
“We shall not be a conquered people in our land”!
However, he promised to provide leadership devoid of chaos.
When asked by a journalist, why he chose to still participate in an election wherein he believes INEC is compromised, acting the script of a fifth columnist, he responded by saying that the essence of the press conference was to call the attention of the powers that be to the injustice on ground.
Since 24th February 2009 when Dr Mimiko was sworn in as governor of Ondo state, he has not demonstrated this level of rage in any of his public appearances!
Looking back now, I recall vividly my dream less than a forthright ago, wherein I saw the state go up in flame, casualties unprecedented. I prayed fervently that the dream comes not to pass.
Is the stage finally set for a repeat of the 1983 dastardly scenario of monumental carnage?
Did God turn down my supplication and that of a thousand others?
*Thomas-Wilson Ikubese is a Medical Practitioner and a Social Commentator.