Chris Steven, Abuja
Plateau State Governor,Simon Lalong has described the action of his colleague and Governor of Ondo State,Olusegun Mimiko as childish as a result of his recent visit to President Muhammadu Buhari to lodge complaints about internal wranglings within the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in his state.
Lalong who was nominated as All Progressive Congress(APC)Chairman to oversee the affairs of the party in the forthcoming Ondo Governorship election,said Mimiko erred in approaching Mr President on issues bothering on the PDP’s bonifide candidate when the President was not a card carrying member of the opposition party.
He gave this views on Monday,at the Presidential Villa,after he presented the APC gubernatorial candidate in Ondo State,Rotimi Akeredolu to the President.
It would be recalled that recent confirmation of Jimoh Ibrahim as authentic candidate of the PDP for Ondo elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and discarding Eyitayo Jegede also of PDP who had gone through primaries to emerge as initial candidate had thrown the opposition party into disarray.
The development had pitched both candidates of the PDP against themselves,alongside the opposition the APC candidate.
While briefing State House correspondents on reasons for his visit to the President, Lalong argued that aggrieved parties in the PDP candidacy for Ondo gubernatorial poll should wait for the court to settle such matters,rather than going cap in hand to beg the President to intervene when he is not the chief Judge of the Federation.
“Let me say it was even wrong for them to start running to Mr President,to help them solve the problem of PDP in their party.
“Mr President is the President of Nigeria and not a member of PDP, even when we have problems in APC we don’t run to Mr President,if he has a problem in his state,he is the governor,let him stay there and resolve the matter.
“Its a matter between PDP and PDP and those matters are in court,so why should you run to the President,is the President the Chief Judge of Nigeria?He is not the INEC chairman either,”Lalong said.
Meanwhile,Akeredolu has denied having any rift with the APC National Leader,Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Tinubu had earlier criticised the emergence of Akeredolu,a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as the party’s candidate for the Ondo polls.
He had alleged that the process of electing Akeredolu was frost with some illegality,as the authentic candidates register was doctored somehow.
The Ondo APC flagbearer for the election however expressed optimism of winning the election irrespective of crisis in the state.
He said,”l can always tell you,people who know me,they know that I talk most times with some confidence,let me assure you here that by the grace of God,we will win the election in Ondo state.
“I don’t have any rift with him,since the primaries you would see that as leaders of the party,he has not said anything about it,he has accepted the primaries and we are moving on, so I don’t have any rift with him at all and we are moving on”.
On the crisis rocking the state,he said,”what the party said in Ondo state is that we were calling on the security apparatus of the state to be up and doing so that they don’t allow miscreqnts to take over because for instance as a governor you encourage lawlessness or people in the guise of protest because what the PDP has is a problem within the party.
“That should not lead to demonstration outside and you know that people are not demonstrating for any reason but because they have been more or less paid to come and do it.
“What we said is don’t allow miscreants to be out it could lead to,nobody can control the end of such demonstration,so its not that we are afraid,but we fear for the life and property of the people of Ondo state.
“I can assure you I would have been happier facing both Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim together. If Jegede was chosen as candidate and Ibrahim as his deputy,I will still win. Infact Jegede happens to be a friend,Ibrahim too, Jimoh Ibrahim went to Ife, so we have known ourselves for long,I have no fear about both of them,we know that we are going to win this election and I have no doubt”.