As Nigerians continue to celebrate the success of the just-concluded governorship election in Ondo State, it is important to note that although the president would naturally have wanted his party, the PDP, to win the governorship election in the State, the fact that he has never abused the enormous powers of the presidency to influence the outcome of elections shows that he is a man of his words, a committed democrat and a President who believes in the rule of law and the supremacy of the will of the people. Ahead of the Ondo State 2012 Gubernatorial elections, here is what the President said at the Democracy Park in Akure, Ondo State on October 13, 2012:
“What we can guarantee the people of Ondo state is that the commitment of this present administration to ensure that Nigeria continues to remain high in the comity of nations in terms of how we select our leaders remains constant. It is going to be one man, one vote, one woman, one vote, one youth, one vote.”
While reacting to the news that some political parties were mobilizing thugs for the election, President Jonathan added: “I was told that some people are mobilizing thugs from everywhere, if they like they can go to anywhere to bring thugs, the Federal Government will not allow any thug to come out that day, and if you know you are a thug or your child is to be used as a thug, carry them away from Ondo state, because government will never tolerate any rubbish. It will be free and fair election and nobody will frustrate the commitment of government to project Nigeria truly and nobody will allow thuggery.”
The President made a similar promise, most recently in Edo state. And he kept his words. He has kept his words again. Discerning Nigerians will readily admit that Nigeria’s electoral process has been truly transformed under President Jonathan’s watch. Apart from ensuring free and fair elections in Edo and Ondo as in every other part of the country, President Jonathan was also the first person to congratulate Governor Mimiko. A man of his words! A true sportsman!
President Jonathan also commended the dutiful, patriotic and law-abiding electorate of Ondo State as well as the INEC personnel and security agencies who ensured that the elections were peacefully and successfully conducted in keeping with his Administration’s commitment to making elections in Nigeria progressively better organised and more credible.
As Governor Mimiko prepares for his second term in Office, the President has urged him to rededicate himself to work even harder to justify the trust and confidence reposed in him by the people of Ondo state who voted overwhelmingly for his re-election.
President Jonathan has assured Dr. Mimiko that the Federal Government will continue to engage constructively and positively with the Ondo State Government in collaborative efforts to achieve faster socio-economic development and better living conditions for people in the state and all other parts of Nigeria.
Ondo Gubernatorial Election: Another bright moment for Nigeria! President Jonathan’s transformation agenda remains sure and steady.
Reuben Abati,the presidential spokesman wrote this opinion from State House, Abuja