By ANDREW ESSIEN ABUJA
Ondo state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has extended a hand of fellowship to his main challenger in the last governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede SAN of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), asking him to join hands in building the state.
IVotesng.com reports that the court of Appeal in Akure Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), in the October 2020 governorship election of Ondo state against governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Akeredolu who was reacting to the Court of Appeal’s judgement in his favour, added that personally he still have much respect for the defeated PDP governorship candidate.
Reading the lead judgment through virtual, Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, said the case filed by Jegede lacks merit.
Speaking with newsmen Wednesday in Abuja, Akeredolu said he had spoken with Jegede on the need to forget pursuing the case but the PDP candidate refused.
“I have said this over and over, this case itself is so flimsy for me as a person. And it is clear, because where you believe that you can go through the back door and upturn the will of the people, it is not going to work.
“And it is so clear, we had an election in which the party won 15 out of the local governments, you won three. You are not contesting the result of the election, but you are hinging your petition on the Chairman of the party who signed the nomination that was forwarded to INEC.
“For me, it is clear, with God on our side, no matter where they going about this case, it will be the same result.
“It is just like when Yoruba say that if you throw the cutlass up 50 times by the time its landing, it will land on it side.”
When asked for his message to the PDP candidate, Akeredolu said: “Tayo for one reason or the other, I said to him, we don’t need to pursue this case. I had called him once or twice. I don’t see why we are going about this action, and that both of us can come together to work for the benefit of the state. That is my own believe, I respect him but he must have a reason behind him pursuing this case the way he’s pursuing. It is either the party is the one pushing him, or he’s the one pushing himself. Whichever one it is, but I know there must be something behind what he’s doing.
“But I can assure him, like a man who is building with straw, but I can assure him, there is nothing will come out of this case.
“I will call on him again for the umpteenth time, let him come, let us work together to build that state and let us work together for South-west and let us work together for Nigeria.
“Importantly, he is one person that I have a lot of respect for, he has respect for me, I see him as a brother . But in election matters you cannot avoid this kind of contestation.”