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12 houses, 52 vehicles burnt in Ondo riots

Posted by By TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure on 2007/04/17 | Views: 648 |

12 houses, 52 vehicles burnt in Ondo riots


An orgy of violence swept through a number of towns in Ondo State Monday following the announcement of the PDP governorship candidate, Dr Olusegun Agagu, as winner.

...As Agagu is declared guber poll winner

An orgy of violence swept through a number of towns in Ondo State Monday following the announcement of the PDP governorship candidate, Dr Olusegun Agagu, as winner.

No fewer than 52 vehicles were reportedly razed down in Ondo and Akure towns while over 12 buildings were also torched in Ondo town, including the family house of Senator Gbenga Oguniya.

Already, a 6pm-6am curfew has been imposed on communities in Ondo West and Ondo East local government areas.
Among vehicles destroyed were 35 cars in an auto mart on Ademulegun Road in Ondo town allegedly belonging to a PDP chieftain.

Irate youths were reported to have stormed the mart and set all the cars ablaze.
Also, the house of the chairman of Ondo Local Government, Chief Ojo Akinpelumi, was totally razed by an irate mob in Ondo town. And in Akure, the INEC office as well as PDP State secretariat were also burnt down.

Earlier, before the results were announced, some traditional rulers in the state had in a meeting with INEC officials threatened to invoke the spirits of their ancestors to deal with anyone that attempted to subvert the will of the people while declaring the election results.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Innocent Ilozuoke, had earlier imposed a curfew on the state, saying the step became imperative to checkmate a breakdown of law and order.

The drama in the state started around 10.30 a.m when the INEC Commissioner in charge of media, Mr Phillips Umeadi, announced on Radio Nigeria that Agagu had won the election.
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Josiah Uwazuruonye, disassociated himself from the announcement, saying that he had not sent any official report of the election to his headquarters.
He said that such announcement could cause chaos, urging the people of the state to wait for his own verdict of the election results.

As early as 7 am, heavily armed policemen and military personnel were drafted to major towns in the state, while armoured cars were seen patrolling the major streets of Akure metropolis.
But two hours later, Uwazuruonye announced the result, where he declared Agagu winner.
The announcement sparked off protests in some towns, such as Idanre, Akure, Ondo, Akoko, Ile-Oluji, Okeigbo, Ore and Okitipupa.

Because of the tension in the town, banks, offices and shops were shut as early as 8 am, while major streets and roads in Akure were deserted.
Announcing the result, Uwazuruonye said the PDP candidate polled 349, 258 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party, who scored 226, 021 votes.
According to him, the results from some local governments was cancelled because there was massive rigging in the affected areas.

He said the entire results from Ifedore Local Government were cancelled, while those of some wards in Akure South, Akoko North East, Akoko South West and Odigbo were cancelled
The commissioner stated that the commission observed that the elections were characterised by ballot boxes snatching, hijacking of boxes and stuffing of ballot boxes.

The analysis showed that the PDP won in 10 local government areas, while the LP won in seven.
The resident electoral commissioner did not announce the result of the House of Assembly elections, saying that the results had been announced in various state constituencies.
He added that the Action Congress (AC) scored 33, 510, Alliance for Democracy (AD) polled 5, 700 and Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) 7, 340.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, on Monday rejected the results of the governorship election announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He vowed to employ all legal and constitutional means to seek redress. In a statement personally signed by him, he said the result did not reflect the wishes of the people of the state as expressed at the poll.
"What INEC has presented is a carefully orchestrated design to take away a mandate that was enthusiastically given to me by the people of this state.
"The confusion arising from having the so called announced first in Abuja by INEC headquarters even before the final collation by the Resident Electoral Commissioner here in Ondo State has clearly exposed the nature of this monumental vote theft," Mimiko stated.

He said the result did not reflect the wishes of the voters of Ondo state as expressed on April 14, 2007, saying, " I, therefore, have no hesitation in rejecting it outrightly."
The former Minister however appealed to the people of the state to remain calm and avoid violence. Mimiko said, "We shall employ all legitimate and constitutional means to reclaim our mandate. Let us therefore go about our normal duties with confidence that this lie shall not stand. Ultimately, victory shall be ours".

Also the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday said the victory of the state governor at the governorship election was well-deserved. The party said with the second term given to Dr. Olusegun Agagu, the people of the state had opted for life abundantly.

The chairman of the Agagu 2007 Campaign organisation, Professor Olu Agbi, while reacting to the announcement of the result, noted that the governor worked very hard for his victory. He said the state had made a wise choice again as it would afford Agagu to continue with the work he had been doing in the last four years. Said he: "The vote for the PDP was a vote for life abundantly, the votes represent an endorsement of Agagu not as governor alone but as the leader of the state. We believe that the state has made a wise choice."

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.