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By: Ade Adeleke
…….Speaks on Mimiko’s factor.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has explained that his emergence as the helmsman of Ondo state still a surprise to him as he was pressurised in year 2010 to contest the seat against his friend, Dr Olusegun Mimiko who was the governor then.
Akeredolu noted that he never planned to be a governor in his life, revealing that his topmost ambition in life was to be the number one person of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which he achieved then as the NBA President.
Akeredolu said this yesterday in Akure at a political gathering after receiving N22.5 million cheque from some groups within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which raised money for his re-election bid to obtain his expression of interest and nomination forms.
He wrote a letter to Mimiko, to inform him about pressure from his community and friends from across the country, to contest against him in the 2012 governorship election.
Akeredolu pointed out that he assured Mimiko that as aged long friends, ” I told him if he wins, I will support him, and if I win he should let us remain friends, irrespective of the outcome of that election (year 2012) we must remain friends.”
“I was in Canada in 2010 when I was called that my posters for governor are out in Owo, I told those behind I can’t contest against my friend (Mimiko), that we fought to bring him to power through court during his first time but the pressure was much from home and friends,” the governor opined .
While appreciating different political groups and individuals for their support for his second term, Akeredolu gave an assurance that bitumen and the Ondo deep seaport would begin in few months time, noting that there was a need to ensure continuity to make such projects materialise.
The N22.5 million cheque was jointly presented to the governor on behalf of the groups by Lucky Ayedatiwa, Alex Ajipe, Oladunni Odu and the wife of the governor, Betty, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs.
Akeredolu, who noted that the cost of the forms were too expensive, said he had told his friends that he could not afford the price for the forms.
The governor took time to enumerated his achievements so far and the need for him to consolidate if given chance for second term.