Newly elected Ondo State Governor, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, has praised his opponents at the last governorship election in the state for accepting the result of the election in good faith.
The time to file petitions at the Election Petition Tribunal to challenge the election result lapsed on Sunday December 18, 2016, 21 days after the announcement of the results of the poll and none of the contestants filed any petition against the winner of the poll.
Akeredolu was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission after defeating 26 candidates of other political parties that participated in the election.
The governor-elect who spoke with our correspondent on Tuesday at his hometown Owo, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, reiterated that the election was free and fair.
He specifically commended Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and Chief Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Alliance for Democracy respectively, saying the duo had displayed good sportsmanship spirit by not challenging the result of the election at the Election Petition Tribunal.
He said, “I have to praise my other contestants, especially, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede and Mr. Olusola Oke. I am sure that they have seen, as senior lawyers, that we are in a position to accept the result of an election, having assessed all the parameters, we believe the election was free and fair and I want to believe that their attitude is worthy of note and all of us, at least should try to emulate that in subsequent elections.
“They must have weighed all the options that there must have been substantial compliance to electoral acts by deciding not to challenge the result, that is a decision that is worthy of note and I want to thank them.”
According to him, having no case at the tribunal would enable him concentrate on governance after the being sworn in.
He also lauded the INEC and the security agencies for the smooth conduct of the election. He said the electoral commission was moving towards the level of acceptable elections in the country.