As preparations for the October 10, 2020 forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State begins, both Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the incumbent governor and Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will now be contesting for the Alagbaka Government House seat of power for the second time.
Both men had earlier slugged it out four years ago during the 2016 governorship election while Akeredolu emerged victorious.
But as it stands, the battle ahead will be interesting as the political atmosphere will be charge as soon as the electioneering campaigns commence fully in spite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PDP and APC will surely leverage on their areas of advantages to solicit for the votes of electorates in order to win the October 10 governorship election.
Besides, politically there will be alignment and realignment of the main gladiators in both political parties before the state governorship election.
Governor Akeredolu had already started the process of the alignment by reaching out to some of the aggrieved members of his party might want to work with the main opposition party.
last week, the governor began the move by extending an olive branch to some of the aspirants who contested the ticket of the party alongside with him after meeting with the Reconciliation Committee of the party for the state, led by the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello in Akure, the state capital, said: “We must allow for peace. Let us get all of us, the aspirants, to sign that whoever wins, others will support him. Anybody I have offended I will apologise to the person. We must allow peace.”
Akeredolu maintained that the APC is in the heart of the people of the state, stressing that what the people desire is for the dividends of good governance to be visible.
Besides, Governor Akeredolu who had read out his acceptance speech after he was declared winner noted that he will soon commence the process of reconciliation to heal all wounds seeking for the support of his co-contestants that had lost in the primary for the APC regain power in the election.
Meanwhile, all the co-contestants such as Olusola Oke, Isaacs Kekemeke, Olusola Iji, and Segun Abraham, promised to support his second term bid so that Ondo state will remain an APC state showing a sign of support and unity.
With this reconciliation move by the governor and with the support of the people of the state, particularly voters, may likely boost Akeredolu’s second term re-election bid.
It would be recalled that out of the 3,127 delegates who voted during the primaries, Akeredolu polled 2,458 votes to emerged winner while his closest rival Oke scored 262 votes.
Kekemeke, who was the former APC Chairman in the state, came third with 19 votes with Ambassador Iji polling nine votes in the fourth position.
In the camp of the PDP, the contest was fairly between the embattled deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi and Eyitayo Jegede who was mostly favored by his long standing membership of the party since he defected with his former boss, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko from Labour Party to the PDP in 2014.
Jegede, who had said he dedicated his victory at the primary election held on Wednesday to the people of the state and his co-aspirants. There were also jubilations particularly in Akure, the state capital over the emergence of Jegede as PDP candidate.
The reason was hinged on the fact that no Akure indigene since the creation of Ondo state in 1976 has governed the state.
They believed this is an opportunity for their kinsmen to occupy the Alagbaka Government House as from February 24, 2021 having lost the race in 2016.
Also, in order to boost the strength of the party, Jegede, had begun reconciliation and interface with other contestants urging members of the party to unite together with a view to winning the October 10 Governorship Election.
“Occupying Alagbaka Government House should be our primary objective now as a party.
“I can assure you all that we shall win the forthcoming Governorship Election by His Gods grace.”
It was also gathered that the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar is still on his decision to support Jedege, his personal lawyer, to win the October 10 election.
Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, while featuring on a Radio programme on Friday at ‘Crest 87.7FM Akure, said APC doesn’t appear to be interested in governance now, saying everyone must have access to governance.
“We will torch the lives of every residents of the state in all the 18 Local Government Areas, We will address the issue of power outage in the Southern part of the state.”
Jegede, who also promised to reduce the tuition fee being paid at tertiary institutions in the state if elected said, “All those who are planning to rig this election should just put a stop to their thought.
While the political permutations in the state keeps moving on, the people are eager, particularly those from the South wants to know who will be the running mate of Jegede.
Jegede, who is currently under pressure to pick Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi, as his running mate. But he is still keeping his cards close to his chest.
Sources said that apart from the fact that Ajayi is a grassroots mobiliser, Jegede needs a running mate that can match whoever picked by the APC as Akeredolu’s running from the southern senatorial district so that PDP can unseat the APC led government.
Besides, the largest votes comes from the South Senatorial District of the state which many people believe that if Jegede picks Ajayi as running mate, will give PDP the chance to vote out the Akeredolu led government from power.
These and others may likely smile on him, (Jegede) to be the governor.
Besides, the role of the voters cannot be underrated, as they are to decide who will occupy the Alagbaka government house seat in the forthcoming gubernatorial election which would be an horse race between the two popular gladiators, Akeredolu and Jedege.
A chieftain of the PDP in the state who spoke in an interview said the opposition party would have better chances in the governorship election because the people already want a revolutionary change in all sphere of the state’s economy and sectors.
“I can only assure you that come October 10, we are only appealing to Federal Government and INEC, not to come and repeat what happened in the last Kogi State Governorship election in Ondo state.
“We will beat them (APC) silly and that is the truth of the matter. Ondo state people are tired of APC government, they want to go back to people’s oriented PDP government in Ondo state.”
Also, independent findings revealed that people from the Southern Senatorial District who are the major contestants with Jedege at the PDP primary would avoid any arrangement that will not favor the zone in the 2024 governorship election.
After the eight years of the Northern senatorial district, the people are expecting the paradigm shift of power to the south where it will hold sway for another eight years before returning to the central where Jegede hails from.
Some powerful APC members and supporters of the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi that are still within the APC and outside, are already rooting for victory of Jegede in order to unseat the ruling APC government in Ondo state.
Also, political fortunate if smile on Jegede, according to some political analysts will put a stop to second term of any governor in Ondo state.
Before you Run (1)
“Whatever political level you have laced up to run for: presidential, governorship, senatorial, house, local government, or ward, before you run, hear now what you are coming in to run or govern.”