Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State got a second term ticket on Sunday after winning the governorship election conducted on Saturday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Akeredolu, who was the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the election defeated his major opponent and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, who came second.
The governor’s estranged deputy and candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi, came third.
Seventeen political parties and candidates participated in the off-season election, which was conducted under very tight security.
Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka declared Akeredolu, the winner of the election with 292,830 votes.
Jegede of the PDP, according to the Returning Officer, polled 195,791 votes while Ajayi secured 69,127 votes to come third in the election.
Akeredolu won 15 out of the 18 local government areas in the state leaving the PDP candidate with three LGAs including his traditional Akure-North and Akure-South Local Governments as well as Ifedore LG.
The local governments won by Akeredolu included Akoko North East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South East, Akoko South-West, Ese-Odo, Idanre, Ilaje, Oluji/Oke Igbo, Irele, Odigbo, Okitipupa, Ondo East, Ondo West, Ose and Owo.
With the results declared, Akeredolu outperformed the two other candidates in the three senatorial districts of Ondo Central, Ondo-South and Ondo-North. He did not only win all the six local governments in his Ondo-North Senatorial District comprising Akoko North East, Akoko North West, Akoko South East, Akoko South-West, Owo and Ose LGs, he also made strong showing in the traditional strongholds of the other candidates.
For instance, the PDP candidate who hails from Akure, the state capital also won the two local governments in the 2016 election. While he repeated the same feat in the Saturday’s election, Akeredolu still made an incursion into the two LGs believed to be his traditional stronghold. According to the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akeredolu scored 17,277 in Akure South, which is the local government of Jegede, who polled 47,627.
In Akure North East, which is another stronghold of the PDP candidate, Akeredolu garnered 9,546 votes narrowly losing to Jegede, who got 12,263.
But the PDP candidate was defeated with a wider margin in Akeredolu’s LG of Owo where the APC scored 35,957 while PDP scored 5,311.
Also, Akeredolu defeated Jegede and Agboola in Ondo West and Ondo East LGs also in the Central District where former Governor Olusegun Mimiko and Chairman of ZLP hail from.
In the same vein, the governor defeated his estranged deputy in his Ese Odo Local Government scoring 13,383 votes as against PDP’s 4,690 and ZLP’s 4,760.
- “Results reflect votes cast at polling units”
Meanwhile, one of the observer groups, which monitored the exercise, Yiaga Africa, said the official results declared by INEC fall within Yiaga Watching the Vote (WTV) estimate. The group had deployed its parallel vote tabulation (PVT) to verify the results declared at the polling units.
“Had the official results been changed at the ward, LGA or state collation centres, the official results would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa WTV estimated ranges,” said Ezenwa Nwagwu, board member of Yiaga Africa at a post-election briefing.
It added that both on reports from 97 percent of sampled polling units, its statistical analysis shows that the APC should receive between 48.9% and 54.1% of the vote; the PDP should receive between 31.2% and 36.6%; ZLP should receive between 10.5% and 13.3% while no other party will receive more than 1% of the vote share.
It, however, urged the contestants, parties and voters to “have confidence that INEC’s official results for the 2020 Ondo gubernatorial election reflects the ballots cast at polling units.”
- ‘Vote traded for 7000’
One of the observations by the various observer groups, which monitored the election was the prevalence of vote-buying with a vote trading for between N1000 and N7000.
Director of Programmes of Yiaga, Cynthia Mbamalu, said there was massive vote-buying in the election, describing the development as “disappointing.”
Besides she said 28 incidents of violence, voters’ intimidation, infractions, harassment of electoral officials, among others were documented.
- Akeredolu, PDP, ZLP react
Governor Akeredolu said the renewal of his mandate by the people of Ondo state shows the level of his acceptance.
In his victory’s speech after he was announced the winner of the governorship election, Akeredolu also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his support towards his victory. He also said that the Chairman of his campaign, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and members of the APC Campaign Council worked hard to give him and the party a deserved victory.
Reacting to the result of the election, the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Peretei Kennedy said the party would study the result and take necessary action, urging the party’s supporters to remain calm.
Speaking at the residence of the PDP governorship candidate, he urged the supporters to be in high spirit alleging that there were pockets of violence in Owo, Ese-Odo, among others.
“It is observed that one of the roads leading to his residence was manned with the armoured tank of the Nigeria Army while heavy security officials were patrolling the area,” he said.
Also reacting on behalf of Agboola/Gboye campaign organisation and the ZLP, Dr Kola Ademujimi, Director-General said the party will take an official position in days to come.
“I want to formally appreciate our leaders, members of our great party and particularly the good people of Ondo State for your support, cooperation and show of love towards our party through your votes for the Zenith Labour Party during the gubernatorial election held yesterday, Saturday 10th October, 2020.
“I wish to specially commend the resilience, doggedness and strong determination of the national leader of our party, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, the Ondo State Chairman of ZLP, Joseph Akinlaja, all members of the state Executive Committee, party leaders and the good people of this state in the face of naked intimidation, harassment, threats and blatant abuse of state powers by the ruling APC government before and during the election.
“Your overall performance was highly commendable and historical. May God reward your show of love and compassion towards this worthy political project’’, the party said.
- Buhari congratulates Akeredolu
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Rotimi Akeredolu on his re-election as governor of Ondo State for another four-year term.
President Buhari, in a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, hailed what he called the resounding victory.
The President, who rejoiced with him, said the votes garnered “show that one good turn surely deserves another.”
Buhari, who thanked the people of Ondo State for keeping faith with their governor, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), said “the people know the person and party that truly serves them, and have spoken in clear voice and unmistakable terms.”