Ondo Poll: Factors that gave Akeredolu victory

Posted by News Express | 12 October 2020 | 1,120 times

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•   Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

The Ondo State Governorship election has been concluded with the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu emerging winner of the keenly contest election.

Akeredolu won in 15 of the state’s 18 local government areas, based on the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), at its headquarters in Abuja. He won after polling the highest score of 292,830 votes.

Akeredolu defeated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, who got 195,791 votes, and the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), who came a distant third with 69, 127 votes.

The Ondo State Election Chief Returning Officer, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, made the announcement on Sunday at the INEC headquarters in Akure.

Olayinka said, “I hereby certify that I am the returning officer of the Ondo State election and that the election was conducted and the candidates received the following votes – Oluwarotimi Akeredolu got 292,830, Eyitayo Jegede got 195,791 and Agboola Ajayi got 69,127.

 “That Oluwarotimi Akeredolu secured the highest number of votes among the 17 contestants. Moreover, he was expected to score 25 per cent in two-thirds of the state but he scored it across the 18 LGAs.

“Consequently, having satisfied the requirements of the law, I hereby declare Akeredolu as the winner and he is hereby returned elected.”

Before the conduct of the election, many political pundits expressed the fact that contest was going to be a close one, as the three major candidates, Akeredolu of the APC; Jegede of the PDP, and Ajayi of the ZLP, are believed to very strong grassroots supports.

However, Akeredolu was able to coast to victory banking on some factors that trailed the conduct of the gubernatorial election.

Incumbency Factor

In the history of governorship election in Nigeria, especially since the country returned to civil rule in 1999, only a few incumbent governors have lost their re-election. In the just concluded Edo State governorship election, the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki was able to retain his seat despite crossing from the ruling APC to the opposition PDP.

Akeredolu, despite all odds was able to also retain his seat as a result of power of incumbency. Before the election, many political analysts have posited that it would always be difficult for any candidate to defeat an incumbent governor no matter how popular the candidate is.

Many argued that Akeredolu having the enormity of state resources at his beck and call, he was able to easily deploy such to his own electoral advantage.

Winning an election in Nigeria is capital-intensive and many times, those with the financial war chest are the ones who win. Logistics, in the context of elections in Nigeria, could mean compromising voters through material inducement, before and during the election, a practice that contravenes the provisions of the Electoral Act.

While Jegede depended on the support of the PDP governors, Akeredolu was able to gather enough resources from the state. Akeredolu was able to deploy enough funds for ‘logistics’ before the election.

Unity within the APC

Another major factor that is believed to have tilted the election in favour of Akeredolu is the unity within the APC. After the party dissolved its National Executive Council led by Adams Oshiomhole, the party was able to make some amendments, which ended up favouring Akeredolu.

Almost all members of the party were solidly behind him, drumming and canvassing support for his re-election across the length and breadth of the state.

Following the APC primaries that saw him emerge as the candidate of the party, some had predicted that other formidable aspirants would leave the party to find comfort elsewhere.

Fortunately for Akeredolu, virtually all the aspirants stayed behind in the party. They include Olusola Oke, Ifedayo Oyedele, Isaacs Kekemeke, Segun Abraham, Jimi Odimayo and a host of others.

Unlike in 2016, when a national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, did not support him, Akeredolu, in the end, enjoyed the support of the former Lagos State governor. He was also believed to have enjoyed the support of the presidency and all the APC governors, especially that of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who also doubles as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) chairman.

Performance

Regardless of whatever misgivings anyone may have, Akeredolu is believed to have recorded some modest performance in terms of road construction and rehabilitation, renovating health facilities, school renovation, and industrialisation, which is meant to provide jobs for the teeming youth, improve the standard of living of the people and also raise the internally generated revenue of the state.

The Ore Industrial Hub, Ondo Liyin Hub, the Chocolate Factory in Idanre, though run through private public partnerships, are all meant to improve the economic profile of the state beyond its civil service status.

The governor also signed a couple of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) meant to attract more investments to the state. However, the citizens want to see these MoUs translate into reality, as a lot of MoUs signed with pomp in the past simply evaporated without a trace till today, and for this reason, many, especially the elites decided to cast their votes for him.   (Daily Independent)

 

 

 


Source: News Express

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