candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu, will likely emerge winner of the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Mr. Akeredolu according to 60 percent of election results collated across the state has defeated the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, and also the popular candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Olusola Oke, to emerge the likely winner.
Although the Independent National Electoral Commission has yet to officially announce the results of the election, SaharaReporters has obtained election results from across the state showing that Mr. Akeredolu polled exceedingly well in at least 13 of the 18 local government areas of the state. Mr. Akeredolu also performed surprisingly well in Akure South local government where the PDP candidate, Mr. Jegede, hails from.
SaharaReporters learnt that, despite his seeming popularity with the masses, Mr. Oke did not have the structures on ground to secure electoral victory. Our correspondent also learned that Governor Olusegun Mimiko, realizing that his candidate, Mr. Jegede, was headed for defeat, had cut a last-minute deal with the APC candidate in the final days before the election. A source close to Mr. Akeredolu said Mr. Mimiko reached out the APC candidate in a bid to avoid the prospect of the incoming governor focusing on probing the outgoing governor’s management of Ondo State over the last eight years.
Mr. Akeredolu’s all but official victory was facilitated by APC governors who reportedly pumped in money to his campaign to ensure that he had a huge enough war chest to blanket the entire state.
The Ondo governorship election also provided a turf for the staging of a fierce internal war between two factions of the APC, one loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the other to the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu.
Supporters of Mr. Buhari, who campaigned vigorously for Mr. Akeredolu, and those who support Mr. Tinubu, who was the unseen hand behind Mr. Oke’s candidacy, saw the governorship election as a testing ground. Mr. Akeredolu’s triumph, which INEC is likely to formally announce soon, is seen as a political reversal for Mr. Tinubu, a former senator as well as ex-governor of Lagos State.
The Ondo governorship election was relatively peaceful across the state, according to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission who supervised the polls.