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APC praises peace moves for Akeredolu’s re-election

Gov wins 15 LGs, floors deputy in home base, Jegede wins Akure councils

Ruling party says reconciliation fruitful, PDP, campaign council keep mum

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared  the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu,  SAN,  the winner of the election held in the 18 local government areas of the state on Saturday.

The Chief Returning Officer for the election, Prof Idowu Olayinka, who is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan,  declared Akeredolu the winner of the poll   having scored the highest number of votes.

The APC national leadership, in its swift reaction, said the Ondo State  governor’s victory was an indication of the success of its moves to reconcile the  party members.

Akeredolu polled  292,830 votes to defeat the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, who came second with 195, 791 votes. The Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi, who contested on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party, came a distant third with 69,127 votes.

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 local government areas.

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

Akeredolu won in 15 out of the 18 local government areas of the state while Jegede won in three local government areas and the deputy governor did not win in any, including his local government of origin.

Ajayi loses own LG, Mimiko’s local govt area

With the victory, Akereolu became the second governor in the history of the state to win re-election after former Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

Mimiko supported the deputy governor, but his support and influence could not save Ajayi from defeat by  Akeredolu in the Ondo West Local  Government Area, which is  the base of the former governor.

Akeredolu scored 15,977 in Ondo West,  while Jegede polled 10,627 votes and the ZLP candidate  scored 10,159 votes.

Akeredolu took his political dominance to the Ese Odo Local Government Area, where his  deputy hails from and defeated him there. The governor-elect got 13,383 votes, while Ajayi scored 4,760 votes to come second while Jegede came third with 4,680 votes in the riverine local government area.

The governor won convincingly in the Owo Local Government Area, where he hails from, with a total number of  35,957 votes, while the PDP candidate scored 5,311 votes and the ZLP candidate polled   408 votes.

Jegede also got  a landslide victory in the Akure South Local Government Area, where he comes from by polling 47,627 votes, while the governor-elect scored  17,277 votes and the deputy governor polled 2,236 votes.

The PDP candidate also won in the  Akure North LG with  12, 263 votes and the APC candidate polled 9,546 votes, while the ZLP candidate scored 1,046 votes. Jegede also won in the Ifedore Local Government Area by scoring 11,852 votes and Akeredolu scored 9,350 votes while the ZLP candidate polled 1,863.

In Akoko South -East, Akeredolu scored  9,419; the PDP, 4,003 and the ZLP 2,004 votes. The  APC  scored 21,232 in Akoko South- West; the PDP 15,055 and the ZLP 2,755 votes.

Akeredolu continued his winning streak in the Akoko North-East with  16,572,  while the  PDP got 8,380 and the  ZLP 3532.  Also, in the Akoko North-West LGA, the  APC got 15,809;  the PDP 10,320  and the ZLP  3,477.

The governor also won in Ile Oluji/ Oke Igbo  with 13,287; the PDP, 9,231 and the  ZLP 1,971 votes.  The APC also dominated in Idanre, which is the hometown of the state chairman of the ruling party, Ade Adetimehin with  11,286 votes; the PDP scored 7,499 and the ZLP got 3623 votes.

In the Ose Local Government Area, Akeredolu polled  15,122 votes; the PDP, 8,421 and the ZLP, 1083.  Akeredolu also won 19,266 in the Okitipupa Local Government Area ; the PDP 10,367 and the  ZLP 10,120.

In the Ondo East LG, the APC got 6,485, the  PDP,  4049 ; the ZLP 3221 . In the Odigbo Local Government Area, the  APC scored 23,571; the PDP, 9485 and the ZLP 6540 . Akeredolu won in the  Ilaje LGA with 26,657  votes; the PDP,  11,128 and the  ZLP 4405. In the Irele LGA: APC 12,643 ; PDP 5493  and ZLP 5904.

Election monitoring groups, Yiaga Africa and the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, in their separate interim reports on the election, alleged that there were cases of vote-buying.

Yiaga’s Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu, while presenting the  group’s report  at a press conference in Akure on Sunday, said there were  incidents including vote-buying, intimidation of voters, polling officials, community collusion and interference by security personnel during the election.

She added that the incidents  occurred n Idanre, Ondo West and Akure North local government areas.

Although Mbamala advised that the infractions should be addressed by electoral stakeholders, she  declared that the incidents did not occur at levels and rates that could substantially undermine the integrity of the overall results of the election.

Ondo poll, an improvement on Edo election – Civil  Society Situation Room

Also, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room on Sunday bemoaned the worsening cases of vote-buying in the country.

The group’s Alternate Chair, Esther Uzoma, while presenting  the second interim statement on the election, in Akure, commended INEC for improving on its performance in last month’s Edo election and as well as  the security agents for ensuring relatively free and fair election.

But Uzoma said, “Reports received by the Situation Room showed that vote-buying was evident in a number of polling units and largely went unchecked. Voters were seen selling their votes for sums ranging from N4,000 and N5,000, to N7,000, depending on the political parties or location.”

No jubilation in Akure

Akure, the Ondo State capital, was quiet after the declaration of the candidate of the APC as the winner of the election.

The PDP candidate, Jegede, hails from Akure and won in Akure North, Akure South and Ifedore local government

After the result of the election was declared at 3:03pm on Sunday, there was no spontaneous jubilation in most parts of Akure.

The popular Oba Adesida  Road where the APC state secretariat is located;  Gbogi, Adegbola Junction; Oja Oba and other parts of the state capital remained quiet following the declaration of Akeredolu as the winner of the poll.

Jubilation in Owo, Akeredolu’s hometown

While Akure was quiet, residents of Owo, the hometown of the governor-elect, trooped out on Sunday to celebrate the re-election of the governor.

Akeredolu and the deputy governor-elect, Lucky Ayedatiwa, joined the jubilant crowd to move round the state in an open roof SUV as both of them waved at  people who trooped out to hail them.

Joyous residents surrounded the vehicles, sang and danced as the governor’s convoy moved round the streets of the ancient town in appreciation of the massive support he got from his kinsmen.

Before Akeredolu was declared the winner, some APC  governors had arrived the residence of the governor in Owo.

The Chairman, National Campaign Council of the APC, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is also the governor of Lagos State; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and the Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola arrived in Owo before Akeredolu was officially declared the winner of the poll.

Also, former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and other APC leaders gathered in Owo to celebrate with the governor-elect.

After being declared as the winner,  Akeredolu called on his opponents to join him in taking the state to a greater height.

He said, “ I don’t believe I had opponents. Everything is over now. The election is over now. I want them to join hands with me to move the state forward.

“ I thank all my party leaders for their support. I thank the great people of Ondo State, their trust reposed in me would not be taken for granted. I will not disappoint them. We set out on the first leg of this political adventure with the determination to make the whole state our constituency.

“We have not relented on our mission to bridge the huge infrastructural deficit inherited on assumption of office. We hold the axiom as evident that the welfare of the people should be the only justification for the existence of government. We have allowed this admonition to be the guiding principle of governance. We are elated to receive a scorecard through this state-wide plebiscite.”

Akeredolu deserves victory – Sanwo-Olu

Also Babajide Sanwoolu , said Akeredolu and the APC deserved the victory.

He stated, “ Akeredolu deserves the victory, It is clear that Ondo people know what is right and they have done what is right.”

Jegede hails electorate, who voted according to their conscience

Meanwhile, both the PDP and the ZLP  have both expressed their appreciation to the voters in the state.

The spokesman for the Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation, Mr Gbenga Akinmoyo,  said,  “We use this medium to thank the good people of Ondo State who voted yesterday according to their conscience; thanks to the loyal members of the PDP at local, state and national levels who took ownership of this project and executed it.”

Similarly, the Director-General of the Agboola Ajayi Campaign, Dr Kola Ademujimi, said “ The party, after the collation of reports from our various field officers, may take an official position on this election in the coming days.

The Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, lauded  Akeredolu’s victory.

The congratulatory message of the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, was contained in a statement issued by his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, on Sunday.

Boroffice said, “The election was credible and Akeredolu’s victory is richly deserved. I commend the

Independent National Electoral Commission  for putting up a stellar performance. It is particularly comforting that there were no reported cases of rigging, snatching of ballot boxes and disenfranchising or intimidation of eligible voters.”

He however, urged Akeredolu to be magnanimous in victory, saying the second term mandate offers another opportunity to mobilise all relevant stakeholders for the development of the state.

Similarly, the Chairman of the state APC, Mr Ade Adetimehin, who congratulated  Akeredolu on the victory in the election, said the turnout of the people for the election was impressive.

Our reconciliation fruitful, says APC

The national leadership of the APC, in its reaction, described Akeredolu’s victory as a testament of the genuine reconciliation efforts of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee of the party.

In a statement titled  ‘APC Hails Rotimi Akeredolu’s Ondo Governorship Reelection Victory,’  signed by the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja, on Sunday, the  party expressed gratitude to the electorate in Ondo State.

It also singled out the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is the leader of the party as well as  Buni for rallying party members and supporters to work collectively towards ensuring victory for the party.

The statement read in part “Governor Akeredolu’s reelection is indeed testament to the inclusiveness, genuine reconciliation and peace the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker Committee has ensured among party ranks in Ondo State, other chapters and the party in general.”

Earlier in a similar statement titled,  ‘Akeredolu, Obaseki’s victories defined APCs ideology-preference for physical infrastructural ideology development-APC National Campaign Council,” signed by the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, the council said the people voted for continuity.

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the PDP   kept mum over the result of the election.

Ondo polls: PDP keeps mum

None of the party officials approached was willing to speak on the record. Attempts to reach the Spokesman for the party’s National Campaign Council for the Ondo Governorship Election, Kola Ologbondiyan,  were futile as his phone was unreachable and a response to a text message sent to him on the subject was still being expected as of  the time of filing this report.

However, a top-ranking party leader,  on condition of anonymity,  said “We knew we had challenges in the South -West which we were hopeful we could resolve before going into the election, sadly this did not happen. We will meet with the candidate and explore our options.




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