By Dayo Johnson
The contest between Rotimi Akeredolu, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), who yesterday emerged as the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN could make the Ondo election the battle of lawyers.
Political observers believe that Akeredolu is a familiar face to Governor Segun Mimiko who is backing Jegede as his chosen successor. It is thus believed that Akeredolu could be easily taken to the guillotine.
Mimiko defeated Akeredolu in the 2012 election when the later stood as the candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria ACN.
Akeredolu’s weaknesses include his lack of formidable structures across the state, lack of political suave and a character some say is easily prone to being provoked.
Working for Akeredolu is the advantage of having the federal might behind him this time unlike in 2012 when he as the candidate of the ACN, he faced the ruling party at the centre, the PDP. In fact, it is alleged that a committee comprising former ministers led by a very close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari is backing his bid for the governorship.
It is not yet known how his former aspirants would take him this time. In 2012 it was believed that fellow aspirants who lost out worked against him and indifferent to him.
Where the two parties pick their running mates from would equally be a factor. The PDP candidate hails from the central while Akeredolu is from the North leaving the two parties to feast on the South which is the PDP stronghold.
A school of thought believes that the ruling party may suffer minor injuries for picking it’s candidate from the same central where the incumbent hails from going by the attack that the choice of Jegede had caused the party which led to the defection of notable chieftains to the Sheriff faction of the party.
However, Jegede comes from the Akure section of the Central, a place that has not produced the governor of the state since the creation of Ondo State.
The question now is what is the fate of the embattled state Chairman, Isaac Kekemeke, given the sour relationship between Akeredolu and Tinubu. Will Oke and other aggrieved aspirants still stay in the party and work for the success of Akeredolu in the November election? Events that would unfold in the coming week will determine.