By Dayo Johnson – Akure
THE hope of no fewer than ten chieftains of the All Progressive Congress in Ondo state eyeing the deputy governorship seat were dashed Tuesday by governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Akeredolu, according to a reliable source, has forwarded the name of Hon Lucky Ayedatiwa, a former representative of the state on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as his running mate for the October 10 election to INEC yesterday to beat the deadline which is today.
High wire politicking had characterized who should occupy the seat after the former deputy governor Hon Agboola Ajayi resigned from the party but refused to abdicate the seat.
Vanguard reliably gathered that those interested in the position went as far as lobbying party national leaders across the country and even the wife of the governor, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu to pit in a word for them.
Those that showed interest according to findings include Chief Paul Akintelure, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, a former chairman of Federal Character Commission Hon.Abayomi Sheba, a former governorship aspirant in the 2016 election, Hon. Akinrinsola Odunayo, a former governorship aspirant in the just concluded primary, Hon. Jimi Odimayo, a former council chairman, Hon.Otito Atikase, Princess Oladuni Odu, a member of the stsye House of Assembly, Hon Abayomi Babatunde Akinruntan amongst others.
Three persons, Princess Odu, Chief Akintelure and Ayedatiwa were shortlisted last weekend but the inner caucus of the governor zero down on Lucky Ayedatiwa following the pressure from a close acquittance of the governor.
Akeredolu according to sources decided to go for one of traditional member of the party and not anyone with the antecedent of the Peoples Democratic Party following his experience with his estranged deputy Hon Agboola Ajayi.
Ajayi moved from PDP to the APC four years ago.
Sources, however, said that the name of Ayedatiwa may still be changed before the August 18 deadline for the substitution by INEC.
Meanwhile, the All Progressive Congress in the state played a hide and seek game on the choice of Ayedatiwa.
Its spokesperson, Alex Kalejaiye said the party was still functioning on a suitable running mate for the October 10 governorship election.
Kalejaiye said the person being sought for must be a loyal party man that would not betray the party in the future.
Contacted, the information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo pleaded for time for official confirmation but he didn’t get back to vanguard.
Ayedatiwa is a native of Obe-Nla, an oil-bearing community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. He was born on the 12th day of January, 1965.
***** Ondo council polls hold on August 22
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission has fixed August 22 for the council polls.
Chairman of the Commission, Yomi Dinakin said this in Akure, the Ondo State.
Dinakin said the commission would comply strictly with the protocols of the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 during the election.
He said that the choice of the date by the commission is in compliance with Section 25 of the Electoral Act which confers on the commission the power to determine the date of the election.
The Chairman advised all political parties and voters must adhere strictly to all COVID-19 precautionary measures stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which include wearing of face mask, washing of hands, the use of hand sanitizer and most importantly, maintaining physical distance during the voting exercise.
He said ” notice is hereby given that the poll for chairmanship and councillorship elections shall hold on Saturday, 22nd of August, 2020.
“Accreditation and voting start 8am on that day and closes 3pm to give room for collation. All vehicular movement shall be restricted except those on essential and election duties. Markets and shops shall remain closed within the period.
” There shall be no open campaign rallies, there should be no mass congregation of persons. Contestants are enjoined to use the social media, electronic, print and others to canvass for votes within the stipulated period of campaign.
“On the day of the election, the commission shall demand and enforce compliance with health protocols such as physical distancing, hand washing, use of sanitisers, face mask and other procedure”.