Dayo Johnson – Akure
Just like they emerged as candidates of their different political parties in 2016, two Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs, Rotimi Akeredolu, and Eyitayo Jegede will again slug it out in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo state.
Akeredolu under the platform of the All Progressive Congress defeated Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2016 to emerge the governor of the state.
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He was able to win with slight margins following several court cases instigated by his party to slow down Jegede campaigns.
Four years down the line, the two gladiators will again battle for the coveted seat come October 10 fixed for the governorship poll by INEC.
Akeredolu during its party’s primary on Monday emerged as the candidate defeating eleven other aspirants despite criticism against the mode of the primary.
He polled 2458 votes to defeat Olusola Oke who scored 262 votes and Isaacs Kekemeke who came a distant third with 19 votes.
The governor after his emergence had commence the process of reconciliation by visiting his co-contestants seeking reconciliation but some of the aspirants have kicked against the mode of the primary which they described as skewed to favour him.
How he will be able to reconcile with the many forces against him within the party remains a herculean task.
The likes of lfe Oyedele, Isaacs Kekemeke, Bukola Adetula, Jimi Odimayo, and others have congratulated Akeredolu but Olusola Oke according to sources may jump ship to contest the governorship election under another political party.
The PDP governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede SAN who came second in the 2016 election defeated the deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, in a keenly contested poll last night in Akure.
Jegede was the darling of the party members and leaders and was to emerge as the candidate seamlessly until Ajayi defected to the party and upturn the arrangement giving Jegede sleepless nights.
On Wednesday was exactly a month that Ajayi defected to the PDP and put up an excellent performance in the contest.
Jegede polled 888 votes while Ajayi scored 657 voted to defeat the likes of former National Vice Chairman of the party in the southwest, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, Former Senator, Boluwaji Kunlere, former House of Representatives member, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, former commissioner Sola Ebiseni and former publicity secretary of the party in the state Hon Banji Okunomo.
The inability of the six aspirants from the southern senatorial district of the state to agree on a consensus candidate gave the victory to Jegede.
If the votes scored by the six governorship aspirant from the southern area of the state are polled together it would have dwarfed that of Jegede.
Meanwhile, Ajayi and other aspirants have congratulated Jegede after the contest.
Ajayi said he accepted defeat but that he contested against many forces within the party and outside the party.
The question now is will Ajayi now resign from the APC government or allow the House of Assembly members who last week ran into a hitch over his impeachment to eventually have their way.
Also, will history repeat itself in the 2020 election or Akeredolu would be evicted this time around?
The answer is in the belly of time