By Arogbonlo Israel
The following are reasons the All Progressive Congress won the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ondo:
1. Just like his Edo counterpart, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was able to win the just concluded Ondo governorship election as a result of the powers at his disposal as the incumbent Governor of the state.
2. Akeredolu’s doggedness and boldness in face of opposition also played out in the just concluded poll. A victory against Akeredolu may have been possible, but the governor took major steps to put his house in order just before the election as all warring factions of his party formed a united front in the build-up for his reelection.
3. Another major factor that contributed to the victory of APC in Ondo is the intervention of the government at the Federal level who gave its full support to the incumbent Governor as a result of his proven track records. In President Buhari’s words; “I have no doubt that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is a good brand for the APC to market.”
4. The timely suspension of the former APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole forms a major antecedent to the emergence of Governor Akeredolu as the preferred candidate of the party. You would recall the party under the leadership of the former had suspended Akeredolu alongside Rochas Okorocha, former Imo governor, Ibikunle Amosun, former Ogun governor, among others, over anti-party activities in the build-up to the 2019 elections, hence, Akeredolu would have lost the party’s ticket if Oshiomhole was still at the helms of affairs.
Reason: the Ondo governor and Oshiomhole may not have been on the smoothest of relationships following their differences over the leadership of the party. Following this, many were concerned over the possibility of the party handing the ticket to another candidate.
5. Lastly, vote-buying by party agents across polling units in the state also contributed a major factor to the victory of the party at the poll. According to reports from election observers and journalists, while not much in terms of violence was witnessed during the governorship poll, the distribution of cash for votes, although done discreetly in many polling units, was the order of the day, with many party agents who claimed to be representatives of the APC outspending their rivals. Attesting to this, the State Chairman of the opposition party PDP described the action as “weaponisation of poverty” which later turned out in APC’s favour.