…Extends olive branch to opponents
…We’re studying results – Jegede, Ajayi
…Buhari, Oshiomhole, Lawan, APC, others congratulate Akeredolu
…Results reflect people’s wish —Yiaga Africa
By Clifford Ndujihe, Dayo Johnson, Henry Umoru, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Omeiza Ajayi
AT exactly 3.03 pm, yesterday, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State was handed another four-year mandate to oversee the affairs of the Sunshine State.
With 292,830 majority votes, securing out right victories in 15 of the 18 local councils of the state and scoring 25 per cent of the votes in all councils, the Chief Returning Officer for the Ondo 2020 Governorship election held on October 10, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, the vice chancellor of the University of lbadan,UI, returned Akeredolu as the winner of the poll.
The governor, who ran on the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, trashed his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, challenger, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede with 97,039 votes. Jegede polled 195,791 votes in the election.
Akeredolu’s estranged deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi, who contested on the platform of Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, came a distant third with 69,127 votes. He trailed Akeredolu with 223,703 votes
Supporters of Akeredolu, yesterday, savoured what they deemed a well-deserved and sweet victory as the governor’s vote tally is more than the other 16 candidates put together. Collectively, the 16 candidates got 279,915 of the 572, 745 valid votes, which is 12,915 votes less than Akeredolu’s 292,830 tally.
Apart from Akeredolu, Jegede and Ajayi the remaining 14 candidates scored less than 3,500 votes each.
The results are as follows: Martin Olateru- Olagbegi, ADP (3,464); Fasua Oyeleye, SDP (3,053); Adelegan Oluwaseyi, ADC (2,440); Okunade Taiwo, LP (1,977); Adeleye Peter, AAC (814); Babatunde Alli, PRP (669); Adesanya Olaoluwa, APP (527); Funmilayo Ataunoko, NRM (468); Ojon Dotun, YPP (398); Aminu Olarenwaju, APM (309); Rotimi Akindejoye, Accord (292); Olowoloba Dele, APGA (271); Ojajuni Eniola, NNPP (222); and Joshua Adewole, AA (93).
The election, which was marred by vote-buying and pockets of violence witnessed 41.12 per cent voters turnout as 607,892 out of the 1,478460 voters that collected their Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs took part. There were 18,438 rejected ballots and 16,709 cancelled ballots.
Local councils won by Akeredolu were Owo, Ose, ldanre, Okitipupa, lrele, Ondo West, Ondo East, Odigbo, Akoko South-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West and Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo.
Jegede won three councils, namely: Akure South, Akure North and lfedore.
Ajayi failed to win any council including his Ese- Odo constituency which was won by Akeredolu.
Recall that Akeredolu in the 2016 governorship election which he contested with Jegede who was then in the Labour Party, LP defeated him with over 94,462 votes having polled 244, 842 as against Jegede’s 150, 380.
With this victory Akeredolu will be serving Ondo State for the second time, having been first elected in 2016.
The governor’s highest number of votes came from his Owo Local Council in the Northern senatorial district while Jegede also polled the highest number of votes in his Akure South Local Council in the Central senatorial district.
Losers and winners
Akeredolu defeated Ajayi in his Ese- Odo council area and the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP lkengboju Gboluga in his Okitipupa Local Council.
Also, the ZLP Deputy Governorship Candidate, Gboye Adegbenro, was defeated in his lfedore Local Council by Jegede.
Akeredolu’s deputy governorship candidate Lucky Ayedatiwa delivered his ilaje council area of the state for his principal, while the information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo also delivered the Ese- Odo council area for Akeredolu.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Bamidele Oloyelogun was not only defeated in his ward but also lost his lfedore council area to Jegede of the PDP.
Political office holders in the Akeredolu administration that lost their councils include Bunmi Ademosu, Special Adviser on Multilateral; Secretary to the State Government, Hon Tayo Oluwatuyi; Commissioner for Natural Resources and former SSG, Hon Sunday Abegunde; and Chairman House committee on Finance & Appropriation, Hon Sunday Olajide.
Akeredolu extends hand of fellowship to opponents, thanks Ondo people
An elated Akeredolu, who extended the Olive branch to his challengers to join forces with him to develop the state, said he would not betray the confidence of Ondo people
He pledged in his victory speech “not to betray this most liberal trust reposed in me by the people of the State’’ because ‘’the renewal of our mandate in this election is an eloquent testimony to the degree of acceptance by you, the good people of Ondo State.’’
He continued: “It affirms that the confidence reposed in our Administration remains unshaken. It is a statement on your assessment of our performance in the last three and a half years.
“It is unequivocal, direct, inspiring and soul lifting. It is awesome. It is a reward for hard work, dedication, focus, honesty and patriotism. It is also a challenge to us for rededication to service in the interest of our people. On this, we shall not relent.
“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.
“The resounding victory of our great party, the All Progressives Congress throws an open challenge to all stakeholders not to choose the path of complacency.
“We have noted the few dissenting voices of protest in this referendum. We heard them loud and clear. We intend to address genuine grievances. We shall continue to focus on the development of our God-given space, the Sunshine State.
“This Administration will not be distracted in the discharge of our sacred mandate. The people will continue to be at the centre of all decisions. We will proceed with our administrative style which promotes transparency and accountability.
“We are determined to set our state, progressively, on the path of real development. self-reliance is attainable. Our state has no business with poverty. Sincere, purposeful and focused leadership should have little difficulty in harnessing the vast resources, both human and natural. We will put in everything to justify the trust reposed in us.’’
He congratulated Jegede “for participating in this historic process. His patriotism is not in doubt. His love for the people is unassailable. He is indeed a worthy adversary. Our state is indeed blessed for having people of his quality.’’
Jegede thanks electorate, PDP members, says he’s studying results
Also speaking, Jegede, the PDP standard bearer, in a statement by Gbenga Akinmoyo, a spokesperson of his campaign organisation 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 PDP at local, state and national levels who took ownership of this project and executed it. This is God’s project and since it remains so,” he urged the party supporters to be hopeful.
He alleged that there were pockets of violence in Owo, Ese-Odo and other parts of the state.
I’ll make my position known soon – Ajayi
ZLP Candidate, Ajayi, in his reaction to Akeredolu’s victory said his position would be made know later.
A statement by the Director General of his Campaign Organisation, Dr Kola Ademujimi said Ajayi would take “an official position on this election in the coming days.’’
Thank ZLP leaders, and members and Ondo people for their support, he said: “I wish to specially commend the resilience, doggedness and strong determination of the National Leader of our party, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, the Ondo State chairman of ZLP, Joseph Akinlaja, all members of the state Executive Committee, party leaders and the good people of this state in the face of naked intimidation, harassment, threat and blatant abuse of state powers by the ruling APC government before and during the election.
“Your overall performance was highly commendable and historical…The party, after the collation of reports from our various field officers, may take an official position on this election in the coming days.’’
Buhari congratulates Akeredolu, commends INEC, security operatives for credible poll
Meanwhile, felicitations poured in for Akeredolu on victory, yesterday. Among those who feted were President Muhammadu Buhari; former National Chairman of the APC, and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
President Buhari in a statement by his Spokesman, Chief Femi Adesina, lauded the resounding victory of the governor, noting that the votes garnered “show that one good turn surely deserves another.”
The President thanked the people of Ondo State for keeping faith with their governor, and the APC and for comporting themselves during the election.
He also gives kudos to the INEC) for organizing credible, free and fair election, and to security agencies which ensured that orderliness was enthroned and maintained.
“The President urged Governor Akeredolu ‘’to be humble and magnanimous in victory, and serve the people of Ondo State even better than how he did in the first term’’ because “when you serve with heart and might, the people respond in like manner, and we can easily get to where we are headed as a country.”
Akeredolu’s victory a fruit of stellar performance – Oshiomhole
Also, Comrade Oshiomhole said: “”I felicitate with Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu on this well-deserved victory. With this emphatic victory, the good people of Ondo State have surely expressed their appreciation for Akeredolu’s stellar performance in the last four years. Truly, he is tested and trusted.
“This victory also reaffirms the dominance of our great party, APC, in the South-West. I wish Akeredolu wisdom and God’s speed as he continues to serve as the people’s governor of Ondo and a bridge-builder.”
Akeredolu’s victory well deserved — APC Campaign Council
The National Campaign Council of APC for Ondo State Governorship Election, the governor’s victory was a well deserved one for the party.
Secretary of the APC National Campaign Council, Mr Mustapha Saliu said this during a chat with newsmen in Akure.
Saliu debunked the reports that the ruling party highly monetized the election by buying votes from the voters across the state.
He said the candidate of the party was able to win the election following his performance in his first term in office not by vote buying.
Saliu alleged that it was members of the PDP that were coming up with the allegation of vote buying as an excuse for their defeat in the election.
“The problem is that we have bad losers. We just finished election in Edo State and the party congratulated the governor. That is the spirit of sportsmanship and that is responsibility to the populace. But they are looking for flimsy excuses to just explain their poor performance.’’
In like manner, the national headquarters of the APC, in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, thanked Ondo people for re-electing Akeredolu, declaring that the people have spoken and so there is no vanquished.
The party also thanked President Buhari for his leadership.
The statement read in part: “As a Party, while we thank the Ondo electorate for voting for good governance, industrialisation, security, empowerment and general welfare of the state, we will continue to advocate for and support safe, free and credible elections that guarantee that valid votes count and the people’s will prevail.’
“Governor Akeredolu’s re-election 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.
“The election is concluded, the people have decided and there is no vanquished. We seek general support for Governor Akeredolu as he continues his work to return the Sunshine State to its deserved and progressive standing among states in the country.’’
Results reflect people’s wish —Yiaga Africa
A Civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa, said that the result was a reflection of the people’s wish and urged Akeredolu and his supporters to be magnanimous in victory.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, the state capital, the Co-Chair of Yiaga Africa WTV Working Group, Dr Aisha Abdullahi and Ezenwa Nwagwu, urged the PDP and ZLP candidates to accept the results because the outcome of the poll reflects voters’ wishes.
“Yiaga Africa calls on the winning candidate and his supporters to be magnanimous in victory. For those candidates who did not win, we urge them to accept the results because they reflect the votes cast. Yiaga Africa calls upon all candidates, all parties and all Nigerians to show political maturity and to maintain the peace.’’
Senate President salutes Akeredolu
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, while congratulating Akeredolu on his re-election, which he described as a referendum on the stewardship of the governor in the last four years and that the governor passed the examination in flying colours.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by his Special Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan also congratulated the APC on the victory of its candidate at the election, saying the triumph is well-deserved and heart-warming.
Lawan enjoined the governor not to deviate from the path that has taken him to a fresh mandate from his people, and to continue to implement APC’s progressive programmes for the benefit of all Ondo people.
Lawan called on other contestants in the election to join hands with the winner to work for the common good of Ondo people.
Akeredolu’s election credible, richly deserved – Boroffice
Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate and senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, said that the election of Governor Akeredolu was credible and richly deserved. He, however urged him to be magnanimous in victory, noting that “the second term mandate offers another opportunity to mobilise all relevant stakeholders for the development of Ondo State
In a press statement issued by his Media Aide, Kayode Fakuyi, the senator commended “the INEC 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. I salute the security agencies for their professional conducts during the election. They did not only douse pre-election tension, they also put in place water-tight security measures that made peaceful election possible in Ondo State.’’