By: Oluwatosin Adesola & Adesoji Adetona
Ondo state people will file out on Saturday, October 10, 2020, to elect their governor for the next four years. Expectedly many permutations have been rumoured and reported that will determine the outcome of the election.
SUNSHINETRUTH investigation through public opinions and political exigencies, shows that three out of seventeen candidates in the poll would have a good showing in the exercise.
They are; Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP; Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the APC and Agboola Ajayi of the ZLP.
It is observed that the confidence of the electorate to come out and vote at Election Day, would depend on the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to truly convince them of their neutrality and willingness to conduct a free and fair election, devoid of violence.
After months of electioneering manoeuvering, weeks of campaigns and media wars, political pundits are of the opinion that, the Ondo State governorship election, will be won on local basis for different reasons.
ONDO SOUTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT
Ondo South senatorial district has six local government areas namely; Okitipupa, Irele, Odigbo, Ilaje, Ese-odo and Ileoluji/Okeigbo.
OKITIPUPA: local government area is a very complex political headquarters of the zone where a former Governor, late Olusegun Agagu was from. Okitipupa has 110,572 registered voters and 92,975 PVCs collection. The area also has prominent political bigwigs like Chief Jimoh Ibrahim, Engr Ifeoluwa Oyedele; Jegede’s running mate, Ikegboju Gboluga (who is also representing Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency at the National Assembly); Princess Oladunni Odu; Dr Eddy Olafeso among others.
It was gathered that Agboola commands many followers in Okitipupa while some Akeredolu’s appointees are rooting for APC victory.
Ordinarily, Okitipupa is a stronghold of the PDP but with political exigencies, it will be a battlefield that would be slightly won by Agboola. The people of Okitipupa usually support governorship contender from Ondo south, which the ZLP candidate believed to be representing.
ODIGBO: There are 136,146 registered voters and 109,797 PVCs collected. Going by recent elections results in the last one decade, ACN or APC had always been carried the day, and outcome of this Saturday’s poll will not be different according to SUNSHINETRUTH pundits, but it will not happen without ZLP candidate giving a good fight in the area.
ILEOLUJI/OKEIGBO: This area has 73,051 registered voters and PVCs collection is put at 54,391. Considering the fact that Ileoluji town currently has a PDP Senator, Tofowomo, with the ZLP, APC and PDP boasting of some grassroots politicians in the area, however the outcome will be difficult to predict between Jegede and Agboola may have a slight edge over his opponents.
ESE-ODO: This is a local government area with highest percentage of PVCs collection. There are 70,014 registered voters with 66,481 PVCs collected. This is the place of birth of Agboola, the state current Deputy Governor and the ZLP candidate. Two former APC governorship aspirants, Isaacs Kekemeke and Ambassador Sola Iji as well as the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo who are from the area, would give the ZLP candidate run for his money while the influence of a former presidential Special Adviser on Niger Delta affairs and chieftain of the PDP, Hon Kingsley Kuku, can’t be wished away in who wins the area eventually.
IRELE: Akeredolu won this local government area in the 2016 election, but pundits are of the opinion that Agboola has a lot of supporters in the area and he should beat APC and the PDP on Saturday. There are 66,959 registered voters and 57,651 PVCs collected.
ILAJE: This local government has 133,189 registered voters and 126,749 PVCs collected. With Chief Olusola Oke’s massive influence and Akeredolu’s running mate, Lucky Aiyedatiwa as well as other political permutations, APC will win overwhelmingly in the oil rich region, while Agboola is expected to get at least 25% of vote cast.
ONDO NORTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT
This is an undisputable stronghold of the APC with the 2016 governorship election and the 2019 general election results clearly showed the preference of the majority in the Northern senatorial district.
Ondo North senatorial district comprises six local government areas as well, namely; Owo, Akoko Northwest, Akoko Northeast, Akoko Southwest, Akoko Southeast and Ose.
AKOKO NORTHEAST: There are 80,040 registered voters and 66,290 PVCs collected. It is expected that with huge performance of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the area of road construction in Ikare-Akoko particularly Okealabojuto and dualization of major road in the town. It is expected that APC should have a good showing despite the fact that the PDP won the last House of Assembly election in the area in 2019. The ruling party may not however have it smooth with the likes of a former Speaker, Taofeeq Abdulsalam backing the ZLP. The PDP also has some groups of youths and grassroots politicians supporting Jegede, but voting in the area will still swing in favour of Akeredolu.
AKOKO NORTHWEST: There are 72,139 registered voters and 58,505 PVCs collected. Although the State Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Fatai Adams is from this local government area, the overwhelming chieftains of the APC in the area will make the voting pattern to still favour the ruling party. The ZLP candidate can still rely on the likes of a former Speaker, Bakkita Bello and former Ondo State Chief Judge, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi. The influence of a member of the House of Reps (Akoko Northwest/Northeast federal constituency), Hon Bunmi Tunji-Ojo (BTO) is massive with his giant strides.
According to pundits, there is a general feelings that the Akeredolu’s administration has not done much to repay the people of the area their previous support. PDP may spring a surprise against the APC but financial power of the three parties may decide the outcome of the election there.
AKOKO SOUTHWEST: It has 103,542 registered voters, with 88,897 PVCs collected. No doubt Akeredolu usually received overwhelming support in this area since 2012 and this Saturday’s election will not be different. With the likes of Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Hon Ade Adeogun (Reps member), a former Speaker, Victor Olabimtan and Alhaji Alli Olanusi working for the APC, it will be difficult for the PDP and ZLP to defeat Akeredolu here.
However, irregular payment of staff salary at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) may affect outcome of the election in this local government area.
AKOKO SOUTHEAST: It is a local government with lowest number of registered voters put at 34,047 and 31,217 PVCs collected. The ZLP candidate has some grassroots supporters in this area including a former Commissioner, Prince Solagbade Amodeni, while some APC appointees are working for the return of Akeredolu in the area such as a former House of Reps member, Hon Kolawole Babatunde popularly known as Ameachi.
OSE: Ordinarily this is a stronghold of the PDP due to the influence of Senator Bode Olajumoke but the fact that Owo and Ose people share the same traditional and political backgrounds, majority of votes will still go to Akeredolu who is an indigene of Owo while Jegede shall still get good showing in the poll. Ose has 68,087 registered voters with 63,568 PVCs collected.
OWO: This is expected to overwhelmingly swing to the incumbent governor who is from the local government area. Akeredolu has always been winning Owo local government convincingly, this Saturday’s poll will not be different. The mother of Jegede is from Ipele, a town in the local government area and this may give the PDP votes. Owo has 128,455 registered voters while 102,711 PVCs have been collected.
ONDO CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT
This is the zone that plays host to the state capital with highest votes. The PDP candidate is from this district, precisely Akure south local government. Other local government areas are; Idanre, Ifedore, Akure north, Ondo West and Ondo East.
IFEDORE: It has 75,257 registered voters and 54,640 PVCs collected. The Speaker of the state Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun is from this area working with other Akeredolu’s appointees for the APC, while the ZLP running mate, Engr Gboye Adegbenro also from this area. A former PDP State Chairman, Clement Faboyede is also an influential politician, working for Jegede. The three parties will have a serious battle for votes here, but the winner will emerge with a very slim margin.
AKURE NORTH: The local government has 74,821 registered voters but only 60,744 PVCs were collected. It will be a straight battle between the APC and the PDP candidates; as the Minister of State for Niger delta affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura is from the area. The agitation by Akure people to produce the state governor with Jegede will surely give the PDP an edge here.
ONDO EAST: This is a local government area with 50,496 registered voters and 40,321 PVCs collected. Some key PDP leaders here have joined the ZLP and the APC.
IDANRE: The State Chairman of the APC, Engr Ade Adetimehin; PDP Senator, Ayo Akinyelure (Allover); the SDP federal lawmaker from Idanre/Ifedore constituency, Hon Tajudeen Adefisoye (aka Small Alhaji) among other political bigwigs are from this area. Adetimehin and Adefisoye are working together for Akeredolu’s reelection, while the likes of a former state governor’s Chief of Staff, Dr Kola Ademujimi are rooting for the ZLP. The Senator is backing Jegede.
ONDO WEST: It has 172,815 registered voters with 131,847 PVCs collected. Former Governor Olusegun Mimiko who is the National Leader of the ZLP; the ADC federal lawmaker from Ondo west/Ondo East constituency, Hon Abiola Makinde and the PDP Chieftain, Chief Segun Adegoke.
Jegede won Ondo west local government area in the 2016 governorship election with the backing of Mimiko but the former Governor is now backing the ZLP. Makinde is Avery popular politician in his constituency and currently working for Akeredolu. The mother of Agboola is also from this local government.
AKURE SOUTH: This is the state capital with the highest number of voters put at 290,267 while 207,238 PVCs have been collected. Jegede who is from this local government area, lost the 2016 governorship election to Akeredolu in this local government. However the current political permutation and agitation, it is obvious that the PDP candidate will record landslide victory in the capital city, while the ruling party would still put up a good fight.
Political pundits told SUNSHINETRUTH that there will be surely going to be some surprises in the eventual overall winner of the election comes on Saturday 10th October, 2020.