By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Earlier, It was a season of betrayals, vilificating political statements, accusations and counter accusations, however the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) tied the cord of unity, which earned the incumbent Governor, Arabinrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu another term to serve the aesthetic people of the sunshine state.
Akeredolu, won the election by polling 292,830 to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, who recorded 195,791 votes, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Akure, Sunday.
Coming third in the contest is the flagbearer of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and incumbent Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi, with 69,127 votes.
Some APC bigwigs like the Speaker, state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Bamidele Oleyelogun lost his polling unit in Ifedore local government area and the Secretary to the state government, Temitayo Oluwatuyi also suffered defeat in the hand of the PDP at his polling unit in Akure south local government area.
It is worthy of note to state that from time immemorial, Ondo North Central district has been a strong hold of the party, (APC) with many political gladiators.
Barring this, the Akokos, which comprises of four local governments which includes: Akoko south west, Akoko south east, Akoko north west and Akoko Noth east. All these aforementioned local councils determine the victory of any Candidates eyeing the Apex seat in the State.
However, some bigwigs of the milieus who were reportedly said to have developed a ‘thick skin’ in ensuring Akeredolu wins their areas falter, while others maintained their stance in winning their polling units outrightly.
The senator representing the district, Ajayi Boroffice, supported the Governor few months to the governorship election. Akeredolu and Boroffice played a unique friendship of the cat and the rat. But they settled their political rift with some stringent terms and conditions. Boroffice later commenced aggressive campaign for Akeredolu.
Borroffice who is from Oka, ward 5 with 17 units, won 8 units of his ward, while the PDP won 9 Units, although he won his own unit.
Akeredolu’s associate from the same local government with Boroffice is the current Commissioner for Agriculture in the State, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati. Adefarati is the son of the former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Adefarati. Gboyega is from Ward 12 at Akungba-Akoko, out of the 12 units in his ward, he won 11 and lost one to the PDP.
The commissioner who is said to be the leader of the two wards in Akungba, also lost one unit to PDP in ward 13.
Hon Ade Adeogun, is a serving member of the House of Representatives, representing Akoko Southwest and Southeast Federal consistuency. From the inception, he never belonged to the camp of Akeredolu, but he was close ally of Senator Boroffice. Later he chose to support Akeredolu sequel to the rift that was laid to rest between Akeredolu and Boroffice.
But the serving reps member lost his unit outrightly to the opposition party. It came as a rude shock to many, as this gave an impetus to further research, and according to an unreliable source, it was learnt that he never embarked on an aggressive campaign.
INEC result sheet indicates that at Okede 1, Baptist Day Primary school, Oba Akoko, Akoko Southwest local government area, Adeogun’s polling unit, APC scored 90votes, PDP won the unit with 111votes and ZLP polled 11votes.
According to one APC loyalist who preferred anonymity said, “this may not go down well with Akeredolu”
Victor Olambitan, is the special adviser to the Governor on political matters and Director General of Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organization. The former Speaker of the state Assembly won all the polling units in the two wards in his Supare-Akoko community. Reports shows that opposition party had poor showing in the two wards.
Another key political figure in Akokoland, Hon Babatunde Kolawole, whose sobriquet is Ameachi, is the Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural and Community Development. Kolawole also represented Akoko Southwest/Southeast federal constituency between 2015 and 2019 in the National Assembly. The former lawmaker used his grassroots political prowess to mobilise his people to vote massively for Akeredolu. Kolawole won all the polling units in his Ifira Akoko ward.
At Kolawole’s unit at Ifira Akoko, APC won with 335votes, PDP had 149votes and ZLP scored 85votes.
It was also gathered, Kolawole galvanised other APC leaders in his area not only ensured Akeredolu emerged victorious in all polling units in Akoko south east local government area of the state, but the governor had more votes more than ever before.
The opposition parties never a single unit in the milieu. It was a landslide victory in the local government because Kolawole embarked on an aggresive campaign for the Governor.
‘Ameachi’ who is also a federal lawmaker in the state doubles as the Chairman of APC campaign council in the in the local government. He also resisted attempt plot to cart away votes from the clime.
Also, the Commissioner for women affairs, Mrs Titi Adeyemi from the same local government with Amaechi also won her units and ward for the APC.
Other political gladiators in Akoko like a member of the House of Representatives from Akoko Northeast/Northwest federal constituency, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (popularly known as BTO); the state Commissioner for Physical planning & Urban development, Hon Rasheed Badmus; the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye; a former governorship aspirant, Dr Olusegun Abraham as well as the Commissioner for land & Housing, Hon Fatai Olotu passed the acid test posed by the 2020 gubernatorial election.
Political observers noted that the unparalleled efforts of Hon BTO in ensuring massive victory of Akeredolu in all the polling units in Okeagbe Akoko can not be wishes away.
According to a political analyst, Mr Ayodele Ojo, “no doubt, Akokoland and Owo local government area remain the stronghold of the ruling APC and it is a strange development for any political office holder to get defeated in their polling units by the opposition in Akoko or Owo areas of the state.
The majority leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon Suleiman Maito also got defeated by the PDP in his polling unit at Arigidi-Akoko.
The analyst said, “Other selfacclaimed giant stalwart of our great party who lost their units include the unit of a sitting APC lawmaker, Hon Sulaiman Maito of Arigidi ward 2, unit 2 in constituency 1, as well as the unit of the former caretaker Chairman, Dare Kolade aka DK of ward 6 Ogbagi Akoko both in Akoko North West.
Ayodele is of the opinion that electoral performances of the elected and appointed political office holders from Ondo north senatorial district would have political impacts on who gets what ahead of the 2023 general election.