ROTIMI AKEREDOLU (SAN); Incumbent Governor / APC
As Ondo State goes to the poll this Saturday, it is incontrovertible that the incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), will enjoy the incumbency factor in some areas in the State. Although this will largely depend on the disposition of the Federal Government towards him. If the neutrality of the Buhari-led administration as witnessed and applauded in Edo is maintained, then we can predict what to expect during the exercise.
The backing of institutions providing security to maintain law and order will of course be tactical if they are well engaged by APC. But the impunity prevalent during the Kogi election will hardly play out, given the stance of the US and their allies demand for transparency in our elections and the visa policy against election riggers.
A compromised INEC and other agencies providing logistics will find execution of such almost impossible. Not even Agboola who was alleged to along with others helped to rig Akeredolu to power in the last election can try same with the readiness of the people to vehemently resist with force any attempt to manipulate the process. It is evident from historical evidence that it is only possible when the beneficiaries are popular. That popularity seem to have been taken away by Agboola into his newly found party. The fading popularity of Arakunrin as a result of his rejection by the people is evident everywhere you turn in Ondo State, except for his home town where intimidation and harassment by weapons welding thugs said to be loyal to him have forced many out of town. A very popular APC woman who is the coordinator of the Buhari Support Group in Ondo State is a victim of this situation. A source said that she now lives in hiding. Another young vibrant man who tremendously helped Akeredolu during his last election, has also opted to the side of the people but had to relocate to a neighbouring state for threat to his life by unknown callers who are sounding like assailants. The need to beef up security in Ondo North Senatorial District where political thugs and miscreants are boasting to break the jinx of second term denial which has been their own pattern from Ajasin days till date must not be taken with a pinch of salt by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led security team.
Aketi is so disconnected from the people and his party members that winning a free and fair election; ‘tun di aye atunwa’ can only happen in his reincarnation.
AGBOOLA AJAYI: Incumbent Deputy Governor/Candidate of ZLP
A man gradually becoming a phenomenon in Nigerian politics. He is the first deputy governor to survive impeachment due to the fact that he is more acceptable and popular than his boss in the State House of Assembly. To his advantage is Mimiko’s structure which has equally helped to fortify his grip on the grassroots. This may likely work in his favour. The senatorial district he hails from will also increase his chance on Saturday in no small measure. Though Agboola may be relatively unknown to paid political analysts hired to play the tune of their pay masters in Lagos and Abuja, he is very well connected and understands the game more than any of his peers in the race for Alagbaka. The choice of his deputy will equally enhance his chances because it will attract the votes from the Central Senatorial District, most especially the four local government areas of Ondo East, Ondo West, Idanre and Ifedore. The rate at which he has been harvesting members from the ruling APC and the PDP is a clear signal to a people’s candidate.
EYITAYO JEGEDE (SAN): PDP Candidate
His inability to manage the post governorship party primary election crisis of his party as far as I am concerned may be his albatross on Saturday. The choice of his deputy smacks of political insensitivity. He is likely to pay the price for a possible loss in this election. In our self- appointed pro bono consultation service to the PDP in Edo State, the burden of greedy looting lots that make up the party will be his biggest undoing. This has been the nightmare of the party in Lagos. It was my experience in Benin, which is never different in Ondo. His issues with the people around him as well some of his party members is a minus from Saturday’s expectation. The Royal Father of Akure Kingdom where he comes from is openly campaigning for Akeredolu.
His party is not giving him the required support as enjoyed by Obaseki in Edo State recently. Aside Akure South, Ileoluji/Okeigbo, I do not see him winning any other local government.
Candidates And Their Chances: Local Government By Local Government
Independent findings in Starnews Nigeria monitored in Ondo State has revealed that the four local governments of Akoko in Ondo North Senatorial District will be a battleground where the three political parties may likely share votes based on some factors that will influence the minds of the electorate as they head to the polling units on Saturday.
Akoko North East
Notable politicians and opinion leaders like Rt. Hon. TAOFEEK Abudulsalam Olawale, a former speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Rasheed Elegbeye, Mr. Olanrewaju Kazeem, Pst Olu Arowolo, Wale Ogunleye, are from Akoko North East. This Local Government consists of the towns of Ikado, Okela, Okorun, Eshe, Odo, Ilepa, Okoja, Iku, Odeyare, Odoruwa, Okinawa and others. The ZLP is having very strong ties with the people of this local government as the aforementioned had forfeited all the structures they built in their former parties, the PDP and the ruling APC into the ZLP.
Akoko North West
Findings show that this local government is the stronghold of the ruling APC and based on political history, the APC has never lost election in this local government. Nevertheless, the local government is divided into two constituencies, where constituency 1 is the stronghold of the state chairman of the PDP, Hon Fatai Adams. The PDP is strong in Constituency 1 and the ruling APC is very strong in Consistency 2. But our investigations reveal that Agboola Ajayi of the ZLP may also get votes in this local government because of the defection of the immediate past house of assembly member, Hon. Ara Oyinbo (also known as Sokooto) who had since decamped to the ZLP in the same constituency with the PDP state chairman. The Constituency 2 of this local government is the largest of the two constituencies in voting strength. Investigative journalism further revealed that some political power brokers in this constituency under the APC are working secretly for Ajayi.
The likes of Bakita Bello, the former speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly who is also from this constituency had since joined the ZLP and he is not leaving any stone unturned to secure votes for his new party, the ZLP in this local government. Akoko North West comprises the towns and villages of Iye, Ese, Okeagbe, Ikaram, Arigidi, Erusu, Ibaram, Iyani, Ase, Irun, Ogbagi Ajowa, Afin, Oyin, Eriti, Igasi and others forming the LGA.
Akoko South East
This Local Government is sited in the town of Isua which is made up of the towns and villages of Akunnu, Epinmi, Ipe, Ifira, Ipesi, Isua, Oba, Oka, Sosan, among others making up the local government area. It was learnt the local government will be an easy ride for the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and its candidate, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, as major political gladiators like Sola Amodeni, Bode Iwaloye, Hon. Pelemo, Akin Abinomo and their large number of followers are predominantly members of the ZLP.
Many residents in these areas are very friendly with the ZLP more than any other party. While the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will have their wallets shares of votes, the ZLP is said to be having over 60% patronage of the electorates.
Akoko South West
This local government includes Akungba, Ikun, Oba, Oka, Okia, Korowa, Ikese, Iwonrin, Ebo, Ayegunle, Owalusin, Ayepe, Supare, Okela and Bolorunduro and others. Findings reveal that the incumbent Senator, Professor Ajayi Boroffice, will be a factor and could make the election an easy ride for the candidate of the ruling APC, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu. But some politicians are of the view that Boroffice is deliberately not being active and may not be fully committed to Akeredolu’s reelection because according to them, Akeredolu sponsored a candidate, Tunji Abayomi, of the Action Alliance, against the Senator’s reelection in 2019. Though both of them have reconciled and Boroffice has forgiven Akeredolu but may not support Akeredolu’s second term. The sources said ”to forgive someone is not tantamount to endorsement or any support for an ambition. However, it was gathered that the PDP is also waxing stronger in this local government because of Barr. Debo Ologunagba, a former Lawmaker of the House of Representatives, while the APC is also not loosening up because of the son of late Governor Adebayo Adefarati – a serving commissioner under the ruling APC. It was learnt that Agboola Ajayi is currently romancing Professor Ajayi Boroffice for help in this area.
It has Itagbolu town made up of the districts and communities of Akomowa, Agamo, Oke-Oore, Ayede, Ogbese, Ayetoro, Igbatoro, Igoba and others. Votes may be shared by the Candidate of the ruling APC and the opposition PDP. There is this sentiment of Akure agenda which may give Jegede an easy ride in this local government. But according to another group of people, it is believed that the support for Akeredolu by the Minister of State for Niger/Delta Affairs, Tayo Alasoadura, a native of Iju/Itaogbolu in Akure North Local Government Area of the state, may affect Jegede’s chances and the votes in the local government may be shared by both the PDP and the APC while the ZLP may get little vote from Oba Ile. Alasoadura believed that it is not yet the turn of Akure to produce the governor because according to him, Akure is from the Central and the Central had just completed eight years under former Governor Segun Mimiko.
It is the capital city of Ondo State and has villages like Aponmu, Gbogi, Isikan, Ijomu, Obanla, Oda, Odopetu, Aro, Uro, Oke-Aro, Oshodi, Owode, Isolo and Imuagun and other areas. Akure south is a goal for Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the candidate of the PDP. But political history has also shown in recent times that electorate in Akure South is not predominantly the indigenes of Akure as people from across the 18 local governments working in the City may also cast votes base on sentiments, and as such, other political parties would also get sympathy votes. The performance of the incumbent is also part of the deciding factors but all said and done, Jegede will cruise to victory in Akure South with a very good result due to the disposition of the citizens of Akure towards the Akure agenda.
It is located in the town of Igbekebo with the districts and villages of Apoi, Arogbo, Babomi, Igbekebo, Inikorogha, Ukparama, Kiribo and Ojuala and many other villages. It is the local government of Ajayi, the candidate of the ZLP.
This Local Government is a goal for AJAYI, though, some are of the view that the Arogbo axis did not like the incumbent deputy governor and may not vote for him. But the performance of Ajayi in the last PDP governorship primaries proved otherwise as our findings show that the Arogbo massively voted for Ajayi at the party’s primary. It was further learnt that Ajayi has been able to reconcile with some of their aggrieved leaders recently. Ese Odo will be a walked-over for the ZLP in the Saturday’s election.
It consists the towns of Ala-Elefosan, Alade, Atosin, Idole-lemikan, Idole-logbosere, Ijomu, Isurin and others. There are four leading political parties in this local government. The PDP led by the incumbent Senator representing Ondo Central, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, the SDP is being led by Hon. Tajudeen Adeyemi Adefioye, the ZLP is being led by a former chief of Staff in Ondo State, Dr Kola Ademuji and the ruling APC is being led by the State Chairman of APC, Engr Ade Adetimehin. It is authoritatively reported that Idanre will be a major battlefield for the three political parties and no one could actually lay claim to victory among all the political parties. The influence of the SDP House of Representatives member, popularly known as ”Small Alhalji” may go a long way to determine where the pendulum of victory will swing. Of recent, supporters of the APC and the ZLP in Idanre town in the Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State have always been trading words and fighting one another which raises doubt if the supporters of the PDP are actually on the ground.
Gboye Adegbenro, the running mate of Ajayi is from this local government. It is a goal for the ZLP and would be an easy ride for the party in Ifedore LG. We can confirm that all their community leaders, including their prominent sons and daughters, are rallying supports for Gboye, a former commissioner for works under the Mimiko’s administration. He did well for his people and he is a household name in Ifedore Local Government. The local government has the town of Igbara-Oke, Igboko-Oke, Ijare, Ilara, Ipogun, Ibule, Isarun, Erigi, Obo, Ikota and Olo-Gbo and other villages.
It has its headquarters in Igbokoda town with the districts of Aheri, Mahin, Etikan and Ugbo, Pare, Araromi, Awoye, and other villages. The local government is divided into two constituencies, 1 and 2. Governor Akeredolu’s running mate, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, is from Ilaje local government and precisely from Ugbo. The local government is not united for traditional and religious reasons. Also the battle for supremacy between those from Ugbo and Mahin kingdom is another major factor that may influence the election. Some political gladiators in Mahin and Aheri are routing for Agboola because of his wife who is their daughter, while Ugbo people are planning to vote for Aiyedatiwa, the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in the October 10 governorship election. The votes in this local would be divided between the ruling APC and the ZLP. Ajayi is from the Federal Constituency of Ilaje/Ese Odo. Some gladiators believe a deputy governor cannot solve their problems. It was also gathered that some Ilaje billionaires did not subscribe to deputy governorship slot. They are reportedly working for Ajayi. However, the sentiment of a deputy governorship slot cannot be ruled out in this local government despite the setbacks and the underfunding of OSOPADEC.
This local government has Agunla, Bamkemo, Ileoluji, Okeigbo and other villages. Okeigbo and Bameko are the major stronghold of the ZLP because of the support of Dr. Olatunji Felder for Ajayi. We gather that Senator Nicholas Tofowomo who is currently representing Ondo South at the 9th Assembly would be the only saving grace for the PDP to win the election in Ileoluji town which may subsequently help the Party to win the local government being the major town having the highest number of registered voters. The APC led by Dr. Plus Osunyikanmi and the ZLP led by Dr Felder are also waxing stronger. It was also gathered that Dr Mimiko, the National Leader of the ZLP is also not leaving any stone unturned to ensure victory for the ZLP at Ileoluji town.
This local government has Ore, Oniparaga, Odigbo, Koseru, Ebijan, Ayesan, Araromi Obu, Ajue, Ago-Alaye and Agbagu and other villages. It was gathered that Engr Rapheal Ademulegun, DG South of the PDP state campaign council would win Ajue town for the PDP because he is loved by his people. PVC-NAIJA also learnt that votes would be shared between the ZLP and the APC in Araromi Obu because of the former Secretary to the State Government, Dr. ROTIMI Adelola who had since joined the ZLP and Mrs Yetunde Adeyanju, who is serving as a board chairman under Governor Akeredolu. But the ZLP is more stronger in this town because of the agitation for a southern governor. The ZLP is also very strong in Ayesan, oniparaga, Koseru, Ebijan and Ago Alaye because of the southern agenda and the agitation for a Southern governor.
The votes would be divided in Ore town, between the ruling APC and the ZLP. It was learnt that all the elected representatives in Odigbo under the ruling APC were divided due to the agitation for a southern governor and because of the unfair treatment to some lawmakers by the Akeredolu’s government. The ZLP is said to be having upper hand in this local government than the ruling APC due to some division caused by some Lawnakers reportedly working for Ajayi.
This is a very peculiar Local Government and the most educated local government in the south. It has the town of Okitipupa, Ode-Aye, Ilutitun, Ikoya, Olooto, Iju Odo, Erekiti, Igbotako, Iju-Oke, Omotosho, Ayeka, Igodan, Igbodigo, Okunmo, Erinje and other villages. All the communities are independent of actions. No singular leader or group of leaders could lay claim as the leading actors of this local government presently today.
Hon. Ikengboju Gboluga, the running mate of Jegede hails from this local government in Ilutitun town. Gboluga will win his town hands down.
But Findings showed that the ZLP is very strong in Ode Aye, Igbotako, Okitipupa, Ayeka, Igbodigo, Igodan, Erinje and other villages because many political strikers of the various communities aforementioned are already in the ZLP. Also due to the excruciating blackouts in this area, PVC-NAIJA gathered from our source, that many citizens do not want Akeredolu for second term and do not believe in deputy governorship slot. Reports from some PDP leaders spoken to by our sources, said they would not work for the PDP and the APC because of past experience with deputy governors which they claimed were unable to solve their problems. The candidate of the ZLP also has its house built in Okitipupa town, headquarters of the LGA. Many believe that Ajayi is their son, who understands their language and share in their pains. As it is, we can authoritatively reports that the ZLP is more stronger in this Local Government while other political parties would also have their wallets shares of votes.
IRELE Local Government is predominantly dominated by members of the ZLP after several political strikers abandoned the opposition PDP for the ZLP. Many APC leaders are also working for the ZLP while they remain as members of the ruling APC due to the agitation for a southern governor. Irele local government has Ode-Irele town and consists of the towns of Iyansan, Irele, Akotogbo, Ajagba and Omi and other villages.
It has the town of Bolorunduro, Asantan, Oja, Atua, Otansan, Igba and others. The ZLP is very strong in this local government more than the three major political parties due to the support of Hon. Charles Adeduro and the influence of the former governor of Ondo State, Dr Segun Mimiko, for the ZLP. The APC is also pulling crowd while members of the PDP has been depleted by the two parties (The APC and the ZLP).
This local government is a goal for the ZLP. Ondo West is the origin of the ZLP led by Dr. Mimiko who hails from this local government. History has shown that the former governor has never lost any election in this local government to any political party since the return of democracy in 1999. While the PDP and APC will also get votes due to their crop of supporters, Ajayi whose mother is also from Ondo West would coast to victory in this local government easily. Ondo West consists the districts and villages of Enuowa, Obolalu, Ajagba Alafia, Gbaghengha, Gbongbo, Ifore and others.
It has the town of Idoani, Afo, Idogun, Ifon, Ijagba, Ikaro, Elegbeka, Imeri, Imoru, Arimogija, Okeluse, Ute and others. The candidate of the PDP is having large supporters in some part of Ose Local Government especially in the home town of Mr Tokunbo Modupe. Being a neighbouring local government to Owo, Akeredolu and the APC is having the supports of the people. The APC will coast to victory easily in Ose Local Government while the ZLP and the PDP cannot be totally ruled out in getting their wallets shares of votes
It has the communities of Igboroko, Ijebu, Iloro, Ehinogbe, Ipele, Isaipen, Isuada, Ipenmen, Idasan, Obasooto and many others. It is also the stronghold and the home town of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Apart from Ipele, where Jegede’s mother hails from, The ZLP and the PDP should not raise any hope in this local government. APC will have more than 80% votes ahead of other political parties in Owo local government.
All said; may Buhari led Government be responsible enough to ensure that the will of the people will prevail without fear or favour to any candidate or political party. May the best man carry the day on the 10th of October 2020.