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WHO GOVERNS ONDO IN 2021? Hero Magazine International Brings to Focus the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Candidates. STORY BY IBIKUNLE IKUYINMINU

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WHO GOVERNS ONDO IN 2021?
Hero Magazine International Brings to Focus the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Candidates.

STORY BY IBIKUNLE IKUYINMINU

For a first time visitor, the beautiful landscaping, urban renewal efforts, calm and serene political atmosphere in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State, could be a deceit in the face of the impending epic political battle regarding who steers the rudder of the 22 year old state come 2021 . By then, the four-year first tenure of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, incumbent governor would have expired. Gubernatorial election will hold in few days time and the winner is expected to be sworn in in February 2021. Already, there are indications that the struggle for the soul of the state promises to be interesting and a straight battle between the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Zenith Labour Party, but some other parties, including the African Democratic Congress, are not ruling themselves out, even when many have.
But the PDP and ZLP are not leaving any stone unturned to send Akeredolu parking from the Alagbaka Government House. To the opposition parties, Akeredolus tenure has been a complete waste.
Meanwhile, the three gladiators fielded by the leading political parties in the state are from the South, North and Central senatorial zones, and each of them is holding tenaciously to his political base.Instructively, the candidates of the PDP and ZLP , Eyitayo Jegede SAN and Agboola Ajayi are from the central and southern senatorial zones respectively, while the ruling APC candidate, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu , hails from the northern zone.

Since the three parties picked their candidates at their various congresses held at different days at different locations in Akure, political activities have picked up tremendously.

The trio of Akeredolu, Eyitayo Jegede and Agboola Ajayi are easily the leading candidates as the others, so far, have little or nothing on ground to show that they are serious about the coming contest.
We present to you below the candidates, their vision and mission for the state, as well as their strengths and the odds against them.

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN

OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU (SAN)
Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu was born to the Reverend J. Ola Akeredolu of the Akeredolu Family in Owo and Evangelist Grace B. Akeredolu of the Aderoyiju Family of Igbotu, Ese-Odo Local Government Area on the 21st July, 1956 in Owo. He started his primary education at Government School, Owo before he proceeded to Aquinas College, Akure, from there to Loyola Colege, Ibadan and later Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, for his secondary school education and Higher School Certificate, respectively.
Fondly called Aketi by his admirers, a nickname he took from his secondary school days, Akeredolu went to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study Law.

At Ife where he graduated in 1977, he was elected as the Vice President, Students Union, for the 1975-1976 academic session. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978.

Akeredolu was appointed Attorney General of Ondo State from 1997-1999 and was conferred a Senior Advocate of Nigeria,SAN,in 1998.

As an activist, he served the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at various levels starting as the Secretary General of the Ibadan branch in 1985 and has been a member of the National Executive Council of the Association since then.

He served as the Publicity Secretary during the administration of the late Alao Aka Bashorun, a period considered as the golden era of the Bar, 1988-1989. He was also a member of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria from 1989 to 1991 and became its Chairman in 2005.

He was a member of the Governing Council, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies between 2008 and 2010, a member of the Council of Legal Education, a member of Council, International Bar Association and Pan African Lawyers Union during the same period. He currently serves as NBA representative in the National Judicial Council (NJC). He is the current Governor of Ondo State and he is running for a second term.

HIS VISION
Akeredolus vision is to make Ondo State the economic, industrial and technology-driven commercial hub of the South West geo-political zone where quality of life is sustained in both the rural enclaves and urban centres based on the principles of regional competitiveness and integration. Shortly after the APCs primaries that produced him as the partys candidate, Akeredolu had said he was convinced that the motive of the individual aspirants was to strengthen the APC and more importantly, take the state to loftier heights as he is delighted to say they all won while considering him as the custodian of their vision for the state. This vision of his is summarized in the re-election slogan ibi giga, ibi ogo, literally translated to mean a place of greatness and glory. Akeredolu has promised to work for the people with a renewed vigour towards a better Ondo State. He pledged to consolidate on his administrations economic -plan agenda.
In 2017, we promised to work and deliver we promised that your concern shall be our concern; that in all seasons, we will work for you; that we shall unleash our incredible creative ingenuity to develop the state. In the last three and half years, there are empirical facts on the ground that we have delivered on our promises and Ondo State is working again and we are happier. We have in place over 300 projects in all our rural communities dictated by our people themselves, he stated at the flag off of his re-election campaign.
The Governor went further to say I sincerely assure you that we shall continue to work for you with renewed vigour. We have been with you; we know your concerns and aspirations and we have been meeting. We know that you want your children to have quality health care system without you selling your properties. We will continue to work to make Ondo State a real place of pride in Nigeria. We will continue to develop Agriculture, build more roads, build more schools for our children, markets for our women, more hospitals, our cities shall be the best cities in Nigeria.
FACTORS IN FAVOUR
As the Governor of the state, he enjoys the power of imcubency such as any other governor running for an election like this. He controls the machinery of government which he will readily deploy to in trying to win the October 10 election. It is not out of place to say this factor was among the variables that gave victory to Godwin Obaseki of Edo State in his re-election bid.
Governor Akeredolus deep pocket is another factor that will give him a good fight in the battle for the soul of Alagbaka seat of power in 2021. With the stupendous money he now has, having turned the business of Ondo State as a family affair, he is more prone to give the not-wanting-to learn from previous experiences Ondo State electorates who would always sell their votes for a pittance. A close source who spoke under anonymity told us at The Hero that Babajide, Akeredolus son, alone can fund the campaign satisfactorily. It was even alleged that he made #433 million from the #4.3 billion stached in a secret account operated by Ondo State Government. The said account was maintained for over 10 years, generating interest until it was uncovered in May 2020 in the course of the audit of the states account. It is also instructive that he controls the Ondo State Revenue as the consultant there.
Again,since he was able to grab the ticket of the party, federal might could also be used to his advantage. But there is a limit to \this as the re-election of Godwin Obaseki of the PDP against Eze-Iyamu of the APC is a pointer to this.

FACTORS AGAINST
The above strengths notwithstanding, there are some odds against the gubernatorial ambition of the governor and candidate of the APC. For instance, it has been alleged in some quarters that Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State and link man between the Ondo State Governor and the Presidency is favourably disposed to Akeredolus re-election not only as a prelude to realizing his presidential ambition, but indeed as a means of colonizing Ondo State.
That apart, God who alone gives powers and position, may have deserted him based on his antecedents. For instance, he once desecrated the Yoruba ethos of respect for the traditional rulers when he was at the Palace of HRM Oba J.B. Faduyile, Abodi and Paramount Ruler of Ikale Land and rubbished the monarch. Who knows, Asiwaju Bola Tinubus recent disregard for the Ooni of Ife might be the reason his actions and/or inactions are greeted with ignominy of late.
Moreover, in the last governorship election, he had an easy ride to victory, as many would want us to believe, because of the joint mandate he had with his enstraged Deputy Governor who is seen in most quarters as a master strategist in politics. But today, the configuration has changed as his new fond running mate, Lucky Aiyedatiwa is not as rugged as Ajayi in politics.
Besides, Akeredolu, as a matter of fact, has got no radical ideas to transform the state. When he was campaigning some four or five years ago, he promise to create a prosperous and peaceful state. But his actions in the past, present and perhaps in the future negate this. He has turned himself as the tormentor-in-chief of every opposing voice using the instrumentality of the Ondo State Chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) headed by Jacob Adebo, notoriously known as Idajo. Only some weeks back, idajo and his boys were at the Ondo State House of Assembly where they had prevented the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ogundeji Iroju alongside some others opposed to the impeachment of the Deputy Governor from entrying their offices. How does this translate to the peace and tranquility that he promised? How can the people prosper where they are made to pay #150,000 as school fees as against the #50,000 they hitherto managed to pay? A woman visited my office sometimes ago and saw Aketi speaking on the TV screen. She told us Akeredolu forced her to withdraw two of her three children from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, consequent upon the hike in the school fees. It is doubtful if that woman or many others suffering from similar circumstances will vote for the Governor.
Another factor that may affect the chances of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu is the wife. The overbearing attitude of the wife is so pronounced that the Governor hardly takes any decision without consulting her. On the distribution of our meager resources, the influence of Mama Betty is so much that her Imo country-home has its own share. While our roads are yet to be filled here, Arakunrin has been busy constructing roads for them at Imo State. So Ondo State People now know that to re-elect such people who have a kind of contigent interest, who will not be able to resist any attempt to divert our common fund, is a strategic blunder.
Yet, the age long mantra (although Mimiko broke the jinx) that no Governor will be allowed a second term in the state may also work against the highly karid Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Sam Owoeye is a petrol station attendant in Akure. Hear what he has to say; I am just one in a population of about 4 million people in the state. But then, Adefarati was there; they changed him. Agagu got there, they changed him. Mimikos case was a gracious privilege which no Governor may enjoy anymore. There is some sense in this. And you know that politicians can only calculate while the decision actually lies with the people. And luckily enough, we have a President who has guaranteed a free and fair election.
Governor Akeredolu has also got to contend with some court cases which might be a source of worry to many who ordinarily would have voted for him. Nat. Adojutelegan and Jumoke Anifowose who both were aspirants at the APCs primaries have approached the court to challenge the process that ushered in Akeredolu as the partys candidate. You may say this is of no consequence; but then, even optimists can have their fate shaken once in a while in a country where people believe anything can happen. Do we still remember the Imo Saga ?
Again, many of those big politicians with Akeredolu are with him not because they are actually interested in him and his ambition, but because of what they are pursuing at the federasl level. In other words, they are careful enough not to be accused of pursuing some anti-party activities which could affect their appointments or patronage at the federal.
In fact, one of the major causes of disagreement between Agboola Ajayi and his boss the Governor is the governors insensitive decision to commercialise education and make same unaffordable to the ordinary people in the state in which education is about the only industry. The Deputy Governor had sharply disagreed with the obnoxious policy of an increase in the tuition fees and stoppage of the payment of WASCCE fees for secondary schools students. This too will speak against Arakunrin Akeredolu at the polls.
Finally, the fact that Governor Akeredolu has rubbished the establishment of the Mother and Child Hospital, one of the most celebrated achievements of the Olusegun Mimiko Administration is a disservice to his re-election bid. The people now access the facilities with exhorbitant bills unlike what obtained in the last administration. Certainly, he will not eat his cake and have it back.

AGBOOLA ALFRED AJAYI
HON. (Barr.) Agboola Alfred Ajayi was born on Tuesday 24th of September 1968 into the famous Ajayi family in the socio-politically conscious town of Kiribo in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State. He had his Primary and Secondary Education in Kiribo and Bolorunduro communities of Ese-Odo Local Government Area. Agboola had his academic foundation solidly rooted in these communities before pursuing University Education and came out with an excellent result of Bachelor of Law (LL.B) (Second Class Upper Division) from the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Nigeria. He was called the to Bar in 2010 after his graduation from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.

He is among the few Nigerians who rose from the bottom to the top politically. He was a Councillor, Supervisory Councillor, Local Government Chairman, Member of the House of Representatives and presently the Deputy Governor of the state. Of course, he is not just the Deputy Governor but indeed a Deputy Governor with a class. From the inception of the Rotimi Akeredolu Administration in the state, Ajayi’s influence on the politics and administration of the state has been felt. He is not one of those Deputy Governors that their governors would just pocket as they desire. As the number two citizen of the state, he has represented his Principal, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu at several fora, including the meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). This representations have afforded him the opportunity to meet with influential personalities, governors and members of the National Assembly, and such meetings enable him to showcase his leadership principles and administrative acumen to an extent a vast majority of these personalities admire him as one who the governorship cap of the sunshine state really fits.
And on the administration of the state, the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was not a passive voice until some elements in the state, not comfortable with his rising profile and strong administrative acumen, decided to merge strengths with the governor and his immediate family to wrestle power out of his hands. Even at that, he could not be impeached in spite of the plot through the state House of Assembly to get him impeached.
Barely a month to the gubernatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ajayi decided to defect from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to join the race for who takes over the Alagbaka seat of power come 2023. That was when the plot to impeach him was made pronounced even as the machinery of the APC in the state used the Commissioner of Police to threaten him. But today, it is historic that we have a state where the Governor and his Deputy are not in the same party and nothing seems to happen to the deputy governor who chose to cross-carpet, except that his instruments of office are denied him.
Ajayi eventually came second in the PDPs primaries having been defeated by Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) who was the standard bearer of the party in the last governorship election in the state. The election was keenly contested by no fewer than eight aspirants. They include Banji Okunomo who scored 90 votes, Bode Ayorinde (MHR) who scored 95 votes, Senator Boluwaji Kunlere (33 votes), and Sola Ebiseeni who scored 29 votes. Others are Godday Erewa who scored 14 votes while Eyitayo Jegede who won the race scored 888 votes to defeat Agboola Ajayi who came second with 657 votes.
Meanwhile, contrary to what pundits would make one believe that the embattled Deputy Governors desperation for power is the reason he had to leave the Peoples Democratic Party shortly after the party’s primaries to pitch his tent with the Zenith Labour Party of which he is today the standard bearer, our undercover political reporters have been able to gather that the treatment accorded the grassroot politician by the PDP candidate shortly after the primaries was the main reason he chose to part ways with the party. Accordingly, the leadership of the party as well as some stakeholders within the PDP had passed a vote of confidence on the Deputy Governor as one who would truly add value to the party in the effort to come victorious in the gubernatorial election. His very impressive performance considering the fact that he joined the party only a month ahead of its primaries to come second was the reason many stakeholders from different quarters had prevailed on Jegede to consider him as the running mate. But in his own wisdom, the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice never considered him. His argument was that he would not love to have a deputy governor who would give him tough times in office. Many people were even surprised at Ajayis readiness (were he offered) to accept the offer only for Jegede to do otherwise. Sources very close to him say for a deputy governor who has gone high on the ladder of wealth, the only rational for his readiness to serve under Jegede as his deputy was to merge strengths with the latter to send Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his immediate family back to Ibadan. He therefore felt embarrassed when the PDP’s standard bearer stood his ground as against the wishes of several stakeholders and the leadership of the party; hence the third force in the Zenith Labour Party.

VISION
While stating what he intends to do if elected governor, Agboola said I will complete the Akure Stadium that the PDP started but was abandoned by this government. The Owena Dam which has been completed but required only reticulation before it was abandoned will be resuscitated to supply water to about six local government areas. We will ensure that we generate employment for our teeming youths who are now roaming the streets. We will do this by expanding the capacity of government to absorb some of them, set aside a fund where they can draw loans to engage in vocations”.
He did not stop at that; he also told the people of the state that his administration would “encourage them to become petty contractors. There are many projects that dont require expertise in execution. They will be encouraged to register companies and form partnerships to benefit from this. And finally some of them would be appointed to government positions and those that would require loan to trade, will be empowered. Of course by the time we open our forest and coastal resources, the processing companies that will spring up will also help in absorbing some of these youths.

FACTORS IN FAVOUR
His experience as someone who has traversed the three arms of government will place him far above other candidates. God being gracious to him, Agboola Alfred Ajayi has seen it all in life having served as a Supervisory Councillor, Local Government Chairman, Member of the House of Representatives, and of course a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court, and currently the Deputy Governor of the state.
That apart, his humble and unassuming nature has been widely attested to by the people who cannot deny the fact that he is an asset to any society he finds himself in. this has endeared him to many who will demonstrate this in voting.
Moreover, like the National Leader of his party, Dr. Segun Mimiko, Ajayi knows what the people need and will give to them to have their vote. He started competitive politics at a tender age and he is close to the grassroot people.
Furthermore, this time, he will deploy the wherewithal he employed then to contribute {and in no small measure) to the success of Akeredolu in 2016 to his own advantage. Even his most vocal critics would not deny the fact that he is a master strategist who understands the art and science of Ondo States politics..
Another factor that may work in Agboola Ajayis favour is what I capture the wind of change syndrome. What it all means is that the electorate will most likely change a governor, notwithstanding his brilliant performances. They believe some other people too can be there and do much better.
Again, among the contenders, Only Agboola Ajayi will get block votes from his own Senatorial District. Fortunately enough, the three major contenders are from different Senatorial Districts. Akeredolu is from the North, Jegede from the Central, while Ajayi is from the South. The Southern Senatorial District has been in darkness for about ten years, and nothing seems to be happening. So the prople can only hope that if their son is there, he will reconnect them to the national grid. Again, the agitation by the people that, by virtue of rotation, it is their turn, will spur them to vote massively for the ZLP. As for Akeredolu, many political analysts have argued that he will win even his Owo, his country home, by a whisker. Adelegan who is the Candidate of the ADC is from the same town, and he will give the Governor a tough time there. As for Jegede, even the Deji and Paramount Ruler of Akure, his home town, has not hidden his admiration for the Governor. So with like seventy percent of the votes coming from the South given to ZLP, with Mimiko delivering Ondo East and West Local Governments for the party, among other calculations, ZLP may have its way.
And on a serious note, since he has promised the people that there would be drastic reduction in tution fees hiked by Akeredolu, he will get votes from them. Of course, nothing can be more humiliating than a Senior Advoctes resolve to make education unaffordable to the citizenry.

FACTORS AGAINST
Some odds are against Agboola Ajayi too. One of these wrongs is that the desperation of the ruling APC in the state to win at all cost may be largely informed by the fact that Akeredolu may find himself in a very hot soup should Ajayi emerge. Since the two of them ran on a joint ticket, the Deputy Governor is in the know of several atrocities committed by the Governor.
Another factor that may work against Ajayi is the Ondo State House of Assembly, described by many as Akeredolus puppet. The Honourable Speaker (I dont know what makes him honourable though) Rt. Honourable Bamidele Oleyeloogun and most members of the House knew that the Deputy Governor had committed no impeachable offence when they attempted to impeach him, save for the intervention of the our Lord Justice Akeredolu, Chief Judge of the state. The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ogundeji Iroju and a few other members however tolled the path of justice as they dissociated themselves from the move. But for the majority that perpetrated that sinister act, they will most likely work against Agboola Ajayi whose election as the Governor of Ondo State will spell doom for their political future.
The ZLP not having a truly national spread and or colouration may also be a shortcoming to the Deputy Governor. While APC and PDP may enjoy supports from other states where they have strongholds, this may not be said of the ZLP. But then, if one considers the fact that Dr. Mimiko contested and won using the Labour Partys platform which he brought to the state less than four months to the election, this factor may not have serious implications for the ZLP.

EYITAYO JEGEDE (SAN)

Eyitayo Jegede, Senoir Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, was born to the family of late Chief Johnson Bosede, the Odopetu of Isinkan, Akure, and Mrs C.O Jegede (nee Asokeji) from Ipele town, near Owo. His late father, Chief J.B Jegede retired from the public service of Ondo State in 1982 having joined the service of the Old Western Region in 1948. He was the Supervisory Councillor for Health in Akure Local Government and Treasurer of Anglican Diocese of Akure until he discontinued this service on the ground of failing health. His was a classical example of the public service.

Eyitayo is the fifth of the children of seven. The eldest is Mrs. Christianah Esho, a retired public servant now resident in the United Kingdom; the second is Mrs. Mojisola Alex-Adedipe, a retired Nurse who was at some point also a Supervisory Councilor for Health in the Akure Local Government under Governor Adebayo Adefaratis government.The first male child in the family is Comrade Olugbenga Jegede, a retired public servant and politician. Comrade Gbenga Jegede served as Chairman of NULGE and Chairman of NLC and was also a Commissioner in the Civil Service Commission between 2010 and 2013. He presently serves as the Chairman of Ondo State Sports Council.
The immediate elder brother to Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, is Tokunbo Olumuyiwa Jegede who is the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Orange F.M Station in Akure.
The immediate younger brother, Mr. Olawale Jegede is a banker with the Fidelity Bank in Ibadan. The last of the children of seven is Mrs. Olubunmi Erebor who resides in Benin. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, attended St. Stephens SA Primary School Modakeke, Ife and was at Aquinas College Akure from 5th January 1973 to July 1978 for his Secondary Education. He was a Prefect at Aquinas College and he took active part in Sports in the best traditions of the family. He had his Higher School Certificate Education at Christ School, Ado Ekiti, and was the Schools Volleyball Captain both at Aquinas College, Akure and Christ School, Ado Ekiti. He also captained the Universitys Volleyball team at the University of Lagos where he had his Law Degree between 1980 and 1983.

Mr. Jegede, SAN, qualified as a lawyer in 1984 after the One Year mandatory programme at the Nigeria Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos.The One Year mandatory National Service saw Eyitayo posted to the then Gongola State where he eventually started his law practice. He was a counsel with the Law Firm of Murtala Aminu & Co., Yola for 12 years and practiced extensively in the Northern part of Nigeria where he made a lot of friends and built legal practice with special interest in litigation, Commercial and Cooperate law. He established the Law firm Tayo Jegede & Co. with officees in Yola and Abuja in 1996.

He engaged in extensive relationships. He was appointed a Notary Public by the Chief Justice of Nigeria in 1992 and was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on 16th December, 2008. He was deeply and actively involved in political cases and election petition matters, an area of law where his industry and practice is noted and respected.

In 2009, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, was appointed as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice under Dr. Olusegun Mimikos administration where he served in the first four years of the administration; and following the re-election of Governor Mimiko for the second term in 2013, he again appointed Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, a position he occupied till 2017 when he contested keenly against the current Governor and came 2nd under same PDP . The division in the party then affected the chances of his winning as his judgement came barely a week to the general election as the real candidate of the party. The legal battle actually brought a lot of setbacks to his campaign.
Jegede is the standard bearer of the PDP in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

VISION
The vision Eyitayo Jegede is to work on the economic development of the state and the well-being of the people. He believes that the good people of the sunshine state are disillusioned and there is hardly anything anyone can point to as the gain of our venture in the past three years. To him, there is no economic activity or any substance that anyone can point to, and that has rendered the state in a state of comatose. Another driving force is the fact that there is no judicious use of the economic resources of this state and so because of that, he believes there should be a change and he considers himself as having the capacity to bring that change.

FACTORS FOR
Like Agboola Ajayi, Jegede is a fine gentleman who is not a noise maker. If he tells you he will do this, you can take him for his words.
His loss to Akeredolu in 2016 makes him look like one who is repeating a class. By now, it is expected that he now understands why he lost and consequently get better prepared this time.
He is counting on the bandwagon effect of the victory of the PDP at the Edo Gubernatorial election. However, if one considers the fact that Godwin Obasekis excellent performance in his first term while still in the APC, one would not see this as any big deal.
Support from PDP-controlled states may place him on a lofty pedestal in the race. But I ask why only two governors at the flag off ceremony?

FACTORS AGAINST
The PDP in the state is an umbrella full of holes. The party is in disarray consequent upon the poor management of the primaries. Till today, it has not been able to recover from this as many of the aspirants have pitched their tents with other parties, specifically the ZLP. Today, Banji Okunomo, former Publicity Seecretary of the Party in the state and notable gladiator at the said primaries, is today in the ZLP with no fewer than 15,000 supporters across the state. The Party has also harvested Boluwaji Kunlere, former Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District and Engr Oboli Ogunwa, both of whom also aspired to be Governor using the PDPs platform. Besides, the defection of Jumoke Akindele, former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly to the ZLP was not unconnected to matters arising from the PDPs primaries.
Another factor against him is that like Former President Obasanjo said in the last interview he granted the press before he bowed out as President, unreliability of the people is the greatest challenge. Jegede is the only serious gubernatorial aspirant in recent time in Ondo State who would lose in his base. In the last Assembly Elections, a younger brother of mine ran for Okitipupa Constituency II Position using the ZLP. Even though the party was not as formidable as this then, we ensured we turned out a large vote for him (be you APC or PDP). And if not for the notorious see and buy syndrome employed by the APC then, he could have won the election. But Eyitayo lost gallantly in Akure, not minding the agitation (though in word but alone) that an Akure man has not been governor once. An average Akure man can sell his vote for a pittance.
Though a learned gentleman Eyitayo Jegede made a strategic blunder when he chose not to heed to the advice of leaders in the PDP who told him to settle for the Deputy Governor as his running mate. Recall that Ajayi defected to the PDP about a month to the primaries and he was able to poll 657 votes to take the second position after Jegede who polled 888 votes. Put the scores of all other aspirants together, it wont measure up to his. Definitely, if he were to have, say two months to prepare, he would have won as clean a whistle. It would have been so obvious that winning is sure for PDP and by now, Akeredolu would be packing out from Alagbaka little by little.
Many PDP chieftains are not comfortable with the standard bearers alleged high-handedness. The way and manner he handles the affairs of the party in the state, thinking that he already has the structure at hand, leaves much to be desired. Solomon Bitire, SLA to the Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District did not mince words when he advised the leaders of the party to beware of the plan of their candidate to pocket them. Specifically, he mentioned his secret plan to replace Nicholas Tofowomo and Patric Akinyelure, Senators representing Ondo South and East respectively with Sola Ebiseeni and Clement Faboyede as soon as he is elected. In Yoruba, we say ko si eni to maa gbo ojo iku re ki oju ma ro eni be (no one for whom his death is foretold that wont feel bad) These Senators may likely work against Jegede. `

OTHER CANDIDATES

Alhaji Adekunle Saliu of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Dapo Adelegan of African Democratic Party, ADC, Prince Eniola Ojajuni of New Nigeria Peoples party, NNPP, and about ten others are also registered as candidates of their respective parties. But of a truth, we know the contenders and the pretenders.


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