Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Rotimi Akeredolu in yesterdays elections in Ondo state slugged it out with the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Eyitayo Jegede and that of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Chief Olusola Oke in a keenly contested governorship election.
Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was yet to release the results of the election as at press time, it was reliably gathered that Akeredolu is leading in six local governments, Owo, Ose, and Akoko South West, Akoko South East, Akoko North East and Akoko North West Local Government Areas, while Jegede was leading in Akure South, Akure North, Ondo West, Ondo East and Odigbo Local Government Areas of the state.
The governorship candidate of the AD, Chief Oke was also said to be leading in his Ilaje Local Government Area, Okitipupa Local Government Area, Irele and Ile-Oluji Oke-Igbo Local Government Areas, while the results of the riverine Ese-Odo Local Government Area was unknown. Results released so far in polling units and wards showed that Akeredolu polled 413 votes in his Isokun Oke Ijebu unit 06, ward 05 Owo, while Jegede had 13 and Oke polled four votes.
The PDP governorship candidate, Jegede who voted at unit two, ward nine in Akure South Local Government Area polled a total vote of 184 to defeat Akeredolu who had 77 and Oke who polled 32 votes.
Also, Oke won his Ugbo Ward III, Ago Olori Alufa/Otumara Unit 005 with a total of 316 votes to defeat the APC candidate who polled a total of 17 votes, while the PDP candidate had zero vote. However, the election was relatively peaceful in many parts of the state, while there was a case of malfunctioning of Smart Card Readers in some polling centres in the state. Sunday Sun gathered that voters trooped out in their large numbers to exercise their franchise in the e governorship election in all parts of the state.
In Owo Local Government Area of the state, voters moved to the various polling centres as early as 7.00am and election commenced at exactly 8.00am in all the polling centres in the council area. The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) who voted at exactly 10.30am at Isokun, Oke-Ijebu unit 06, ward 05 in Owo expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise. He said the election was peaceful in his area, adding however that “we received information that were was pockets of violence in Idanre area of the state as a result of the illegal activities of some military men in the area.” He said the turnout of voters in his area was impressive, and expressed optimism that he would win the election if conducted freely. His words “I’m more than convinced that we are winning this election.
I will only appeal to my supporters to be calm and peaceful even in the face of intimidation and harassment.”
“We are sure of victory by the grace of God. It is clear that the PDP will lose the election. INEC appeared prepared for the election and it has shown that the election will be credible.”
Commenting on the call for postponement of the poll by the PDP, Akeredolu stated that “Mimiko wanted to give excuse for PDP problem by calling for the postponement of the election, but he failed eventually.” A member of the Board of Trustees of the APC, Alhaji Jamiu Ekungba who voted at unit 13, ward 03 alleged that his home was attacked by people suspected to be PDP thugs over night. He said four of his vehicles were destroyed and many of his personal belongings vandalized by the suspected thugs. However, he observed that the election was peaceful in his area and the entire northern senatorial district where he serves as the leader of the party.
He alleged that the PDP resorted to violence when it became clear that the election would not be postponed by INEC.
Also, a leader of the APC in the state, Mrs Jumoke Ajasin Anifowose rated the election as highly credible and peaceful, stressing that the APC has demonstrated tolerance in the poll.
Mrs Anifowose who voted at Igboroko unit 06, ward 02 expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the poll in the area.
Also, Chief Oke of the AD said: “Our people are coming out in large numbers to make a statement that they are taking their destiny in their own hands. They are out to vote against the neglect that this area had suffered in the last eight years, as well as the development which suddenly made some people aliens in the state.
“The people are looking forward with confidence and hope that one of them, who share their experience, knows their suffering and pain, and who can redress the neglect by bringing about the much needed real change becomes governor of the state,” he added.
Oke, while responding to the hitch he had with the Card Reader for accreditation said that despite the embarrassment with the Card Reader, the country’s electoral process was evolving and that the Card Reader initiative was a plus which would be perfect with time.