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Ondo 2020: A Clash of Senatorial Districts

By Maria Ifafesobi
AKURE – The countdown to Ondo State gubernatorial election has begun in earnest. The election which is slated for October 10, 2020, has triggered a lot of preparations by the electoral body, candidates, and political parties. A few days back, the electoral body released a tentative list of 17 qualified governorship candidates and their deputies, ever since then the power struggle between the political parties has been intense.

Candidates are seen forming alliances with not only party members but with individuals who can help them achieve their political dreams. Out of all the gubernatorial candidates, three major candidates seem to have caught the attention of the public. Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr.  Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Mr. Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Party (ZLP).

Apart from being legal personalities, the three candidates are from the different senatorial district. Ondo State is divided into three senatorial districts; the North, Central, and South respectively. Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is from the Ondo North senatorial district while Mr. Eyitayo Jegede is from the Ondo central senatorial district and Mr. Agboola Ajayi is from the Ondo South senatorial district.

With the power struggle between the three leading candidates, one could say there is a battle between the North, Central, and South with each of them representing the three senatorial districts and the major political parties in the state.

Below is the rundown on each of the candidates.

Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu – APC
Rotimi Akeredolu

Rotimi Akeredolu

Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is the incumbent governor of Ondo State. He hails from Owo, Ondo State. He went to the University of Ife which is now known as Obafemi Awolowo University. Akeredolu was elected as the candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2012 gubernatorial election but lost to Olusegun Mimiko.

In 2016, he was again elected the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress. On 27 November 2016, he was declared the winner of the gubernatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In July 2020, Akeredolu again won the APC primary election to recontest in the forthcoming governorship election on October 10, 2020.

Mr. Eyitayo Jegede – PDP
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Eyitayo Jegede

Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, is the Ondo State PDP gubernatorial flagbearer.  He is a native of Akure, Ondo State. He attended the University of Lagos where he had his Law degree before proceeding for his National Youth Service Corps in Yola. After his national service year, he started his legal career in Yola. Eyitayo Jegede is notable for the various positions he has held within and outside the state of which include the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.

He emerged the winner of PDP’s primary election in 2016 after a tedious legal battle up to the Supreme Court but he lost at the general election. In July 2020, he emerged the winner of his party’s primary election with 888 votes where he defeated the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi who scored 657 votes.

Mr. Agboola Ajayi – ZLP
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Agboola Ajayi

Agboola Ajayi is the serving Deputy Governor of Ondo State. He was elected as Akeredolu’s running mate in 2016 under the platform of the All Progressive Congress(APC). He hails from Kiribo town, Ese-Odo, Ondo State.  He studied Law at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. Agboola is a politician, businessman, and lawyer. He started his political career under the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and became the chairman of ward 1 in 1988.

He later joined the PDP in 1998. While in the PDP, he held several political positions before he decamped to APC and was chosen as Akeredolu’s running mate in 2016. In June 2020, Agboola defected to the main opposition party, PDP, after some misunderstanding with his boss, Akeredolu. He later picked a nomination form to contest for the governorship position but lost to Eyitayo Jegede during PDP’s primary election in July 2020. He is currently on his way to clinching the ticket of the Zenith Labour Party which they referred to the “The Third Force”.

© Technocrat Media House

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