The battle for the ticket of APC in Ondo State was greeted with kin attention from quite number of political observers across the country and beyond. It was considered by some quarters to be the battle of influence against popularity. Or better put, the battle of fairness against imposition.
All sort of sophisticated political arsenals were brought to International Event Centre (The Dome) in Akure, Ondo State, the venue of the primary election, by some few desperate candidates. Money happen to be the most common weapon used to canvass for the vote of hungry delegates. Those who have little take solace in grassroot reputation. Out of the 24 candidates who vied for the ticket, Rotimi Akeredolu, Olusegun Abraham, Olusola Oke, and Senator Robert Boroffice are the 4 attention seekers.
Abraham received the blessing of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the political god in South West while Akeredolu rely more on his supporters and his political network outside the state and South West region. Oke’s political strength is amazing despite being a newcomer in APC. In Boroffice’s case, his loyalty to Asiwaju Dynasty might have worked against him since his boss preferred someone else.
Amidst sporadic gunshots at the venue of the election as a result of little disagreement between the NPF and NSCDC officials, normalcy was later restored to. Voting, sorting and counting commenced with utmost transparency.
Here is the results:
1. Rotimi Akeredolu ~669 Votes
2. Segun Abraham ~635 Votes
3. Olusola Oke ~568 Votes
4. Tayo Alasoadura ~206 Votes
5. Foluso Adefemi ~13 Votes
6. Tunji Ariyomo ~2 Votes
7. Niyi Adegbomire ~8 Votes
8. Ademola Adegoroye ~0 Votes
9. Derin Adesida ~2 votes
10. Bukola Adetula ~8 Votes.
Delegates = 2,774 delegates.
Finally, the finest emerged, Akeredolu was declared, Tinubu was shocked as boasted by Akeredolu 24 hours to the mock election as Abraham’s money believed to be raised by Tinubu was shamed, and celebration engulfed. Now I understand better why Akeredolu was so confident and daring. I expected Asiwaju to have learnt a political lesson when his anointed candidate, was defeated by Saraki in the Senate Presidency contest on June 9 2015. After all, once beaten twice shy an English adage says. Certainly, there are certain territories in South West which is not totally under his control. Not even his influence and money can wrestle with that fact.
Oke is okay and brave. Though Abraham is not bad either. But Akeredolu is still the best candidate.
Congratulation Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
Comrade AbdulAbdur-Rasheed Shola writes from Lagos