‘Tosin Ajuwon, Akure, Rotimi Fadeyi, Abuja and Benjamin Omoike, Lagos
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the governorship election held on Saturday in Ondo State, Daily Times gathered.
Prof. Abel Olayinka, the Returning Officer of INEC, who is also the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, said that Akeredolu got 292,830 votes to defeat Eyitayo Jegede of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 195,791 votes while Ajayi Agboola of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) got 69,127 votes.
Olayinka explained that Akeredolu secured the highest number of votes among other candidates and scored 25 per cent in all 18 Local Government Areas (LGA’s).
“Oluwarotimi Akeredolu secured the highest number of votes among the 17 contestants. He was expected to score 25 per cent of votes in 12 LGA’s, but he scored 25 per cent in all 18 LGA’s in the state.
“Moreover the margin of lead, that is the difference between his votes and the candidate who came second, is higher than the number of cancelled votes.
“So, consequently, having satisfied the requirements of the law, I hereby declare Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the winner, and is hereby returned elected,” he said.
Akeredolu, who was seeking for a second term as the governor of Ondo state, defeated Jegede with a margin of 97,039 votes. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akeredolu, won in 15 of 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, while Jegede won the remaining three LGAs.
Ajayi Agboola, candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, who is the present deputy governor of the state, did not win any LGA, and came a distant third. NAN reports that Akeredolu won in Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo; Irele; Akoko North-East; Akoko South-West; Akoko North West; Ondo East; Owo; Idanre; Akoko South East; Odigbo; Ondo West; Okitipupa; Ese-Odo, and Ilaje LGAs.
Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won in Akure South, Akure North, and Ifedore LGAs, while ZLP did not win in any LGA.
The breakdown of the results showed that Akeredolu scored 13,278 votes in Ile Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government area to beat Jegede and Ajayi, who polled 9,231 and 1,971 votes respectively. In Irele Local Government area, Akeredolu won with 12,643 votes, followed by Ajayi, who polled 5,904 votes ahead of Jegede, who scored 5,493 votes.
Akeredolu also won in Akoko North-East Local Government area with a total of 16,572 votes, while Jegede and Ajayi tagged along with 8,380 and 3,532 votes respectively. Similarly, the APC candidate won in Akoko South-West Local Government area with 21, 232 votes, followed by the PDP candidate, who polled a total of 15,055, while their ZLP counterpart scored 2,775 votes.
The story was not different in Akoko North-West Local Government area, where Akeredolu garnered 15,809 votes, with Jegede having 10,320 votes and Ajayi 3,221. Akeredolu also won in Ondo East Local Government area with 6,485 votes, closely followed by the candidates of the PDP and the ZLP, who polled 4,049 and 3,221 votes respectively.
It was a landslide victory for Akeredolu in his Owo Local Government area, where he garnered a total of 35,957 votes to beat Jegede of the PDP, who scored 5,311, and Ajayi of the ZLP, who scored 408 votes. Also in Idanre Local Government area, APC won with a total of 11,286 votes, PDP 7,499 and ZLP 3,623.
The APC candidate also recorded victory in Akoko SouthEast Local Government area with a total of 9,419 votes over candidates of the PDP and ZLP, who scored 4,003 and 2,004 votes respectively. Also in Okitipupa LGA, APC scored 19,266 votes, PDP 10,367, while ZLP scored 10,120. In Ose LGA, APC got 15,122, PDP got 8,421 while ZLP got 1,083 votes. In Ondo West LGA, APC had 15,977 votes, PDP 10,627 votes and ZLP 10,159. In Odigbo LGA, APC got 23,571, PDP 9,485, and ZLP 6,540 votes. In Ilaje LGA, APC had 26,657; PDP had 11,218 while ZLP had 4,405 votes.
In Ese-Odo LGA, APC had 13,383; PDP 4,680; while ZLP had 4,760. It was, however, a different story in Akure Local Government area, where Jegede of the PDP recorded a resounding victory with a total of 47,627 votes to beat Akeredolu of the APC, who polled 17,277 and Ajayi of the ZLP.
The candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi garnered 32,057 votes to come a distant third. Akeredolu described his reelection as the reward for hard work, dedication, focus, honesty and patriotism. Akeredolu made the assertion in Akure on Sunday shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him winner of the election.
“It affirms that the confidence reposed in our administration remains unshaken. It is also a challenge to us for rededication to service in the interest of our people. On this, we shall not relent.
“We set out on the first leg of this political adventure with the determination to make the whole state our constituency.
“We have not relented on our mission to bridge the huge infrastructural deficit inherited on assumption of office.
“We hold the axiom as evident that the welfare of the people should be the only justification for the existence of government.
“We have allowed this admonition to be the guiding principle of governance. We are elated to receive a scorecard through this state-wide plebiscite,” he said.
The governor also said the few dissenting voices of protest were heard loud and clear, while all genuine grievances would be addressed. He reaffirmed his commitment to continue to focus on the development of the state, with the people at the centre of all decisions.
“We will proceed with our administrative style of ensuring transparency and accountability. “We are determined to set our state, progressively, on the path of real development. Self-reliance is attainable. Our state has no business with poverty.
“Sincere, purposeful and focused leadership should have little difficulty in harnessing the vast resources, both human and natural. We will put in everything to justify the trust reposed in us,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with Rotimi Akeredolu on his reelection. In a congratulatory message by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Sunday, Buhari lauded the resounding victory of the governor at the election held on Saturday. He believed that the votes garnered “show that one good turn surely deserves another.” The president thanked the people of Ondo State for keeping faith with their governor and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He noted that “the people know the person and party that truly serves them, and have spoken in clear voice and unmistakable terms.”
Buhari appreciated the electorate in the state for comporting themselves decently and in order, and for exhibiting conduct that indicates that the country is making progress in its electoral behavior. He also gave kudos to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for organizing credible, free and fair election, and to security agencies which ensured that orderliness was enthroned and maintained. The president urged Akeredolu to be humble and magnanimous in victory, and serve the people of Ondo State even better than how he did in the first term.
“When you serve with heart and might, the people respond in like manner, and we can easily get to where we are headed as a country,” he added.
Also, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, describing the victory as well deserved. Sanwo-Olu, who is the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Campaign Council for Ondo State Governorship election, said Akeredolu’s success in the election is a validation of people’s acceptance of his administration, having impacted positively in their lives during his first term in office.
Speaking at Akeredolu’s residence in Owo on Sunday shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Governor Akeredolu and his running mate Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa as governor-elect and deputy governor-elect respectively, said the people of Ondo State deserve commendation for coming out in large numbers to perform their civic responsibility and for defying all odds to vote for APC-led administration in the State. Sanwo-Olu said Akeredolu’s victory is a clear manifestation that the APC remains the party of choice for Nigerians, stressing that the party will continue to work in the best interest of Nigerians.
He said: “I must congratulate my brother, Governor Akeredolu for being victorious in last Saturday’s election. His victory across the state is a confirmation of the trust and belief of the people in the APC led administration in Ondo State, having benefitted immensely from the various people oriented programmes of his administration.
“The victory is for all of us and for the entire leadership of our party. It is a team work; it is not one person; it is a whole team that came together. And what it means is that when we all work together as a team, we win together.
“The real winners at the end of the day are citizens of Ondo State because indeed they have reelected a “talk and do” governor. The victory is deserving.”