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Ondo 2020: How the parties stand

Ondo 2020: How the parties stand

4 October, 2020

Next Saturday is the day of the voters in Ondo State. It is the day the voters will be kings to decide the fate of 17 political parties that fielded candidates for the polls. There are 1,822,346 registered voters in the state but 1,478,460 have collected their PVCS. The fate of the candidates now hang in the decisions of these 1,478, 460 voters. These voters are scattered across the 18 local government areas.

Important notes

Our investigation shows that the Ondo governorship election will be a three horse race between the incumbent governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the incumbent deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

We note that Ondo is a peculiar state where no political party holds dominance in all the areas. This was confirmed by the results of last year’s general elections. In-fighting in the ranks of the APC cost the party some seats because some of the members voted for the Action Alliance (AA), a party backed by Governor Akeredolu. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) won the Idanre/Ifedore Federal seat, the African Democratic Congress won the Ondo East/Ondo West, PDP won four seats in the House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate and in the House of Assembly election, the ZLP won one seat while the PDP won two seats.

Also, the outcome of the September 19 Edo State governorship polls has given the opposition hope that the votes will count on October 10 and they have therefore increased their campaigns against Akeredolu.

It is also significant to note that the three leading candidates hail, respectively, from the three senatorial districts. Akeredolu hails from Ondo North, Jegede hails from Ondo Central while Agboola hails from Ondo South. Another important factor to note is that Ondo Central has the highest voting population followed by Ondo South, but each of the three senatorial districts has six local government areas.

Another interesting fact to note is some people’s sentiment over the zone that should produce the governor. In fact, some politicians in Ondo South have argued that it is the turn of the zone to produce the next governor. Their argument is that the North has produced the governor for 12 years, including Akeredolu and that the Central spent eight years under Mimiko while the South had six years under late Olusegun Agagu.

A chieftain of the ZLP who preferred anonymity said the party would win in all the six local government areas of Ondo South, four local governments in Ondo Central and battle for votes in Ondo North.

According to him, “The entire Ondo South is for ZLP. Ondo East and Ondo West are two local government’s Mimiko has been winning. Ifedore is where the deputy governorship candidate hails from. They will vote for their son. In Idanre, the clash is between ZLP and APC. Mimiko picked deputy governorship candidate from Ondo Central to wreck the back bone of Jegede. The parties will share votes in Akoko. Our resolve in Ondo South is that we have been in darkness in the past 10 years. We have learnt our lessons in Ondo South. Agboola will win all the six local governments in Ondo South.”

To the PDP, victory is sure in nine local government areas cutting across the three senatorial districts.

“This is because of personalities in the area. Election is about structure. You can have one big leader in one unit. That leader cannot be in other units. It is unit that results will come from. Banji is making noise in ZLP. His unit is the smallest. There are a lot of dynamics involved. The governor is using coercion and intimidation.”

An APC chieftain, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the party would win in 13 local government areas. He said the support of the Ijaw factor of SDP and ADC in the localities would swing votes for the APC.

However, a cursory look at each local government, based on senatorial districts and political alignments, showed victory for Akeredolu in more local government areas than the other candidates.

 

ONDO NORTH

Akeredolu is the only candidate from this zone. Some political analyst said the mistake of the two other parties was to leave Ondo North free for the incumbent governor by not picking a running mate from the zone. In the six local government areas; Akoko North East, Akoko North West, Akoko South West, Akoko South East, Ose and Owo, Akeredolu is predicted to have a landslide victory.

What may also work for him is that current elected officials from the zone would do their best to deliver their constituencies in order to have a smooth chance at having a second term in office.

Besides, Ondo North is the stronghold of the APC. It is a zone aligned to the progressives since the days of Awolowo. The APC has always won elections in Ondo North. In the 2019 general elections, when the APC was disunited, Senator Ajayi Boroffice won in Ondo North.

In an earlier interview, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, said, “For the fact that we have a sitting governor who is performing, it is advisable not to change a winning team. Mr. Governor has impacted the length and breadth of Ondo State. He has impacted us positively which is visible and verifiable. I have a lot to talk about the performance of Akeredolu. Do we talk about the roads going on in Akure. Akure has been turn into a modern state capital through the instrumentality of Mr. Governor. Owo has benefitted. He dualised our major road. He is also impacting other parts of Ondo State. Do you talk about the bridge in Ore. There is the industrial hub. Since the exit of Pa Ajasin from governance, Ondo has never had one additional modern industry in place. Akeredolu has brought five industries and they are working. Go to the South, roads construction are currently ongoing. The bitumen deposit that would turn the economy around has started working unlike in the past when there was nothing to show.”

In the Akoko axis, comprising four local government areas, the APC has upper hand. In fact, Ondo North is regarded a no-area for the ZLP or PDP.

 

OWO LGA

Akeredolu’s hometown is in Owo Local Government Area. The governor is expected to have majority of votes from his people. Besides being a son of the soil, it is generally believed that he has impacted positively on the town by citing some major government offices and infrastructure within the area.

Owo also have a good number of elected and appointed government officials serving in the current administration, so it is expected that majority of the families across the local government area will have reasons to support Akeredolu’s reelection on Saturday.

Expected to lead the charge for the governor in the local government is Timilehin Adelegbe, the member representing Owo/Ose in the House of Representatives, along with the two state legislators as well as the council boss who are all chieftains of the APC.

Verdict: APC

 

OSE LGA

While most pundits have easily given the council to APC’s Akeredolu, a few are of the opinion that Ose may prove a battleground between APC and the PDP. The reason for this later projection is not farfetched. During the last Presidential and National Assembly elections, PDP won in Ose Local Government Area of the state.

Although Timilehin Adelegbe eventually emerged victorious over PDP’s candidate in the Owo/Ose House of Representatives poll, it was because he won convincingly in Owo as his PDP counterpart did better in Ose. What is more, PDP won the presidential election in Ose with 12,919 votes to APC’s 10,321 votes.

Verdict: Battleground

 

AKOKO NORTH EAST

Like Owo, this council is for APC to win easily. A traditional progressive enclave politically, the PDP has always struggled to win votes here like in most Akoko towns. And with APC fielding a candidate from the North Senatorial District, it can easily be predicted that Akeredolu’s victory in Akoko North on Saturday is assured. The APC won the presidential election, Senate, House of Representatives and the two State Assembly seats in the local government convincingly in the 2019 general elections with PDP left with no laurel for it’s troubles.

Verdict: APC

 

AKOKO NORTH WEST

Pundits say APC will win here too. The local government is an APC stronghold from time immemorial. Like it’s neighbouring Akoko Northeast, this council gave APC massive votes in 2019.

Verdict: APC

 

AKOKO SOUTHWEST

APC will also win here conveniently. APC’s Hon. Ade Adeogun is the member representing the area in the House of Representatives and he is believed to be a good grassroots mobiliser. Along with other notable chieftains of the party, he should deliver the votes for Governor Akeredolu of APC.

Verdict: APC

 

AKOKO SOUTHEAST

Like what obtains in the other Akoko communities, APC will most likely win here too. The party has large followership here and so it seems difficult for any of the other parties to defeat APC here.

Verdict: APC

 

ONDO CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT

AKURE SOUTH

Akure South is the stronghold of Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The area is reputed as having the highest voting population in the state. So, a good lead in Akure South would give any candidate hope of winning the election. But it could be recalled that Jegede lost in Akure South in 2016. So much may have changed since then as it is observed that many politicians across political divide in the locality now appeared to have keyed into Jegede’s candidacy.

Verdict: PDP

 

AKURE NORTH

It is not easy to decide how this local government will vote on Saturday. Jegede is still expected to enjoy support based on ‘indigeneship’ here.

But this is where the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, hails from. His influence cannot be underestimated but may sway victory for the APC. But it is left to be seen whether the Akure agenda would extend to Akure North. The PDP won the council with a very wide margin in the 2019 presidential election and its candidate, Adedayo Omolafe, also emerged as the federal legislator

Verdict: PDP

 

IFEDORE/IDANRE

These two local government areas in Ondo Central is the base of Social Democratic Party in Ondo State. The SDP won the House of Representatives seat through Hon Tajudeen Adefisoye, a.k.a small Alhaji. The party is enmeshed in crisis even though it fielded Prince Oyeleye Fasua as its candidate. But there are talks that Hon Adefisoye would collapse the SDP structure for Akeredolu. However, Ifedore is the locality of the deputy governorship candidate of ZLP and the former Commissioner for Works, Gboye Adegbenro. These two local governments are going to be battle zones between the ZLP and APC.

Verdict: Battleground

 

ONDO WEST AND ONDO EAST

This is where former Governor Olusegun Mimiko hails from. Mimiko has never lost election in these localities. It is regarded as the stronghold of the ZLP but it might become a battleground for the ZLP and the APC owing to the influence of Hon Abiola Makinde who won the Ondo East/Ondo West Federal seat in 2019. Hon Makinde is supporting Akeredolu. Moreover, the failure of Mimiko to win the senatorial seat in 2019 has put a question mark to his political influence in Ondo Central in general.

Verdict: Battleground

 

ONDO SOUTH SENATORIAL ZONE

This is believed to be the stronghold of the PDP. The party won the senatorial seat in 2019. The defection of Agboola and other chieftains has bastardised the PDP in the zone.

 

OKITIPUPA

Hon Gboluga Ikengboju, the member representing Okitipupa/Irele and the deputy governorship candidate to Jegede, hails from this locality. Okitipupa is now a stronghold of the ZLP.

Verdict: ZLP

 

ILAJE

The deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, hails from Ilaje. He is said to be a grassroots mobiliser. The APC is expecting victory from this locality.

Verdict: APC

 

ILEOLUJI/OKEIGBO AND ODIGBO

These two local government areas are strongholds of the APC in Ondo South. The industrial hub established by Akeredolu is in Odigbo.

Verdict: APC

 

ESE-ODO AND IRELE

Agboola hails from Ese-Odo, but the victory of ZLP in this locality is dicey because of APC leaders from the zone. Also, the Ijaw speaking areas are up in arms against Agboola because of the existing land dispute which he is alleged to have sponsored over the years. Bibopre Ajube (Shoot at Sight) is said to be supporting Akeredolu. Both Ese-Odo and Irele are therefore going to be battle grounds.

Moreover, APC chieftains from Ondo South who contested against Akeredolu at the primaries have vowed to deliver the area for the APC because they expected the governorship to be zone to the area after Akeredolu’s second tenure. They believe a support for Akeredolu’s second term will give them leeway to the ticket of the APC. Chief Olusola Oke, Isaacs Kekemeke, Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele, Ambassador Olusola Iji, amongst others, hail from Ondo South. The Ijaw speaking areas would also play a key role in the election.

In the final analysis, the failure of the PDP and the ZLP to go into alliance ahead of the election may give Akeredolu easy victory at the polls. Agboola recently told his Ijaw kinsmen that his victory at the polls is divine whether they voted for him or not.

Verdict: Battleground

 

The post Ondo 2020: How the parties stand appeared first on Smart9jaMedia.

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