Mixed Reactions Trail Akeredolu's Victory In Ondo Guber Polls
Several hours after the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Rotimi Akeredolu, was declared as the winner of the Ondo State governorship poll, the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alliance for Democracy and Social Democratic Party have neither conceded defeat nor congratulated him.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, who is the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Returning Officer for the election, declared the Owo-born Akeredolu as the winner with 244,842 votes to beat 27 other contestants.
Ambali said the candidate of the PDP, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), the candidate of the AD, Olusola Oke, and the candidate of the SDP, Olu Agunloye, came second, third and fourth having polled 150,380, 126,889 and 10,147 votes respectively.
The vice-chancellor said, “Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, having satisfied the requirements of the law and having scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and returned elected.”
The returning officer said the state had 1,647,973 voters but 584,997 voters were accredited and 580,887 votes were the total vote cast.
He explained that 551,272 votes were the total valid votes while 29,615 were rejected votes.
Meanwhile the Candiadate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Eyitayo Jegede, while reacting to Akeredolu's announcement the as governor-elect, Jegede, on Sunday, said that he would soon make his next line of action known to the public.
Jegede, who spoke to journalists in Akure, the state capital on Sunday, neither commended nor condemned the conduct of the poll, but said that his reaction about the election would soon be made public.
The immediate former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo State said, “I should thank our people for their steadfastness. We are studying the situation and very soon you will know my position and my party’s position.
“You all know the event that led to the election, we were in court, I got judgment 48 hours to the election; our request for postponement was turned down for reasons not known to us.”
Corroborating Jegede’s views, the state Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Clement Faboyede, disclosed that the party would meet on Monday (today) to take a decision on the election.
“The party will meet tomorrow (today) to announce our decision.” Faboyede stated.
Another Candidate, Olusola Oke through his Personal Assistant (Media) to Oke, Rotimi Ogunleye, said Oke would meet with the Ondo AD’s stakeholders on Monday to decide on a line of action.
Ogunleye, explained that the results of the election from all the local government areas would be studied with a view to making an official decision.
He said, “There will be a meeting tomorrow where a decision would be taken.”
Meanwhile, the governor elect, Rotimi Akeredolu, in his acceptance speech in Owo, the governor-elect on Sunday attributed his victory to God even as he commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, the members of the party’s National Working Committee for their commitment to his ambition.
He said, “I wish to express my profound gratitude, first, to the Almighty God whose infinite grace has allowed us to see this day.
“This victory is of God through the people. It is not for me or the APC alone, it is a victory for the people of Ondo State, irrespective of which side of the divide you stood during the election. For me, it is a challenge to perform. It is a call to rescue our state and reverse it fortunes.
“I thank the people of my dear state for their steadfastness. I have heard their messages throughout the campaign to all the nooks and crannies of the state. Today, you have spoken with one voice. You have walked your talk. You have voted for me as your governor for the next four years.
“Today, change has come. I hereby make a solemn pledge that this collective mandate shall address all issues with keen determination. The welfare of our people alone shall be the directive policy of the government.
“I shall, in a few months, be saddled with the task of providing responsible leadership, a leadership that would take our people from poverty and stagnation to productivity and prosperity, from pains and lamentation to joy and laughter. It is the sole reason you have voted for me and by the grace of God I will not fail you.
“Today’s victory is a confirmation of the willingness and readiness of the people of Ondo State to change and seek a better life. I thank you for your faith and confidence in me. I thank all those whose uncommon sacrifice, contributed in no small measure to the success of the exercise. A special show of gratitude must be extended to our security agents for their patriotic duty.