As delegates in the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) go to the polls to elect their flag bearer today, there are strong indications that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu may emerge as candidate of the party.
Recall that some aspirants had kicked against the adoption of indirect mode of primary election.
But chairman of the Primary Election Committee for Ondo State, Governor Yaya Bello had maintained that the party has adopted Indirect Primary as the mode of election for Ondo gubernatorial primary election.
However, a total of 3,127 delegates will vote in the Indirect mode of election to decide the party’s candidate. Aside Akeredolu, other aspirants in the race include Isaac Kekemeke, Jimi Odimayo, Olusola Oke, Sila Iji, Olayode Adelanmi, Segun Abraham, among others.
Amongst the category of delegates are the automatic delegates who are former governors, former deputy governors, former speakers and deputy speakers, serving national and state Assembly members. Others are the 17 state working committee members and the 72 extended state executive of the party.
This category appears favourably dispensed to the aspiration of the governor even as majority are key players in the second term project.
In particular, 13 of the State Working Committee of the party are for Akeredolu just as the executive committees of the each of the local government areas were put in place by either a commissioner, special adviser or other interests sympathetic to the governor.
A source in the camp of one the aspirants who spoke to newsmen on Sunday evening
regretted the late announcement of the mode of primary election even as he said it was too late to swing a surprise against Akeredolu in the contest.
The aspirant’s confidant denied moves by his Principal to lobby for the deputy governor but said, talks were ongoing as at yesterday morning.
“I think we all undermined the governor thinking he is politically naive but we have all seen the unfortunate development.
“First, we were not even in our Unity forum because most of the aspirants had ego issues and could not harmonise their interests.
“Some of us warned them that they should concentrate on the delegates but they insisted on staying put in Abuja and the result has come out very painfully that not only did Abuja deliberately delayed till the last minute, the aspirants had become uncontrollable to the extent that they started insulting the Excos who are the delegates.
“With this development, how possible is it to now convince those you called rogues to come and vote for you. Meanwhile, Akeredolu was working like someone who had already seen the answers to the questions by working on the delegates.
“For now, the wise ones have to play the game wiser because the truth has come out that Abuja wants Aketo back, even Lagos is helpless. So there are some of the aspirants who are already scrambling to be running mate but that has even created problems for us”, he said.
However, a permutation on how the candidates stand on the field in each Local Government has emerged. The projection was done by a team of researchers from Credential Pacts.
The research indicated that only four aspirants are visible on the field and they are; incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Bartister Olusola Oke, Dr. Ife Oyedele and Odimayo in that other.
The report which shows mapping based on senatorial zone read as follows “NORTH: 1. Ose – Aketi will garner 85% here. Sola Oke and Ife will share the remaining; 2. Owo- This is Aketi’s Local Government. He will garner 95% here; 3. Akoko South East, Isua, Aketi will garner 70%, Oke, Ife and Odimayo will share the remaining 30%; 4. Akoko South West- Akungba, Aketi will garner 80% of the votes; 5. Akoko North East, Aketi will get 50% of the votes here, while… will get, and the remaining shall be shared; 6. Akoko Northwest, Aketi will win 90% of the votes here.”
In the Central Zone, the report said, “7. Idanre- This is the local government of State APC Chairman, Ade Aetimehin who is solidly behind the Governor. It is also the local government of Aketis Commissioner for Culture, Yemi Olowolabi. Aketi will get over 95% votes here; 8. Akure South- Despite the fact that this is the local government of Aketis estranged Secretary to Local Government, Abena who resigned recently, Aketi will still garner 65% of the votes while Oke will come second and Segun Abraham who Abena now works for will come a distant third; 9. Akure North- This is the place of the present Minister of State for the Niger Delta, Senator Alasoadura. Aketi will garner 90% of the votes here; 10. Ifedore- Aketi will garner 90% of the votes here;
11. Ondo East- Aketi will win with 85% of the votes;
12. Ondo West-Aketi will get 85% of the votes here.
In the Southern zone of the state, the report said, “13. Ileoluji OKEIGBO- Aketi will garner 90% of the votes here; 14. Odigbo- Aketi will win 95% here;
15. Irele- This is Odimayo’s local government, but Aketi will still get 40% of the votes while Odimayo will garner about 50% and Oke will get the remaining 10%; 16. Ese-Odo- This is the local government of Aketi’s estranged Deputy, Agbooka Ajayi who has defected to the PDP.
“The truth of the matter us that Aketi is more popular than Agboola here because his mother is from there and he grew up there. This is also the local government area of Aketi’s Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo. Aketi will garner 60% of the votes here while Olusola Oke will get about 30% and Ife and Odimayo will share the remaining.
“17. Okitipupa- Aketi will garner 60% of the votes here while Oke, Ife Oyedele and Odimayo will share the remaining 40%; 18. Ilaje- This is the Local Government of Olusola Oke who is expected to garner about 55% of the votes while Aketi will garner 45%,” the report projected.
The report however added that the above calculation may change slightly if there is realignment among the top contenders as a result of horse trading over the weekend.
“It is expected that the realignment will be to the advantage of the aspirant to beat, Aketi who has been reaching out to many of them.
“In all, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is expected to win with about 70% of the total vote cast but it could be higher,” the report noted.