By GWG Staff
There were many insinuations on Sunday that the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State was achieved by massive vote-buying.
However, more than that, the governor’s victory was achieved by his robust determination to achieve victory in the face of the division that plagued the opposition in the state.
Governor Akeredolu was announced as the winner of the election having scored 292830 over his closest challenger, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who scored 195,791
The deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi who also contested against his boss on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP polled 69,127
Ahead of the election, Akeredolu was faced with serious opposition within his All Progressives Congress, APC arising from unsettled issues during the 2019 General Election.
However, as the party primaries approached, the governor moved with speed to make peace to the extent that his once sworn enemies went out campaigning for him.
Few would forget the assertions of Isaac Kekemeke, a one time challenger of the governor who was caught on tape vowing to give the governor’s rivals in the governorship poll the Yahaya Bello treatment in Kogi!
While the governor consolidated in his peace gestures, the opposition, however, splintered more and more.
The emergence of Jegede as candidate even if he was the most popular candidate still did not get the enthusiastic support of many of his PDP rivals.
Mr. Ajayi, the outgoing deputy governor of the state who defected from the APC to the PDP just before the primary refused to accept his defeat in the PDP primary. He rather defected to the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, the party that is now led by the former governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko.
The fragmentation of the opposition disillusioned many opponents of Akeredolu and some apparently not willing to suffer in the political wilderness for the next four years started retracing their steps back to the governor.
That was a mortal damage to the opposition. Though the combined votes of the PDP and the ZLP may not match those of the governor, there are suggestions that the opposition suffered from lack of morale that followed the division in its ranks.
Even more, Akeredolu was backed by the national party leaders and governors unlike the situation in Edo State where the party could not hold a final campaign.
Even more the accusation of vote buying which smeared the election in Ondo was reportedly not particular to the APC. Other parties were also said to have been involved in the vote buying.