President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State following his re-election for a second term and believes the development is an indication of the people’s choice.
Akeredolu was on Sunday declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Sunday quoted his principal as saying “the people know the person and party that truly serves them, and have spoken in [a] clear voice and unmistakable terms.”
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The Nigerian President noted that Akeredolu’s win coupled with the number of votes he got, “show that one good turn surely deserves another.”
While calling on Akeredolu who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the poll to be humble and magnanimous in victory, he urged him to serve the people.
“When you serve with heart and might,” Buhari stated, “the people respond in like manner, and we can easily get to where we are headed as a country.”
Buhari was equally full of praise for voters in Ondo State for conducting themselves decently, saying the development shows Nigeria is making progress in its electoral process behaviour.
INEC also received praises from the Nigerian leader. He lauded the electoral body for conducting a free and fair election, just as Buhari commended security agencies for enthroning and maintaining orderliness before, during and after the exercise.
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Akeredolu won 15 of the 18 local governments to secure a second term.
He got 292,830 votes, while Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party and Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party came second and third in the election with 195,791 and 69,127 votes, respectively.
Akeredolu had campaigned on the basis of providing a focussed and composed leadership for the south-west state and his win capped off a dramatic electoral process in which his deputy – Agbola Ajayi – defected to the PDP.
Agbola, after a failed attempt at winning PDP’s ticket for the race to the top job in Ondo, pitched his tenth with the ZLP, the platform in which he contested for the governorship position.
Although there were 17 candidates on the ballot for the election, according to INEC, about 11 of them collapsed their structures and backed other flagbearers, just days to the exercise.
This left Akeredolu, Jegede and Ajayi as the major candidates for the second election conducted in the COVID-19 era in Nigeria.