Ondo Guber Election: The D Day Is Getting Nearer By Femi Alafe – Aluko

The D day is getting nearer.The day of reckoning is just round the corner.By 12pm Thursday 8th of October all campaigns will stop.The press interviews,radio jingles and town rallies will all come to a halt.Saturday 10th of October is the day that will separate the men from the boys.The voters will decide if the rhetorics,grandiosity,boasts and magniloquence they have been hearing from the candidates are to be believed.Read my lips,No new taxes is a phrase spoken by then Presidential candidate George H.W Bush at the 1988 Republican National convention as he accepted the nomination on the 18th of August.Politicians will promise heaven on earth when seeking for votes.Voters are now wiser and can separate the wheat from the chaff.On the 10th of October the chess game will be over.                                    I have written 2 articles on the Ondo Gubernatorial election.The first was when INEC published the list of candidates and the second was when the major parties and candidates started their campaigns.The media is awash that it is going to be a 3 horse race.Who are the candidates and their platforms.                  Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu aka Aketi, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the incumbent governor .He is contesting on the platform of the APC.He was a former Attorney General of the state under the military.ln 2008 he was elected as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association.He contested and lost to Dr Segun Mimiko of Labou Party in 2013 on the platform of ACN.ln 2017 after an acrimonious primary election within the APC,he went on to win the gubernatorial election against Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP.As governor of the state his tenure has enlisted mixed reactions.The Owo born North Senatorial District lawyer had to embark on some serious reconciliation visits after the primaries as there were rumored portent gang ups against him.There was the loud opinion that he alienated the core politicians in the party.How sincere and genuine the effort s are will be reflected on Saturday.He choose a former representative of the state on the board of NDDC Lucky Ayedatiwa from the llaje Local Government Area of the South Senatorial zone as his running mate.This was after he fell out with the incumbent Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi.There is the insinuation according to his political opponents that he is running a family government made up of this wife,son and in laws.The moderator of the Sunday live debate asked him and he denied all the allegations.He has the power of incumbency to his advantage and the so called Federal Might to lean on.How far this will go is left to the voters .He is definitely hoping to clear the votes from the 6 local government councils from his North Senatorial zone.                    Eyitayo Jegede is his main opponent.They will be meeting for the second consecutive time.He is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a former Attorney General of the state under Dr Mimiko.A fine and refined gentleman with finesse.He lost to Aketi in 2017 due to internal wranglings within the PDP.Jegede could only campaign for 2 days after the court gave him the go ahead.The Akure born SAN still gave a good account of himself at the polls.Whether the Central Zone that he comes from will count against him is left for the voters to decide on Saturday.There is the loud campaign that it is not the turn of the zone after the 8 years of Mimiko.The Zone has the highest voting population with 6 local governments areas and the 2 biggest towns(Akure and Ondo) in the state.Unfortunately he will have to split the votes with his estranged Godfather and former boss Dr Mimiko of ZLP.Mimiko has always won the 2 local governments in his Ondo home town(Ondo East and West LGs).A serving member of the House of Representatives from Ondo South senatorial Zone lkengboju is his running mate.After a rather slow start to his campaign as typified by the attendance of only 2 Governors at his inaugural campaign rally,the victory of Godwin Obaseki of Edo state is definitely a moral booster.The promised attendance of the 16 PDP Governors at the finale rally on Wednesday will be the mother of all rallies.It will definitely improve his chances.PDP is the only major political party that has not changed its name since 1999.lt‘s in all the 774 local governments of the country.lf the Security agencies and INEC keep to their neutrality as exemplified in Edo ,Jegede ‘s chances will be brighter.The collapsing of the Accord party and 10 other political parties into his campaign structure will definitely give his rivals sleepless nights.l am sure all the major stakeholders are aware that the fear of a U.K. and US visa ban is the beginning of political wisdom.Let’s have one man,one vote on Saturday.                          The last candidate of the tripod is Agboola Ajayi,the current deputy governor of the state.He fell out with his boss and left the APC for the PDP to contest for the Governorship primaries of the party.He did quite well by coming 2nd out of 8 contenders.With his eyes only on the No 1 seat of the state he crossed over to Mimiko’s ZLP and was given the ticket.A lawyer like the other two and a grassroot mobilizer.He has climbed the political ladder and paid his dues.From supervisory counselor to a local government chairman.He was elected as a member of the House of Representatives where he served as chairman of the house committee on NDDC.He was sworn in as the Deputy Governor of the state on the 24th of February 2017.Seen as no stranger to controversy.He didn’t attend the debate of last Sunday.Only him knows the reason why.That hasn’t done his image any good.He is seen as an over ambitious politician not willing to wait for his turn.The South Senatorial Zone that he comes from might see him as a son of the soil.The 6 local governments has the 2nd highest number of voters.They have been clamoring that it’s their turn as Dr Segun Agagu only spent 5 years plus.The two other zones have had their fair share of 8years.His running mate is Gboye Adegbenro,an ally of Mimiko.He is from the Central zone like Mimiko.He calculations of garnering the majority votes from his Southern Zone and splitting the central Zone votes with Jegede as a strategy will be known on Saturday.Lack of the wherewithal unlike his 2 other rivals might be his albatross.                 As it stands the 3 senatorial zones of 6 local government councils each have a major candidate.Will Akeredolu win a 2nd term like most incumbents or will Jegede triumph on his 2nd attempt like Aketi?Lastly will Agboola be like Mimiko that became Governor on the platform of the relatively unknown Labour Party defeating the big ones.This is a battle of lawyers.Will Olumide Akpata’s luck smile on him as the non SAN that won the NBA Presidency over 2 reputable SANs?Saturday will surely be a victory day for voters and democracy.lt will be a thumbs up for those who thumb down.Chief Femi Ala6.
Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2347068686071, +2348053062268, Email: [email protected]