In a few months, the people of Ondo State will go to the polls to elect their next person who would preside over the affairs of the state for the next four years.
To this effect political activities in the state have started to gather momentum as aspirants in the two major political parties in the state, the Peoples Democratic party, PDP, and All Progressives Congress, APC, have started massive underground campaign among party members ahead of the primary elections of each party.
The activities of aspirants in the APC is more pronounced as about 41 of them are jostling to occupy Alagbaka government house in Akure.
Most of the aspirants, like Senator Ajayi Borroface, a serving senator have toured the 18 local governments of the state twice now seeking the support of would be delegate in the primary of the party. So also is Chief Olusola Oke. Olusegun Abraham, Rotimi Akeredolu, the ACN governorship candidate in 2012 in the state, just to mention a few.
Majority of the aspirants have also acquired almost all the major and big buildings in the popular Oba Adesida road, using it as their campaign offices and various branded vehicles have littered the state courtesy of the aspirants.
Despite the warning by the state Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that the commission have not lifted the ban on political activities and campaign in the state.
Political observers in the state have started to analyse chances of the various aspirants in the primary and governorship election in the state. For Chief Olusola Oke, who was the former National Legal Adviser of the PDP, who defected to APC after it lost the election, may likely have some huddles to cross to clinch the party’s ticket. Already, members of the APC have started to grumble that Chief Oke has enjoyed the 16-year of rule of the PDP; therefore becoming the governor will amount to depriving long serving members of the party the opportunity.
Some of the party members believe that giving him the governorship ticket, will jeopardise their chance of enjoying the new government to be formed in that state as they argued that Chief Oke will likely take care of his fellow decampees.
They also argued that his case might likely be like that of Senator Tayo Alasoadura and Senate President, Bukola Saraki who decided to work against the interest of the party once they got into office.
Another sin of Chief Olusola Oke, that may likely work against him is the fact that he was unable to win the last state House of Assembly election for the APC in his local government .In the case of Sen. Ajayi Borroface, some of the party members are of the opinion that the two term senator should give another person the chance to go for the governorship since he is not the only capable person in the party that can occupy such a position. Although they respect his political experience, they would rather give a younger person the chance to rule the state.
Some of the party members also complained that the senator is very stingy and becoming the governor may not augur well for them at the Alagbaka government house.
What may likely work against the former governorship candidate of the defunct ACN, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) is his inability to remain in the state in 2012 after losing the election, as the governorship candidate of the party.
Abandoning the people at a very critical time when the party had lost an election and left for Ibadan did not portrayed him as a real party man.
Secondly, members of the APC do not see him as a real politician because of the way he dealt with political issues during the 2012 governorship election.
For Olusegun Abraham, political observers believe that his perceived closeness to national leader of the APC, Sen. Ahmed Tinubu, may not help him, as it is generally believed that he does not have electoral value that can win the governorship election for the state.
This is despite his touring the 18 local government areas of the state twice, soliciting the support of delegates in the August primary election of the party.
The interesting thing about this year’s governorship election in Ondo State is that many young aspirants like Akinrinsola Odunayo Oyewole (Kabonti) Boye Oyewumi are joining the race, which is a clear departure from what happened in the past.
Allowing the young generation to participate will be the beginning of a new dawn in the political atmosphere of the Sunshine State.
On the party of the PDP in the state, electioneering is not pronounced because the captain of the PDP ship in the state is still battling to pay workers’ salaries and unify aggrieved party members at the national level, as the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum.
The party has about six aspirants and they are yet to commence political activities like the APC. Again, the game master, who is also governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, is said to be frantically looking for a trustworthy aide among his followers who will not betray him, to step in after the expiration of his tenure as the governor of the state.
However, he will not do this until the APC has completed its primary and the governorship candidate of the party has emerged. It is following this that the governor will determine which senatorial district will produce the PDP governorship candidate to boost the party’s chances of winning the guber race.
To political observers, the PDP might not likely engage in any serious political activities until after its primary election. Mimiko is said to be convinced that after the APC primary many of the aspirants will likely defect from to the PDP.
The funniest thing about the political scenario in Ondo APC is that the party seems not to have learnt from the last governorship election when so many aspirants contested the governorship election and after the primary the arrow of discord was struck among them and things fell apart and this affected the APC’s performance in the election.
Zoning of the governorship candidate to particular senatorial district, which would have reduced the number of aspirants, is seen as a gimmick by some aspirants to exclude quality aspirant from contesting the election.
Above all the party said that it has put in place a mechanism to resolve the crisis that may arise after the primary, time will tell whether the crisis will be resolved or tear party apart.
A candidate like Olu Agunloye with a very strong structure in the party left with his structure then, and defected to the Labour Party with a promise from Governor Mimiko that he will be given a senatorial ticket under the party, which eventually did not happened.
Leaving the party at that time was the greatest political mistake Chief Olu Agunloye made because if he had remained in the party he would have been the best candidate of the APC now.
Chief Olu Agunloye has since joined the Social Democratic Party, SDP in the state as its sole candidate in this year’s governorship election.
Some people, even Governor Mimiko, believe that some the APC aspirants will join Agunloye in the SDP after the former’s primary does not favour them, thereby increasing the chances of the PDP in the state.


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