Even though the Ondo State
gubernatorial election is many
months away, analysts may be
tempted to question the readiness
of political parties about the
exercise, since no overt campaign
has started.
However, it would be
misleading to say politicians
are oblivious of the coming
development, as news report
are showing the jostling of the
two major political parties, the
People’s Democratic Party, PDP,
and All Progressive Congress,
APC, for relevance in post-2017
Ondo State has indeed begun.
Intending gubernatorial
aspirants in both parties have
started underground work across
the state either through formation
of groups or associations, holding
meetings on behalf of their
principals who are yet to come
out publicly as governorship
aspirants in the next election
and through the use of social
media with posting of various
messages on both the Facebook
and Whasap.
In a recent news report, Ondo
State Chairman of Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, Engr.
Clement Faboyede, cautioned
party members not to begin
parading themselves as
governorship aspirants, saying
such a move would be regarded
as anti-party activity.
In another interview, this time
earlier in the week, the PDP
chairman said the incumbent
governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko,
who is also the chairman of
the PDP Governors’ Forum,
would hand over the mantle of
leadership to a very credible and
prepared successor come 2017.
He admitted that even though
the election is still far away, many
people are already signifying
interest to take part in the primary  election for the sole ticket of the
According to Faboyede, this
is a good development, as it
signifies that PDP is fully on
ground in the state and popular
among the people.
The party won the last
election with comfortable
lead despite all the strategies
employed by the opposition
leaders to upstage the PDP,
including interference by
political godfathers and forces
from outside the state.
Some of the leading
politicians are not unaware
that the election bell will soon
be ringing, making them to
give opinions about the state’s
immediate future in terms of its
political leadership.
Speaking to newsmen on the
issue recently, Hon. Kingsley
Kuku, Former
Special Adviser to former
President Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan, said PDP in
Ondo South Senatorial
District is strong, that it would
be better for a political party to
pick its candidate from a strong
He further said the recent
House of Assembly elections
reflected the voting pattern
in the state, that PDP remains
very strong in the Southern
Senatorial District.
For Pius Osunyikanmi,
Former, Director General,
Directorate of Technical
Aids Corps, the electorate
has to educate itself to “look
beyond the ordinary” in their
calculations about the years
after 2017.
“There are lots of things that
are wrong with the state at the
present moment, and it is time
the people use the opportunity
of the coming elections to take
a break from the past ways of
doing things, “he said recently.
The Technical Aids boss
would want the electorate to
weigh all options before they
choose the person to be voted
for as the next governor.
Though All Progressive
Congress has been rather silent
on the issue, rumours abound
how some of the party’s
members are bracing up for the
approaching electoral struggle.
Those that are interested in the
number one job in the party
have started underground
work in earnest by trying to organise empowerment
programmes for the people of
their various communities.
Apparently, these moves
are to put them in good stead
when the APC commences
search for its candidate for the
governorship election.
Officially, PDP has no
aspirant yet, and Faboyede said
the party is concerned more
with ensuring the through
integration of its members than
the governorship battle.
According to Faboyede, the
integration of the party on the
state level has been successful,
but it has problems on the local
government level.
“At the local government
level, we still have to
integrate so that one set of
party executives will emerge
everywhere. Part of the plan
we have is to integrate people
into local governments to show
real fusion, to show that there
is no line between the old PDP
and the new PDP, that we are
all one PDP,” said the PDP
Once integration has been
completed, the party would
conduct local government
elections, so it becomes stronger
and be in a good position to
beat back the ambitions of rival
Before this occurs, Faboyede
told newsmen in Akure,
potential governorship
candidates may be jumping
the gun by announcing their
“It might be viewed as an
anti-party activity, because
everyone now should be
focused on repositioning our
party so that we have a strong
virile party,” said Faboyede.
So who would be in good
position to earn the support
of the present governor once
the door is thrown open for
Again, Faboyede said the
incumbent governor would
only hand over power to
a credible and prepared
successor, a man who is
prepared for the task of
Such a move is necessary
opined Faboyede, so PDP at
the state level does not suffer
the fate of APC on the national
Faboyede feels the
unpreparedness of APC
manifests in its ability to
appoint people into sensitive
positions a few months after
it took over leadership of
national government.
And what should the
electorate kick against in the
choice of the coming governor?
According to Osunyikanmi,
they should reject oppression
and imposition in the exercise,
as their choice could make or
mar the younger generation.
He then urged Muslim and
Christian faithful to pray to
Allah to chart a new course
for the state by facilitating the
emergence of a governor with
the interest of the people at
For Kuku, the next governor
should have the capacity to
continue the good works of the
incumbent governor, stressing
that only PDP is capable of
providing such character.
Alright, it is early days yet,
but who could win such an
Kuku is optimistic PDP
would definitely win it, since
he believes the recent State
House of Assembly election is a
barometer to gauge the voting
pattern in the state.
Kuku conceded PDP has
only one senator, but said the
party lost out in the National
Assembly because it fought
against itself.
According to him, other
parties in the state thrived only
when PDP is divided against
For APC, the leading
opposition party in the state,
this will sound like music, as it
fancies its chances of wresting
the power from PDP, having
dominated the last National
Assembly polls.
Still, elections are many
months away, so it is still
too early to make forecasts,
especially in a state where
the electorate is notorious
for choosing its preferred
candidate at the very last

READ ALSO  Expert advises political leaders on good governance