The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has formally declared Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State.
Akeredolu polled 244, 842 to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), who polled 150, 380, while Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy, (AD) followed with a distant third of 126, 889 votes.
Returning officer, Professor Ganiu Amali made the announcement at about 12:50 pm on Sunday.
With this victory, the governor-elect of Ondo state and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Akeredolu, now takes on the responsibility of bringing everyone on board, to continue from where the PDP governor, Dr, Olusegun Mimiko stopped.
In the meantime, the governor-elect says his victory is a clear demonstration of the will of the people of Ondo state.
He believes that “the people have spoken and have indeed spoken well”, as he would go straight into work, to bring about improvement in all aspects of the state’s economy.
According to him, “there has been obvious neglect of people in the rural areas, and his government will focus more on grass-root development.
This is the second time he will be contesting as governor or Ondo state, having lost the first time to governor Olusegun Mimiko of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The election which many had feared would be characterized by violence, given the tension that preceded the exercise, was however adjudged peaceful.
Although violence erupted a day before the polls took off, leading to the unfortunate killing of one person, the Federal Government ensured the deployment of 26,000 policemen and 15,000 personnel from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, to avoid a further breakdown of law and order.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), had dropped Mr Eyitayo Jegede and published the name of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP candidate, forcing Jegede to head to the court of appeal to retrieve his ticket.
However, few days to the election, the court of appeal announced Jegede as the rightful candidate of the party, after a go- ahead by the supreme court.