2019 Polls: Winners and losers in Ondo
the winners and losers in last weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections in Ondo State
The causalities in last weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections in Ondo State will have to sulk their losses as there would be no laurels for them.
Among the losers in the elections in the Sunshine State are Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; his predecessor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, deputy governor of the state, Hon. Agboola Ajayi; Senator Omotayo Alasoadura; Senator Yele Omogunwa; Dr Tunji Abayomi; Dr Bode Ayorinde and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The governor of the state tops the losers as he lost all the three senatorial districts and eight out of the nine House of Representatives seats to the opposition. In Ondo North Senatorial District, Prof Robert Ajayi Boroffice won despite opposition from the governor.
Akeredolu supported Dr Tunji Abayomi to clinch the senatorial ticket of the APC, but Boroffice got the nod of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to run for a third term in the Red Chamber. Two other candidates of the party; Ade Adeogun and Bunmi Tunji-Ojo also got the party’s ticket without recourse to the governor.
Dissatisfied with the action of the APC NWC, Akeredolu was said to have sponsored Abayomi, Stephen Olemija and Victor Ategbole to contest the election on the platform of Action Alliance (AA) for the senatorial and two federal constituencies’ seats.
Although the governor through his media aides denied sponsoring AA, the fact that Abayomi won in the governor’s polling units and many others units in Owo, his hometown, showed the contrary.
Apart from Otunba Timehin Adelegbe, the APC’s candidate in Owo/Ose federal constituency as well as other candidates of the party including Boroffice, Adeogun and Tunji-Ojo won their seats despite the alleged opposition of the governor to their ambitions.
The immediate past governor of the state is one of the biggest losers as he failed in his bid to represent Ondo Central Senatorial District. Also, none of the candidates he sponsored in the National Assembly elections made appreciable impact.
Mimiko, fondly called Iroko by his admirers is a heavyweight in the politics of the state. Since 1999 when the current political dispensation began, no governor has emerged without his contribution. His contribution to late Chief Adebayo Adefarati’s campaign earned him commissioner for Health, while his contribution to late Dr Olusegun Agagu’s campaign got him the position of Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and later Minister of Housing and Urban Development in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s government.
When he ran for the governorship, Mimiko adopted a relatively unknown Labour Party (LP), but defeated the incumbent – Agagu – who had both state and federal might. With his emergence as governor in 2009, Mimiko dominated the political space of the state.
He broke the record when he defeated Chief Olusola Oke of PDP and Akeredolu, then of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2012 to emerge as governor for a second term. But, the need to support the ambition of then President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term led him back to PDP, which he abandoned in 2006.
His gradual lost of grip of the politics of the state began in 2016, when he supported Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) for the governorship seat despite the fact that both of them are from the same senatorial district. The unwritten zoning arrangement in the state showed the governorship seat should have shifted to Ondo South or North senatorial districts after he had done two terms. Jegede eventually lost the governorship seat to incumbent – Akeredolu.
On leaving office in 2017, Mimiko did not only abandon PDP, he eventually dumped the party and went back to LP. He later floated Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), when the crisis between Mr. Mike Omotosho and Alhaji Abdukadir Abdulsalam-led factions became intractable to resolve.
With the belief that he would always win election with any political party, he took the senatorial ticket of ZLP from his erstwhile commissioner, Mr. Gboye Adegbenro. He also gave the Ondo South senatorial ticket of the party to his former Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Eni Akinsola and that of theSouth to Mrs. Simi Odunmbaku.
The House of Representatives’ tickets of ZLP were given to his former aides in different federal constituencies. The Ondo East/West federal constituency’s ticket was given to Joseph Akinlaja, a two term member of the National Assembly.
But, Mimiko did not just lose in his bid to represent his senatorial district; none of the candidates he fielded made appreciable impact in the elections. The fact that the former governor came third in the contest made a social commentator to say “we have all seen now that he (Mimiko) is not popular even among his people not to say the state.”
The deputy governor of Ondo State is another big loser in the elections as all the candidates he sponsored or supported in the lost to the candidates of the PDP.
Agboola was the promoter of the senatorial candidate of AA in Ondo South Senatorial District, Dr Adetunji Felder. He also supported Hon. Donald Ojogo for Ilaje/Eseodo federal constituency. He, however, lost in his local government, federal constituency and senatorial district during the elections. Also, his party’s, presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, lost woefully in the district.
The incumbent senator, who was elected in 2015 on the platform of the PDP defected to the APC towards the governorship election in the state in 2016. He was one of the beneficiaries of the automatic tickets given to APC’s candidates by the part’s NWC for supporting President Buhari in the National Assembly.
Omogunwa, a former commissioner in both Adefarati and Mimiko’s government lost his Irele Local Government Area, his federal constituency and also failed woefully in his bid to return to the Red Chamber for a second term.
If there is any candidate, who was confident of his re-election, it was Senator Alasoadura, a former Commissioner for Finance in the state.
Apart from the fact that he enjoyed the support of APC leaders, he also maintained a good relationship with the governor of the state.
Alasoadura, a grassroot politician lost political base in Akure North to the opposition PDP and eventually lost his re-election bid to the Senate. He came a distant second in the result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the state owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) was the candidate of AA in Ondo North Senatorial District. His loss in the election would not have been surprising if he did not enjoy the support of the governor.
The fact that he lost the election despite the support given to him by Akeredolu makes him one of the big losers.
All Progressives Congress (APC)
When the APC was in opposition in the state during the 2015 elections, it defeated the incumbent PDP at both the National Assembly and presidential elections. The party produced two senators and took five out of the nine House of Representatives seats. It also won the governorship seat in 2016.
But, in what seemed a role reversal, the party lost two senatorial seats, five House of Representatives seats and the presidential elections in the state last weekend.
The fact that Senator Boroffice won despite the odds against him makes him the top winner the elections. He would not have been the candidate of APC if the party’s NWC did not give him an automatic ticket.
Having gotten the ticket, he had to cross the hurdle of AA and PDP, which were out to stop him.
Apart from winning the senatorial seat, his candidates in the two federal constituencies in Akoko also won their elections. He equally delivered his district to the APC in the presidential election.
The fact that the National Vice Chairman of PDP in the South-West won in his Okitipupa Local Government Area, his Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency and Ondo South Senatorial district makes him one of the winners in the state.
Olafeso, a former Commissioner for Information nominated Mr. Gboluga Ikengboju as the PDP’s candidate to replace Prince Mike Omogbehin. Ikengboju defeated the incumbent in the PDP’s primary and defeated the APC’s candidate, Mr. Albert Akintoye in the election.
Winning two out of the three federal constituency seats, senatorial seat and the presidential election, no doubt, makes Olafeso one of the top winners in the elections.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The main opposition political party lost the governorship seat of the state in 2016. Apart from becoming opposition, it also lost prominent members including Mimiko, many of the House of Assembly members elected under the platform of the parry also dumped the party.
But the leadership of the party led by Clement Faboyede took over the gauntlet, revamped and restructured the party. The party, which lost the three senatorial seats, six federal constituencies in the 2015 elections has now won two senatorial seats and three federal constituency seats.
Other winners include a former deputy governor of the state, Ali Olanusi and ex-APC state chairman, Isaacs Kekemeke , Otunba Nicholas Tofowomo, who won the Ondo South senatorial seat and Senator Ayo Akinyelure, who won in Ondo Central to return election to the Red Chamber.