Ondo Decides 2020

By Taiwo Okanlawon

The All Progressives Congress party is conducting a primary election today to elect the standard-bearer for the October governorship election in Ondo State in October 2020, P.M News reports.

Few hours to the election, three aspirants have withdrawn from the race to support governor Rotimi Akeredolu second term ambition, after Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele joined forces with the Governor.

The aspirants include the runners-up in the party’s primary of APC in 2016, Dr Segun Abraham, Mr Jimi Odimayo and Nathaniel Adojutelegan.

The party’s primary election will now be contested by the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and 7 other aspirants.

They are: Olusola Oke, Olaide Adelami, Bukola Adetula, Jumoke Anifowose, Sola Iji, Isaac Kekemeke, and Awodeyi Akinsehinwa.

Before now, there have been controversies following the mode of the primary. Except Governor Akeredolu, other aspirants rejected the indirect primary mode adopted by the party

Some of the aspirants argued that when indirect primaries are conducted, the results are most likely to favour the incumbent because most delegates are often those loyal to him.

Despite expressing their displeasure, the chairman of the primary committee, Yahaya Bello – Kogi governor rejected their letter on the ground that “aspirants cannot dictate to the party”.

At 12:20pm, in International Event Centre, Dome Akure, the venue of primary, there are security personels fully armed with some party members but the election is yet to commence

No election officials arrived yet.

At 1:00pm, the chairman of the primary election committee, Yahaya Bello – Kogi governor arrived the venue and inspected the arrangements put in place.

Governor Yahaya Bello arrived the venue

Governor Yahaya Bello during inspection at the venue of the primary election

Governor Yahaya Bello meets INEC officials during inspection at the venue of the primary election.

Governor Yahaya Bello during inspection at the venue of the primary election

Addressing journalists after the inspection, Governor Bello expressed satisfaction with level of arrangements at the venue.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu arriving the venue of the primary

At 1:24 pm, the executive Governor of Ondo State arrived the venue.

At 1:54 pm, Isaac Ikemeke, the immediate former APC chairman and aspirant arrived the venue.

Four of the aspirants are at the venue

Governor Bello unveiling the ballot papers

Delegates queue for accreditation whilst observing social distancing

A delegate voting

At 3:32pm, Akoko North West began voting. Followed by Akoko South East, Akoko South West.

A physically challenged delegate casting her vote

Election observers

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote as a delegate, Hon. Akogun Olugbenga Omole, one of the awmakers in the 9th Ondo State House of Assembly, commended the Election committee headed by Governor Yahaya Bello for the process.

According to the lawmaker, the election process is transparent enough and he’s optimistic the incumbent governor Akeredolu will emerged as the party’s candidate.

Hon. Gbenga Omole addressing journalists

At 4:45pm, Ilaje Local government delegates are now voting, making it the 5th local government out of 18.

At 8:15 pm, all the 18 local governments have voted and the election committee chairman said the sorting and counting will follow shortly.