Like in 2016, the major contenders for this year’s governorship election in Ondo State are Rotimi Akeredolu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
They were selected at the indirect primary elections held at the International Event Centre in Akure last Monday and Wednesday.
Four years ago, Mr Jegede – a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state won the PDP governorship primary by polling a total of 760 votes while his opponent, Saka Lawal, polled a total of 22 votes.
In APC, Mr Akeredolu defeated Olusegun Abraham, the preferred aspirant of a leader of the party, Ahmed Tunubu, by 669 votes. Mr. Abraham, a one-time Chairman of Owena Motel under Governor Adefarati, scored 635 votes to place second in the race.
By the time the election came up in November 2016, Mr Akerodolu polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr Jegede who garnered 150, 380 votes. Olusola Oke who contested under the banner of Alliance for Democracy, scored 126, 889 to come third.
Journey to 2020
Four years after, both Mr Akeredolu and Mr Jegede went through difficulties before securing the governorship tickets of the two major political parties in Nigeria.
For Mr Akeredolu, he had problems within his cabinet following his fight with the deputy, Agboola Ajayi, and the Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde.
Mr Ajayi dumped the APC after falling out with his boss; he then joined the PDP. According to him, Mr Akeredolu made the party ‘a poisoned space’ with one man ‘kneeling on its neck’….