Akeredolu defeats PDP, ZLP candidates to win Ondo governorship poll

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*Akeredolu

Serve the people better than you did in first term – Buhari

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu winner of Saturday’s governorship election held in Ondo State.

According to INEC, Akeredolu of the App Progressives Congress (APC) polled the highest score of 292,830 votes to win a second term.

He defeated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, who got 195,791 votes, and the deputy governor and flag bearer of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Mr. Agboola Ajayi, who came third with 69, 127 votes.

Akeredolu won 15 of the 18 local governments to emerge winner of the election. He won Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo, Irele, Akoko Southwest, Akoko Northeast, Akoko Northwest, Ondo East, Owo, Idanre, Akoko Southeast, Akure South, Ondo West, Ose, Ese-Odo and Ilaje.

Jegede won Ifedore, Akure South, Akure North local government areas while Ajayi won none.

The returning officer for the election and vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka, who announced Akeredolu winner at the INEC headquarters in Akure declared: “I hereby certify that I am the returning officer of the Ondo State election and that the election was conducted and the candidates received the following votes – Oluwarotimi Akeredolu got 292,830, Eyitayo Jegede got 195,791 and Agboola Ajayi got 69,127.

“That Oluwarotimi Akeredolu secured the highest number of votes among the 17 contestants. Moreover, he was expected to score 25 per cent in two-thirds of the state but he scored it across the 18 local government areas.

“Consequently, having satisfied the requirements of the law, I hereby declare Akeredolu as the winner and he is hereby returned elected,” declared Olayinka.

In his post victory speech, Akeredolu assured the people that he would ensure his re-election brings growth to the state.

“We have noted the few dissenting voices of protest in this referendum. We heard them loud and clear. We intend to address genuine grievances. We shall continue to focus on the development of our God-given space, the Sunshine State.

“This Administration will not be distracted in the discharge of our sacred mandate. The people will continue to be at the centre of all decisions.

“Our state has no business with poverty. Sincere, purposeful, and focused leadership should have little difficulty in harnessing the vast resources, both human and natural. We will put in everything to justify the trust reposed in us,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Akeredolu on the victory and enjoined him humble and magnanimous in victory and to serve the people better than he did in the first term.

Spokesman for the president, Mr. Femi Adesina quoted Buhari in a statement entitled ‘President Buhari congratulates Rotimi Akeredolu on re-election as Ondo governor’ to have also commended the electorate and INEC for order conduct of the poll.

“President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, on his re-election as Governor of Ondo State for another four-year term.

“The President lauds the resounding victory of the Governor at the election held on Saturday, October 10, 2020, noting that the votes garnered ‘show that one good turn surely deserves another.’

“He thanks the people of Ondo State for keeping faith with their Governor, and the All Progressives Congress, noting that ‘the people know the person and party that truly serves them, and have spoken in clear voice and unmistakable terms.’

“President Buhari appreciates the electorate in Ondo State for comporting themselves decently and in order, and for exhibiting conduct that indicates that the country is making progress in its electoral behaviour.

“He also gives kudos to the Independent National Electoral Commission for organising credible, free and fair election, and to security agencies which ensured that orderliness was enthroned and maintained.

“The President urges Governor Akeredolu to be humble and magnanimous in victory, and serve the people of Ondo State even better than how he did in the first term, noting: ‘when you serve with heart and might, the people respond in like manner, and we can easily get to where we are headed as a country.’”

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