Romanus Ugwu, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Sunday Ani, Chukwudi Nweje, and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday declared Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the Saturday’s governorship election held in Ondo State.
Announcing the results at the state headquarters of INEC in Akure, the Chief Returning Officer who is also the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka said Akeredolu polled the highest number of lawful votes in the election.
He said Akeredolu had a total vote of 292,830 to defeat his closest rivals, Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 195,791 and Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) who had 69,127 votes.
Prof Olayinka who announced the results at 3.03pm said Akeredolu fulfilled all constitutional provisions regarding the election, thus is returned elected.
Akeredolu had won in 15 out of the 18 Local Government Areas in the state, defeating his deputy, Ajayi, and former Commissioner for Justice, Mr Eyitayo Jegede who won in three Local Government Areas.
Ajayi who came a distant third did not win in any of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.
Speaking shortly after the announcement of the results, Governor Akeredolu called on his co-contestants to join hands with him to develop the state.
While appreciating the people of the state for the confidence reposed in him, Akeredolu assured them of continuity of all his programmes.
He promised not to undermine the confidence reposed in him by the people, just as he assured that his next four years will be beneficial to all categories of people in the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Governor Akeredolu on his re-election and urged him to be humble and magnanimous in victory, and serve the people of Ondo State even better than how he did in his first term.
He said: “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.”
In a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari lauded the resounding victory of the governor at the election, saying the votes garnered “show that one good turn surely deserves another.”
He thanked the people of Ondo State for keeping faith with their governor, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), noting that “the people know the person and party that truly serves them, and have spoken in clear voice and unmistakable terms.”
President Buhari appreciated the electorate in Ondo 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 gave kudos to the INEC for organising a credible, free and fair election, and to security agencies which ensured that orderliness was enthroned and maintained.