Mixed reactions trail Akeredolu’s emergence, as many lament Abraham’s loss

Rotimi Akeredolu
The atmosphere that greeted the announcement of Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), as the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary election on Saturday can be best described as ‘ambivalent or mixed’, judging by the outcry by most of the party delegates towards the result. Some of the citizens likewise, non-delegates, were seen to have tearfully besieged the residence of an adjudged favourite, Olusegun Abraham, most of them lost on how the said winner garnered the highest number of votes.

As at the time of filing this report, rumours have it that most of the executives of the party in the state are on the verge of either resigning from their positions on the premise of rejecting the Akeredolu result. One of the aspirants who came third with 576 votes, Olusola Oke, had already officially rejected the outcome of the result via a press conference, alleging that there was “injection of fake delegates into the delegates list to positively induce the primary result for Akeredolu”.

Elsewhere, while a pocket of the Akeredolu supporters within the APC are celebrating his shocking victory, the entire body of the opposition party within the state, especially the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have been sent into a bigger celebratory mode, based on their perception of Akeredolu as a weak candidate easy enough to defeat, as they did back in 2012. The phrase “customer daada ni”, a derogatory slang off a Nigerian hiphop used to describe sheepish patronage, has been on the lips of the PDP supporters since the Akeredolu announcement was made.

Most of the APC delegates, some of whom spoke in confidence to our correspondent, lamented the emergence of Akeredolu, also called “Aketi”, as the party’s candidate, describing him as the aspirant with the least chances prior to the primary exercise, judging by his dismal performance back in 2012 when he polled a distant third as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Some of them also fingered a gang up against party integrity and structure by some of the aspirants, as to what led to the Akeredolu shock.

One of them said, “I just can’t believe this result. Something must be wrong somewhere and somehow. Aketi can’t be our party’s candidate again. He is not strong enough to represent our party at all. He is too snobbish and lacks the leadership prowess our party and state needs seriously at this moment”.

Another of the delegates, who hails from Ose, the same Senatorial district as Akeredolu, complained tearfully that the party is on the verge of losing again with Akeredolu as the candidate. His words, “This man lost in his own ward and his district during his own election back in 2012, that’s how unpopular and a weak candidate he is. I suspect a gang up, and we will not accept this anomaly”.

Amidst tears and palpable expression of grievance, a host of the delegates who couldn’t leave the International Conference Centre venue of the primary election, were seen to chorus a threat to never vote for the Ibadan-based lawyer.

It would be recalled that Akeredolu was adopted without a primary as the governorship candidate by the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2012, but he lost scandalously to the PDP and Labour party, coming a distant third, despite the huge sum of money alloted to his campaign. This particular fact about Akeredolu’s unpopular tag came up a lot as a big deficit of his aspiration in the buildup to the Saturday election. In fact, his Director-general back in 2012, who also doubles as a co-aspirant this time, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, about two months ago described Akeredolu as “hard-to-sell”, while trying to defend his own role in the dismal 2012 Aketi campaign.

This then explains the displeasure with which a large percentage of the party delegates received this Akeredolu outcome, as they never saw it coming.

In a statement given to press on Sunday, Olusegun Abraham, who came second with 635 votes, seemed defiant and insisted on working with the party leadership to rectify or move forward from this situation.

As it is, especially with Akeredolu’s public diss of the party leadership prior to the primary, the APC in the state seems headed for the rocks with this Akeredolu outcome, and the whatever decisions made in the next few days will determine how successful or otherwise the party will fare come November.

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  1. If the comments some of those hired among them by a woman who runs rust errant and other four people were to be taken to account claiming they were hired by an aspirant who packed many of them in a bus with thousands of Naira to vote for a leading aspirant then the primary was actually rigged by those that were looking for the State Chairman of the Party. Aketi should suspend his victory celebration for now.The complainants including a leading contestant Oke has a valid proof for cancelation otherwise APC should forget ONDO State. Aketi from the genue delegates pronouncement won with tampered delegates from Abuja by his cohorts.Those that appeared on TV explained they were APCmember but not a delegate and were instructed to vote for Aketi with thousands of Naira.This is corruption I think PMB is fighting against.Nigerians are watching.If action is not taking APC should forget ONDO state

  2. When will politicians in Nigeria learn to accept defeat and congratulate winners after elections Winning election is not do or die. If you don’t win today you may win in days to come. The probability that any of the aspirants in ondo state apc primary would win I was 1/24. The probability was slim for anyone to have hundred percent assurance of the majority votes. Mind you election anywhere in the world can only be fair and free but not excellent and perfect. This concept of ‘kaka ki Eku ma Je sese a o fi sawadanu’ should be buried in our national life. I am non partisan but to me the election I watched on TV should be adjudged credible. Aggrieved aspirants should accept defeat and work for the good of the Ondo state people in coming election

  3. Congratulations Fine man God will give you wisdom and knowledge to give the best they desire We shall be praying for you U will do well in Jesus name Great Ife Aketi for culture The Almighty God will see you through

  4. Year 2016 is the year for the least-likely, look around you and know that this phenomenon has been recurrent in the world. In Nigeria, it began with the bread-seller turn model in January. Don’t be shocked if Akeredolu emerges as Ondo governor, the underrated have a way of springing surprises.

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