President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on his re-election as governor of Ondo State for another four-year term, saying his victory shows that one good turn deserves another.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), came second, has, however, said it would study the result of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which yesterday declared Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Akeredolu won in 15 out of the 18 local government areas in the state.
Announcing the final results, the Returning Officer and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka, said Akeredolu scored 292,830 votes, while Jegede garnered 195,791 votes to emerge second.
Akeredolu’s deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), could not muster a win in his local government area of origin, Ese Odo.
Ajayi who hails from Kiribo in Ese Odo LGA posted 4,760 votes in his local government against APC’s 13,383 votes and PDP’s 4,680 votes.
Ajayi returned with 69,127 votes to come distant third in the contest.
With over 97,000 votes between Akeredolu and Jegede, the Ondo State governor won.
Saturday’s election was the second time Akeredolu and Jegede would contest against each other for the same office.
The two SANs squared up in the 2016 governorship election, which brought in Akeredolu, as the governor, for the first term.
The breakdown of the results showed that Akeredolu won in 15 out of 18 local governments, Jegede won in three local governments while Ajayi won none.
In his address to the people of the state on his victory, Akeredolu, described his main challenger, Jegede as a worthy adversary.
Akeredolu said Jegede’s participation in the electoral process was historic.
He said: “Jegede’s patriotism is not in doubt. His love for the people is unassailable. He is indeed a worthy adversary. Our state is indeed blessed for having people of his quality.”
Akeredolu said the renewal of his mandate, was an eloquent testimony to the degree of acceptance the people of Ondo State have for him.
He said: “It affirms that the confidence reposed in our administration remains unshaken. It is a statement on your assessment of our performance in the last three and a half years.
“It is unequivocal, direct, inspiring and soul lifting. It is awesome. It is a reward for hard work, dedication, focus, honesty and patriotism.
“It is also a challenge to us for rededication to service in the interest of our people. On this, we shall not relent.”
He said the administration has not relented in the promises made when he was elected for the first term, adding that the achievements in various sectors, are testimonies for the dedication to serve the people.
He promised that the administration shall continue to make people its priority.
Though Jegede was not available for comments on the outcome of the election, the spokesman of his campaign organisation, Mr. Gbenga Akinmoyo, has commended the people that voted according to their conscience.
He said: “We use this medium to thank the good people of Ondo State who voted yesterday according to their conscience; thanks to the loyal members of PDP at local, state and national levels who took ownership of this project and executed it.
“This is God’s project and since it remains so, “We wait, eyi ni ise Oluwa.”
Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the president lauded the resounding victory of the governor at the election, noting that the votes garnered show that one good turn surely deserves another.
The president urged the governor-elect to be humble and magnanimous in victory, and serve the people of Ondo State even better than how he did in the first term.
“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,” Buhari said.
The president commended INEC for organising a credible, free and fair election, and saluted the security agencies that ensured that orderliness was enthroned and maintained.
He commended the people of Ondo State and the APC for keeping faith with their governor, noting: “The people know the person and party that truly serves them, and have spoken in clear voice and unmistakable terms.”