Rotimi Akeredolu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate is reportedly in the lead following the (s)election held today for the governorship of Ondo State.
By all accounts, Akeredolu doesn’t appear to be the choice of the people of the state. He was alleged to have secured the nomination as the APC candidate by “padding” the delegates list and a source in Akure, the state capital, has suggested “vote padding” is going on right now to ensure the (s)election is fixed in Aketi’s favour.
The APC candidate is said to have the financial backing of the likes of Solid Minerals Minister Kayode Fayemi, Ibikunle Amosun and Abiola Ajimobi, the governors of Ogun and Oyo States, and the inconsiderable might of the federal government behind him. The support from Abuja and the likes of Fayemi for Aketi is widely seen as an attempt to clip the wings of Bola Tinubu, who believed he could control the political fortunes of the elite in southwest Nigeria.
Tinubu’s alleged choice for the APC nomination lost out to Akeredolu in the primaries and the former Lagos State governor is said to have been secretly backing the Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate Olusola Oke.
But both Oke and the Peoples Democratic Party candidate (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede, are looking like they have been out-rigged and out-spent by Aketi. The APC candidate has been said to buying votes for as little as 2,000 to 5,000 naira ($6 to $15) per vote. All voters had to do was vote, take a picture of the ballot paper and collect their money from an APC agent. This is known locally as “see and buy”.
An Akure-based source said that the Aketi camp are already celebrating as they came, saw and they bought the votes.