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Ondo 2024: Aiyedatiwa, Ibrahim, Oke Go for Brokes

With less than two months to the primary elections of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for who will pick the party’s ticket for the Ondo State governorship election billed for November, the battle is get- ting hotter with aspirants leaving no stone unturned. Those conversant with the politics of the Sunshine State, said it is going to be a straight fight between the incumbent governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Jimoh Ibrahim and Olusola Oke. One of the Sources said: “In Ondo State, all of them are warehousing possible delegates that would vote. Everybody knows that even if they were held to- day, most of them too are also sending key allies to those in Abuja. At the end of the day, as we know, Abuja would ultimately play the deciding factor in the Ondo State primary election.

Ordinarily, it is in the hands of a governor to superintend over such matters and affect control and ensure that the anointed becomes the successor. “But in this case, that Governor who everybody thought would play that card had died and his deputy is now the governor and one person came out to say he was endorsed. Truly, he was endorsed we know for certain from fillers from the Akeredolu camp then and even now that he was endorsed. “In the beginning, the person after the heart of Akeredolu was Lucky Ai- yedatiwa! Indeed, on the day they were sworn in, he said that Aiyedatiwa was likely to succeed him. However, the interplay of factors and political maneuvering threw a wedge between the then-governor and his deputy and he be- came the pariah of sorts in the governor’s camp.

“The governor and his acolytes shopped for a successor and found a worthy one in Akinterinwa, then Commissioner of Finance. However, fate played an- other card and Akeredolu was no longer in the position. He was battling for his health. His group and some of his loyalists tried to upstage Aiyedatiwa, including playing the impeachment card, which ultimately failed because people thought that Aiyedatiwa was a political paperweight. He moved in the right circles and he was able to survive those days and eventually, after the death of Akeredolu, he became the governor. “Now luckily for Aiyedatiwa again, he is from part of the state that by political calculation, conventional calculation points would be the next governor of Ondo State. Those are the two factors working in his favour and also the fact that he is the incumbent governor, who had asked his fellow governors how they are doing it and they assured him that he is walking in the right circle, talking with the right people and he has the power of incumbency even at home.

“One man who will give him a run for his money is not even Akinterinwa, it is Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, who believes that he also has the wherewithal and the economic power to slug it out with Aiyedatiwa. He is crisscrossing the length and breadth of Ondo State and doing all it takes. “His campaign is even more pungent than that of Akinterinwa. It is going to be a straight fight between the two of them.” This much another Source, who is also a major player in the Ondo power loop, confirmed when he volunteered to Sunday Telegraph that Jimoh Ibrahim so far has spent over N1 billion by giving N100,000 to 35 people in each ward. The Source said: “We are in for a long haul for a renewed hope and renewed frustration for people who collected N5,000 to ruin their future.” He did not spare Aiyedatiwa who he said: “Knows next to nothing. He is clueless.”

However, another source said that anyone who underrates Aiyedatiwa does so at his peril as he is learning the ropes fast. The source continues: “In the next few days, some of the people who have said that they are going to contest may step down for either Aiyedatiwa or Jimoh Ibrahim. That was what happened in Kogi State when Yayaha Bello anointed his successor. Abuja only endorsed it. That is what is going to happen in Ondo State. “In Edo State, it is obvious where the pendulum would swing. The Governor too is doing the same. But in Ondo State, the person who is supposed to do that is no more. That power of incumbency now resides with the contestant, who of course, would do everything as those things would work in his favour and the fact that he comes from the Local government Area that is next in line to produce the governor. “Jimoh Ibrahim too comes from the same LGA notwithstanding.

“The people are asking and talking about continuity. It is going to be a straight fight between Aiyedatiwa, Jimoh Ibrahim and Olusola Oke. In Ondo State, Jimoh Ibrahim and his people are bent on wresting power and the ticket. They are everywhere and they believe that he has the status; he has the money to fight. From all indications, it will be a straight fight between Jimoh Ibrahim and the Governor.”

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