As the November 16 gubernatorial election in Ondo State approaches, there is a surge in aspirants within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other political parties, particularly the APC.
Among the notable aspirants in the APC are incumbent Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, former Commissioner for Finance Wale Akinterinwa, former House of Representatives member Mayowa Akinfolarin, former Secretary to the State Government Oladunni Odu (the only female aspirant), former Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Prof Francis Faduyile, former APC aspirant Chief Olusola Oke, and Mr Gbenga Edema, among others.
Governor Aiyedatiwa, who assumed office after the demise of former Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, appears to have an edge due to his current position. Aspirant Akinfolarin, emphasizing the need for someone to bridge the gap between the government and the people, expressed his candidacy for the task.
According to findings by Saturday Punch, Akinterinwa, another strong contender, has gained popularity across the state, evident in the warm reception he received at the Akure Airport after the dissolution of the Ondo State Executive Council. He said, “Your gesture is a testimonial that when you do well, people will appreciate you. This is a manifestation of better things to come. I am ready for the task ahead, I’m ready for the job.”
The State Chairman of the APC, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, remained neutral, stating that all aspirants have the right to contest without an anointed candidate.
However, sources suggest that some aspirants close to the late Governor may not run, potentially stepping down for Akinterinwa.
An insider revealed, “I can tell you authoritatively that Akinteriwa is the choice of the majority of those working with the late governor, Akeredolu. He had anointed him before he died. Unfortunately, he was not strong enough to make it publicly before he died. The governor will run, but he will meet a formidable opposition in the state, especially among the late governor’s loyalists.”