A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu has emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the November 26, 2016 governorship election.
Akeredolu who was the candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2012 governorship election, scored 669 votes in a governorship primary held at the International Event Centre, Akure, the Ondo State capital on Saturday.
He defeated the anointed candidate of a national leader of the party, Dr. Segun Abraham who polled 635 while Chief Olusola Oke came third, scoring 583. Senator Ajayi Boroffice came forth with 471 votes.
Twenty-four aspirants initially contested the poll but Dr. Paul Akintelure was later announced to have officially stepped down.
According to the Electoral Committee Chairman, and Jigawa State Governor, Muhammed Abubakar, a total of 2,744 voters were accredited.
The exercise was conducted under tight security as thousands of security agents from the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as men of the Directorate of Security Services were deployed in Akure to maintain law and order.
The exercise took off at about 8am with accreditation of delegates at three different centres in Akure while the voting started at about 12pm at the International Event Centre, Akure, ended at 6.30pm.
The delegates from the three senatorial districts of the state, were accredited at the three designated centres.
During the accreditation, some delegates were sent out of the centres on the grounds that they were not financial members of the party. They were ushered out of the accreditation centres by the security agents.
The officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission led by the Administrative Secretary in Ondo State, Mr. Kabir Omosanya, were also at the venue to monitor the exercise.
Before the voting started, it was gathered that some of the aspirants were paid as much as N150,000, N100,000, N50,000 to each of their delegate in order to buy their votes.
However, the embattled chairman of the party, Mr. Isaac Kekemeke was absent at the exercise. His absence according to a source, was not unconnected with his purported impeachment by the two-thirds majority of the State Executive Committee of the state following an alleged anti-party activities.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State men of the Police Command and their Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps counterparts engaged in a free-for-all at the venue.
The brawl began following a disagreement between the two security agencies disrupting the primary for about 10 minutes as a result of the ugly development.
The law enforcers shot sporadically into the air and fired several tear-gas canisters as many APC supporters and delegates who were at the venue to vote, ran for safety.
It was gathered that the policemen allegedly confronted the NSCDC officers for refusing to stand up and salute whenever their (police) bosses were at the venue.
The state Commandant of the NSCDC, Adeyinka Fasau, was reportedly asked by mobile policemen to get down from his vehicle at the gate of the venue and trek about 100 metres to the building where the voting was taking place.
It took the intervention of some officers of the state police command, led by the state Deputy Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, and some senior officers of the NSCDC to resolve the crisis.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party in Ondo State has elected Stephen Adeuti as its governorship candidate for the state’s November 26 election.
The party held its governorship primary at the Royal Bird Hotels, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital.
At the primary monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Adeuti emerged unopposed following his adoption by the party’s delegates after his only opponent at the primary, Olugbenga Ojo, stepped down for him.
The returning officer for the primary and Deputy National Chairman of the party, Ladi Iliya, commended the aspirants for demonstrating sportsmanship and charged them to continue to work together to ensure the party’s success in the forthcoming governorship poll.