Former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, saturday emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
Akeredolu scored 669 votes to defeat Olusegun Abraham, backed by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Abraham scored 635 votes. About 3000 delegates voted in the election that had 24 aspirants.
Jigawa State Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, who chaired the primary election committee of the party that monitored the exercise, announced Akeredolu as the winner of the poll at the international event center, venue of the exercise.
The build up to yesterday’s primary was characterised by tension within the party following allegations that Tinubu had endorsed Abraham and also directed the party leadership in the state to ensure his emergence as candidate.
Though, Tinubu admitted that he endorsed Abraham, a decision he said was within his political rights, he however denied directing the party leadership to work for his emergence and assured all the aspirants of a level playing field.
Incidentally, Akeredolu was the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ANC) in the 2012 governorship election in the state following his endorsement by Tinubu. He however came third in that election trailing behind the incumbent governor and candidate of the Labour Party, Dr. Rahman Mimiko, and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Wale Oke.
In a clear indication of a gang up against Abraham, even before Akeredolu was officially pronounced winner, the main hall of the event centre was agog as other aspirants who had been campaigning against the endorsement of Abraham started embracing Akeredolu as officials announced his votes, which was more than that of Abraham.
With his emergence yesterday, Akeredolu now has another chance to seek the mandate of the People of Ondo State on November 26.