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Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has emerged winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primaries in the state, polling a total number of 2,458 votes.
The incumbent governor, who is seeking second term in office, has also vowed to commence a process of reconciliation as soon as possible, saying: “We need one another more in the future than now.”
Akeredolu was announced as the winner of the primary by Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, who is the Chairman of the governorship primary election committee.
He said: “This is to certify that Oluwarotimi Akeredolu having scored the highest number of votes cast is hereby declared the winner.”
From a total number of 3,016 accredited voters drawn from 203 wards across the state, 2,793 people were able to cast their votes, while 2,760 votes were valid.
Akeredolu polled 2,458 votes, followed by Olusola Oke with 262 votes, while Isaac Kekemeke scored 19 votes.
Prior to the commencement of the primary, four of the 12 aspirants: Ife Oyedele, Abraham Olusegun, Nathaniel Adojutelegan, and Jimi Odimayo, stepped down from the race.
Votes scored by other aspirants include: Olusola Iji (nine), Olayide Adelami (four), Jumoke Anifowoshe (two), and Akinola Awodeyi (one).
In his acceptance speech after his declaration as the winner of the primary, Akeredolu expressed appreciation to APC, it’s leadership and followership, promising to engender unity of purpose and cohesion amongst all party men and women in a matter of hours.
“Today, history is made. History is made not because of my victory at the just concluded primary of our great party. In unpretentious terms, the strong will, dedication, perseverance as well as the palpable resolve of all-party men and women at this very event present a historic moment to behold.
“While I consider this evening reflective of our collective desire to sustain our party in government, our expressed direction, the exceptional comportment on the part of our delegates and the seeming show of love for one another has thrown further challenges upon me as your leader and governor.
“Most profoundly, I salute the courage of my brother aspirants. They have enriched the contest, no doubt. I must say that I am particularly enamoured by the determination and the industry we all put into this endeavour.
“All the same, the campaigns preceding this day have been noticeably fraught with mixed feelings. Relationships in some cases may have been bruised and interests hurt. In other cases, methods deployed to run these campaigns may not have been pleasant. I plead with all us to leave these in the past and move on. This is more so that, all aspirants, including myself were either victims or indirectly responsible for such unpleasant circumstances. We must find spaces in our hearts to forgive one another.
“I am convinced that our individual pursuits were driven by the altruistic motivation to strengthen our great party and more importantly, take our dear state to loftier heights.
“Therefore, I find it delightful to say here and now, that we have all won together. Consider me as the custodian of your vision for the Sunshine State. Together, we shall move the state forward. Under my watch, we shall witness a more robust, reassuring and rewarding relationship.
“As a way of engendering unity of purpose and cohesion amongst all party men and women, in a matter of hours, I shall commence, in an inexorable manner, a process of reconciliation to heal all perceived wounds. We need one another more in the future than now.
“May I use this opportunity to express sincere appreciation to my brother Governor, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and his team for this wonderful outing. You have displayed a high sense of professionalism and an immeasurable degree of competence.
“You have demonstrated that a credible electoral system is possible and achievable. The transparency you have exerted today is the platform I intend to leverage upon for reconciliation.
“Please permit me, my brother Governor, to use you as a point of contact to express my profound appreciation to the national leadership of our great Party, especially Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari, our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as the National Caretaker Committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State. I would also like to appreciate all party delegates, starting from the State Party Executives, who came from all the Local Government Areas in the State for their unalloyed support and dedication to this party. I can assure you all, Ondo State is an APC State, together, we shall deliver come October 10,” Akeredolu said.
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