Akeredolu’s death’ll enhance my chances of becoming Ondo gov -Jimoh Ibrahim

Akinade Feyisayo
Akinade Feyisayo

The senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim, has declared that he is ready to contest the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

He said the death of a former governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu, would enhance his chances of becoming the next governor.

Ibrahim also expressed optimism that there would be no imposition of a candidate from the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress and the Presidency.

The senator, who spoke on Thursday in Akure, said President Bola Tinubu would allow a free and fair primary to enable the best candidate to emerge.

He said, “I’m declaring my intention to run for the governorship election in Ondo State. Among the contestants, I am the oldest. I have contested elections twice in my lifetime, one of which I contested for the governorship position in 2003, and none of these contestants was on that ballot.

“The President will never say that we should go and work for the incumbent governor. He can only appeal that maybe he prefers one person if you can prefer him, and if you cannot, go and do your election. So the President cannot say that I have taken this person, so all of you should go and sit down. Even Buhari, who is very clueless about anything, can never do that.”

The APC governorship aspirant also noted that the death of former Governor Rotimi Akeredolu would not affect his chances but would rather increase the chance of winning the primary and the main election.

“Maybe the death of Aketi has enhanced my chances because Aketi is a human being; he can be subjectively objective at the last minute. But now that he is no more, that possibility is written off completely. So whoever is there and wants to run for governor will meet me at the field.

“So Aketi’s death doesn’t affect my chances at all, but it would rather enhance my chances to win the governorship position of this state. So we are working seriously to win this election,” Ibrahim stressed.

He noted that economy and security were part of his cardinal programmes for the state, saying there was a need to empower the state Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun with modern technology to enable it to combat criminals effectively.

“My programmes are very straightforward; we are to create moral efficiency and moral knowledge and make the body more efficient. We must also map Ondo State borders for a security network and then ensure that we will never have any cases of kidnapping by making Amotekun a classic, unique security outfit that will come with a good strategy to challenge any security issues in our state.

“So one of the areas we are looking at is ensuring that everybody in Ondo State can go to sleep with their eyes closed, and that’s our top priority. Mapping every systems, the tactical operations of Amotekun have to come more distinct into technology, I want an Amotekun that is Information Technology informed because I have PhD in war, ” he stressed

As the primary political parties in the state is drawing nearer, many aspirants of the APC have shown their interest in the contest.

Some of them, apart from Jimoh Ibrahim, include the incumbent governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, a former Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa,  a former Member of the House of Representatives, Mayowa Akinfolarin, the former Secretary to the State Government, Oladunni Odu (who is the only female among the aspirants); a former governorship aspirant of the APC, Chief Olusola Oke, Dr. Paul Akintelure, Brig-Gen Olamide Ohunyeye (retd), among others.

Akeredolu, aged 67, passed away in December 2023 while undergoing treatment for prostate cancer in a German hospital.

Born on July 21, 1956, Akeredolu studied law at Obafemi Awolowo University (then the University of Ife), graduating in 1977. He was called to the bar in 1978.

After his death, then-acting Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa was sworn in as substantive governor of the state the same day.

Before his death, Akeredolu had transferred power to Aiyedatiwa via a letter to the state House of Assembly on December 13, 2023, when he was to proceed on medical leave in Germany.

The development followed the intervention of President Tinubu, who intervened in the crisis that resulted from the failure of Akeredolu to hand over to his deputy after he returned to the country from Germany in September.

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