Many analysts and political commentators are tipping one of Rotimi Akeredolu and Eyitayo Jegede to win the Ondo State governorship election which comes up next month. They see the two candidates from the ruling All Progresives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) respectively as the only two who have what it takes to get victory in the competitive election.
While the analysts may be right, it will be too early to forget history and how fortune quickly changes. It is inappropriate to just write off the candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi, who is also the deputy governor of the state.
A check into history shows that the Zenith Labour Party can actually stun the other two to go on to win the election. That’s if history of Ondo State politics is remembered.
The 2007 gubernatorial election was keenly contested by the Late Olusegun Agagu and former governor Olusegun Mimiko. Agagu used the PDP while Mimiko contested on the platform of the LP whereas the Labour Party didn’t have popularity in Nigeria let alone Ondo State at that time.
Agagu believed he had the federal power to determine any opposition in the state. The PDP was ruling at the federal level, so it was very easy for him to get whatever he needed from the PDP controlled federal government. Not only that, Mr. Agagu was seeking his second term in office. He had used four years and he understood how it’s being done to win elections.
The Late Olusegun Agagu.
The election was conducted and the PDP candidate, Olusegun Agagu, was declared winner. He was later sworn in for the second time. But Olusegun Mimiko was sure that he was the winner of the election and that he won in 12 out of 18 local government areas in the state.
The Labour Party and its candidate, Olusegun Agagu, approached the court. It was a tough legal battle for a party that was not really known. Even it could never be predicted that such a party could give the PDP some tough time. In summary, the appeal court declared Olusegun Mimiko and his labour Party as the duly elected governor and party.
So, Olusegun Mimiko made history and since that time he has been called “Iroko”. History was made in Ondo State that an unknown political party defeated a powerful and formidable PDP.
And in the case of Rotimi Akeredolu, another history can be made. Like Olusegun Agagu, Mr. Akeredolu is seeking re-election in Ondo State. Akeredolu has been putting everything in place so as to clinch the victory again.
Furthermore, like Olusegun Agagu, Akeredolu’s APC is in power at the federal level. Yes, the APC is controlling the federal government just as the PDP was in charge during the 2007 Ondo gubernatorial poll. So, Olusegun Agagu and Rotimi Akeredolu have lots of things in common.
However, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu has to avoid the bitter history that happened to Agagu. It was unbelievable that the little known Labour Party would miraculously defeat the mighty PDP in 2007. Funnily enough, the same Olusegun Mimiko is now busy making arrangements for history to repeat itself by ensuring that the candidate of the ZLP Agboola Ajayi win the election.