Ahead of the February 16th, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections which will take place across the 36 states of Nigeria which Ondo State is not left out. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released 41 senatorial candidates across the three senatorial districts of Ondo State, with 16 political parties in the race.
The battle of who represents Ondo State at the three Senatorial Districts across all the political parties in the state is becoming hot by the day. But the race is between Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC), who are at loggerheads as to who will occupy the seat at the National Assembly. Due to the caliber of politicians representing ZLP, PDP and APC, the race to the senate will be a hot one. Though, Ondo has 3 senatorial districts but the Ondo central senatorial district is the major focus.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE 3 SENATORIAL DISTRICTS IN ONDO
Ondo State comprises of 18 Local Government areas which was grouped into 3 senatorial districts. The 3 senatorial districts are Ondo North Senatorial, Ondo Central senatorial and Ondo South Senatorial district. Ondo North senatorial has 6 Local Government areas which include Akoko South-East Local Government area, Owo Local Government area, Akoko North-East Local Government area, Akoko South-West Local Government area, Ose Local Government area and Akoko North-West Local Government area. Also Ondo Central senatorial district has 6 Local Government areas which make up Ondo Central senatorial district, they are Akure South Local Government area, Akure North Local Government area, Ondo West Local Government area, Idanre Local Government area, Ondo East Local Government area and Ifedore Local Government area. While Ondo South senatorial district has 6 Local Government areas that make up the South senatorial district which includes Ile Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government area, Ilaje Local Government area, Odigbo Local Government area, Ese-Odo Local Government area, Okitipupa Local Government area and Irele Local Government area.
Aside the 3 senatorial districts, each senatorial district has 2 house of Representatives Federal Constituencies each with 26 House of Assembly Members (Ondo Central Senatorial has 8 House of Assembly State constituencies, while Ekiti North Senatorial and Ekiti South Senatorial have 9 House of Assembly state constituencies each).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONDO CENTRAL SENATORIAL
Ondo Central Senatorial comprises 2 Federal Constituencies, 8 State House of Assembly and 6 Local Government areas. Ondo Central Senatorial District Comprises of 6 Local Government areas such as Akure South, Akure North, Ifedore, Idanre, Ondo East and Ondo West Local Governments and out of this Local Government Council, only 3 Local Government areas have representatives in the senate. It will be recalled that for good 12 years (1999 to 2011) Senator Gbenga Ogunniya represented the good people of Ondo Central Senatorial District at the upper chamber of the National Assembly. And in 2011, Senator Gbenga Ogunniya lost the seat to Senator Ayo Akinyelure who hails from Idanre Local Government area and also served for 4 years before he lost the seat in 2015 to the incumbent Senator Tayo Alasoadura.
Alasoadura is a native of Iju in Akure North Local Government area. Out of the 6 Local Governments that make up Ondo central senatorial, 3 Local Government areas (Akure South Local Government, Ifedore Local Government and Ondo east local government) are yet to produce a Senator.
Ahead of February election, Ondo central senatorial has about 15 political parties whose candidate are jostling for the Ondo Central Senatorial seat. Some of they are: Sehinde Otunba Soledayo (AD), Ogunniya Gbenga (ADC), James Olabanjo Olamilege (ADP), Alasoadura Omotayo Donald (APC), Olasogba Rotimi Oyeola (ASD), Adeoye Henry Adewole (DA), Akin Zerubabel Olowookere (MPN), Atewoja Olubunmi Anthony MRDD, Fawehinmi Ranti (NCP), Funmilayo Ataunoko Jenyo (NRM), Akinyelure Patrick Ayo (PDP), Akinnugba Peter Paul (PPA), Olawilekan Olusoga (PT), Owojouro, Awe David Olugbenga Joseph (SDP), Boboye Rotimi Taiwo (UPN) and Mimiko Rahman Olusegun ZLP. The race is between Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP). These three candidates are on each other’s ensuring that they emerge the Ondo Central Senator come February 16th.
THEIR ANTECEDENTS IN POLITICS AND STRENGTH
In the history of Ondo central senatorial, this year election is going to be a battle field due to caliber of candidates contesting for the seat. The likes of the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who is the ZLP candidate, while Senator Donald Omotayo Alasoadura is the APC candidate and Senator Dr. Ayo Patrick Akinyelure is the PDP candidate and they have been in politics for over 2 decades. They are today a force to reckon with as far as Ondo State politics is concerned. These three candidates will be banking on their goodwills and performances having served Ondo central both as Governor and Senator but the question of who wins the seat becomes an issue since the emergence of the former Gov. Mimiko who was once a presidential aspirant and now a senatorial candidate for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the senate race. Ex-Gov. Mimiko who is fondly called Iroko is the man to beat in the race because of his landmark achievements during his 8 years administration as the governor of Ondo State. On the other hand, Senator Tayo Alasoadura will be banking on his 3 years achievement as the senator representing Ondo central and the fact that he belongs to the ruling party (APC) and his relationship with the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) gives him a brighter chance above other candidates for the race. On the part of Senator Patrick Ayo Akinyelure, he is set to battle Senator Alasoadura who defeated him in 2015. All over as he is fondly called is another game changer in the race and he is well loved due to his previous performances and the fact that people are clamouring on his party to come back. These three candidates will have to battle for the over 600 thousand votes. Akure South Local Government has the highest voting strength of 261,281 followed by Ondo West Local Government with 155,346, while Idanre Local Government has 72,344 votes, Ifedore Local Government has 70,359 votes, Akure North has 65,266 and Ondo East has 45,050 votes.
– Adeola Shittu