Primary elections for Senate and House of Reps seats were held last week in Ondo State, across the 3 Senatorial districts and the 9 federal constituencies by the PDP. Though the primary election was not held by the APC for the 3 senatorial because the 3 incumbent senators were given automatic tickets for the 2019 general elections while the PDP under the leadership of Hon. Clement Faboyede conducted its primary election for the House of Reps seats.
Ondo Central senatorial district comprises 6 local governments. They are: Akure South, Akure North, Ifedore, Idanre, Ondo East and Ondo West local governments council, which comprises 3 federal constituencies and each federal constituency has produced representative at the Senate, though Senator Ogunniya was a 3rd term Senator before he lost the seat in 2011. While other two federal constituencies had served just one term, both Senators would be contesting again in 2019 for the same seat. The race for the Ondo Central Senatorial districts under the auspices of PDP has many big names who were aspiring to contest the seat, but some of them stepped down, former Deputy Governor and former Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency Otunba Oluwateru Omolade and Olabisi Johnson contested. At the end of the primary which was held at Sulton hotel, Senator Ayo Akinyelure emerged the winner as he pooled 338 to defeat Omolade Oluwateru who scored 253 and Olabisi Johnson who scored 63. Senator Akinyelure will contest against with the incumbent APC Senator, Tayo Alasoadura. Recall that Senator Alasoadura defeated Senator Akinyelure, who was a PDP candidate during the 2015 general elections. Both Sen. Donald Omotayo Alasoadura and Sen. Dr Ayo Patrick Akinyelure have in the last decade become forces to reckon with as far as Ondo State politics is concerned. Senator (Dr.) Patrick Ayo Akinyelure, FCA, is an urbane corporate player- turned-politician. He owns the first private polytechnic in Ogun-State, Nigeria. Senator Akinyelure until when he defected to PDP from APC, he was the chairman, National Oil Spil Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
On the other hand, the outcome of PDP Ondo North Senatorial district was another shocker for many political observers in the sunshine state. Ondo North senatorial district comprises 6 local government areas: Owo local government area, Akoko Southwest local government area, Akoko Northwest local government area, Akoko South East local government area, Akoko North East Local government area and Ose local government area. The 6 local government areas have 3 federal constituency seats which include Owo/Ose federal constituency, Akoko South West/ East federal constituency and Akoko North West /East federal constituency. Some days back, the issue of the automatic ticket to the 3 senators in Ondo State was the order of the day, but now it has been reversed and the aspirants were asked to test their popularity. Though, there were about 5 APC Senatorial aspirants in the race.
The PDP North Senatorial, the primary election was won by Olusegun Alonge, who scored 339 to defeat Akogun Tokunbo Modupe, who pooled 280 and Saka Lawal who recorded 94 votes. Olusegun Alonge will be contesting the 2019 Ondo North Senatorial race with the incumbent Senator Borrofice Ajayi, a two-term senator, who was given the automatic ticket to return to Senate for the third term on the platform of APC. Though, much is not politically known about Olusegun Phillips Alonge fondly called OPA, but it was gathered that he was born and raised in Akoko Northwest local government area of Ondo State. He is a committed advocate of ethical leadership, poverty eradication, civil rights, fiscal federalism, and robust community governance including local resource and issues management. The events of his early childhood inspired his view of education as the immutable force of liberty and influenced his grasp of the importance of thriving small businesses to create wealth. A former commissioner for transportation under the administration of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Otunba Nicholas Tofowomo, picked the PDP Ondo South senatorial ticket as he defeated Eng. Ademulegun from Ondo town and a former Commissioner for Environment, Barr. Sola Ebiseni, for the riverine area. Tofowomo scored 241 to defeat Ademulegun who pooled 227 and Barr. Sola who collected 177 votes. Otunba Tofomowo hails from Ile Oluji in Ile Oluji \Oke Igbo local government area. He was a 2 term-Commissioner for Transport. Ondo South senatorial district comprises 6 local government area Ile-Oluji/ Oke Igbo local government area, Odigbo local government area, Okitipupa local government area, Ese-Odo local government area, Irele local government area and Ilaje local government area. The 6 local government areas have 3 federal constituencies. Otunba Tofowomo will battle against an APC candidate for the seat.
MEET THE HOUSE OF REPS CANDIDATES
Aside from the senatorial election, which was held across Ondo State on Tuesday 2nd October 2018, the PDP also held its House of Reps primary election across the 9 federal constituencies on Wednesday 3rd October 2018. Although APC is yet to conduct its House of Reps primary election at the time of going to the Press, but other things being equal, some of the House of Reps lawmakers are likely to get automatic tickets for the 2019 general elections while election would be held in some federal constituencies according to the directive of the National Working Committee of APC. Candidates of PDP for the 9 federal constituencies have emerged ahead of the 2019 general election. Akure South / North Federal Constituency race had 6 aspirants in the race, but Hon. Omolafe Adedayo aka expensive emerged the winner with 138 votes to defeat Hon Princess Kemisola Adesanya, who scored 57 votes, Hon Jide Adejuyigbe 16, Hon. Dayo Awude 14 votes and Hon Bayo Alarpon 6 votes as he is fondly called emerged the House of Reps candidate on the platform of PDP for Akure South/North Federal Constituency. In the case of Ifedore/ Idanre Federal Constituency, Hon Kayode Akinmade emerged unopposed as PDP consensus candidate. This renowned journalist-cum-politicians hails from Idanre local government area of Ondo State. He started his professional career in journalism with The News Group where he served as the Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondent before he resigned his appointment with The News in 1996 to become an Assistant Editor with the now-defunct Diet Newspaper till the year 2000. Hon. Kayode later joined Tribune Group in January 2000 and left the popular print news giant in the year 2007, having worked as the Lagos Bureau Chief. He subsequently got appointed as the Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to a former Speaker Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Dimeji Bankole. He served as a platform commissioner for information in 2013 in the administration of former Gov. Olusegun Mimiko. He had since indicated his interest to contest the House of Reps ticket under his party PDP to represent Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency at the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly. Among others who emerged candidates is Hon Kolade Akinjo who won his return ticket for Ilaje Ese-Odo federal constituency with 117 votes as he defeated Barr. Benson and Festus Dabo who scored 71 and 36 respectively. One Akingboju Gboluga defeated the incumbent Hon Mike Omogbehin with 119 votes to clinch Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency ticket of PDP. Mike Omogbehin and Oboli Ogunwa scored 43 and 47 votes respectively. In the North senatorial district, Akoko South East/ South West Federal Constituency ticket was won by Abiloye Martins, who scored 171 votes against former House of Reps lawmakers are Hon Debo Ologunagba and Lawani Busuyi. Also in Akoko North South East/West Federal Constituency, the State Deputy Chairman of PDP, Hon Fatai Adams and immediate past House of Assembly member, representing Akoko Northwest/East constituency, Hon Alex Adeyinka aka Banso lost the ticket to Olawale Ogunleye, who scored 109 votes. The incumbent lawmaker representing Owo/ Ose Federal Constituency, Hon Bode Ayorinde who recently defected to PDP from APC lost his re-election bid for the 2019 polls to Arch. Sadiq Obaneyen, who scored 107 votes. The lawmaker scored 73 votes, a son of former Minister, Dr Abitoye, scored 54 votes.
Going by the outcome of the primary election the APC candidates for the Senate and House of Reps will be battling the ticket for 2019 general elections. Aside PDP and APC candidates, other political parties will also be contesting the seat.