Akeredolu who was also a candidate at the 2012 Ondo governorship election flying the flag of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the time, scored 669 votes at APC’s primary election held on Saturday.
Abraham who is generally regarded as the favourite of APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was Akeredolu’s biggest challenge and came close with 635 votes.
It was not the first time Akeredolu, popularly called Aketi, would be beating Abraham to the party’s Ondo governorship ticket. In 2012, Abraham was believed to be on his way to representing the ACN at the election when he was convinced to step down for Akeredolu who emerged third behind Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party at the time and Chief Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It remains to be seen what will be the reaction of Asiwaju Tinubu to Abraham’s loss and Akeredolu’s victory. In the run up to the primary election, a few hot words had been exchanged between Akeredolu and Tinubu’s camp over an alleged plan to impose Abraham on the party.
Other challengers at the primary election of the APC for the Ondo governorship election were Chief Olusola Oke, Senator Robert Boroffice and Hon Bode Ayorinde as well as 18 other aspirants. The contest was however majorly between Abraham, Akeredolu and Oke.
Oke’s performance surprised many, having only joined the APC less than two years ago. Boroffice and Ayorinde are presently members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of the APC in 2015 and were expected to be a bit more popular within the party.
The Ondo governorship election is slated for November 2016 and promises to be a big test of popularity for the APC.