Chuks Ugwuoke: Ondo election – Ugwuanyi’s credible procedure and aspirants’ ovation

Precisely one week in the past, they got here in droves, women and men, the younger and the aged, and the bodily challenged, a lot of whom toiled to stroll or had been aided into the corridor to solid their votes within the July 22, 2020, Ondo State governorship number one of the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP).

However the standout part that has persevered to draw commendations even from the aspirants used to be the credibility of the workout and the transparency and legitimacy, which Enugu State governor, Rt. Hon. IfeanyiUgwuanyi, delivered to endure at the ultimate end result that produced Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, because the standard-bearer.

The environment friendly approach wherein the governor performed the main election used to be a triumph for interior social gathering democracy within the PDP, and one that beckons at the opposition social gathering to leverage the momentum and mirror such applicable ends up in its long term interior contests.

he evidence of its sweeping affect can also be gleaned from the healthy acceptance of the end result from the seven different aspirants and their commendations of the hitch-free and vastly a success workout performed by way of Gov. Ugwuanyi and his different committee participants.

“I took section in all of the processes and this end result is appropriate to us. I commend the Enugu State governor for the transparency that he displayed,” stated Boluwaji Kunlere, who represented Ondo South District within the Senate and used to be a former particular adviser to ex-governor Olusegun Mimiko. “I’ve congratulated the winner and I want him the most efficient of good fortune within the coming near near governorship election. I additionally attraction to supporters to make certain that this isn’t the instant for vanity or violence. The committee that performed the main election have shyed away from the ones spaces that would motive bother and this gave the workout the credibility that all of us requested for. We will paintings with our brother (Jegede) to take Ondo State again to PDP.”

Dr. Bode Ayorinde, a former Area of Representatives member and writer of “Banking Reforms in Nigeria: The legislation, the potentialities, the demanding situations,” used to be the primary to concede victory when he walked over at the hours of darkness to congratulate the winner even whilst the collation used to be nonetheless ongoing. In step with him, “what’s extra essential is that I installed my perfect with my crew. I’m pleased with the paintings we did and thankful to all my supporters. I’ve all the time had lofty goals for Ondo State and I’ll proceed to maintain the ones beliefs. I congratulate Eyi (Jegede) on his victory. I admit that the workout used to be unfastened, truthful and credible and it’s credit score to the governor (Ugwuanyi) and his crew.”

While the winner, Jegede, lauded the Enugu helmsman and others “for an overly clear, truthful and diligent paintings” that they did, Hon. Adebanji Okunomo, a vivacious younger guy who garnered 90 votes, used to be frank and truthful. As he put it, “the method used to be very clear, the officiating used to be superb; that’s my score and I imagine that each one different contestants proportion the similar view as a result of they’re skilled folks and political heavyweights in our state. I imagine that the proper candidate has been selected by way of the delegates and the remainder of us (aspirants) will do neatly to strengthen him and in spite of everything usher him in as the following governor of Ondo State.”

At the day of the main, issues had been reasonably no longer as smooth-sailing on the outset. It used to be extraordinarily difficult for each the aspirants and their teeming supporters to navigate their option to the World Tradition and Tournament Centre, the Dome, in Akure. The gang used to be intimidating and the roads resulting in the expansive venue had been full of chaotic scenes of touts and fanatical supporters freely quaffing alcoholic beverages and sniffing extra intoxicating herbs.

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On this attempting length of COVID-19, no longer a lot of them who had been scantily-dressed and with bulging purple eyes, to stay to the protection protocols of dressed in face mask or keeping up any bodily distancing.

And within the corridor, the stress used to be palpable. Rumours of an forthcoming manipulation had been rife, with folks making unsubstantiated claims {that a} specific aspirant used to be favoured by way of the social gathering’s Nationwide Secretariat. Naturally, supporters changed into worried, in the similar means that the brokers of the contestants maintained unblinking vigilance. The aspirants too had been alert as they watched the court cases keenly from one nook of the Dome the place they sat in one line.

Politicians, particularly the ones in the hunt for non-obligatory workplaces, are women and men of prime drama, all the time adept at this sport of intrigues and crafty. As Tacitus put it, “lust for energy is probably the most aromatic of all passions.” There used to be no quick dose of such inklings on these days.

However the song modified once Governor Ugwuanyi, the returning officer and chairman of the social gathering’s Governorship Number one Election Committee arrived the venue, himself having a look battle-ready and unprepared for any distraction that may hinder him from conducting his venture. His war-like way despatched the proper alerts that he and his committee participants had been in no temper to entertain any untoward behaviour.

Different committee participants, together with the Adamawa State governor, Rt. Hon. Adamu Umaru Fintiri, Leader Emeka Etiaba, SAN, and Woman Chidi Ekwueme-Onyemelukwe, had been similarly keen to straight away get the ball rolling with none hindrance.

“We’ve come right here to behavior this workout in line with the information of our social gathering, and, in doing so, we’re dedicated to providing you with a unfastened, truthful and clear procedure,” Ugwuanyi stated in his cope with to the aspirants, the delegates and the media.

At precisely 2:20pm, the governor met with the aspirants, asking them, “is it k for us to start out now?” to which they replied within the affirmative. He used to be to handle the brokers and the observers from the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC).

Vote casting commenced at 2:25pm with noticeable nervousness from other camps of the aspirants. It used to be determination time for the over 2,000 delegates to make their number of who would fly the PDP flag towards the incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu within the October 10 governorship election.

Gov. Ugwuanyi used to be absolutely mindful that clear polling used to be the vaccine for the virus of electoral malfeasance that may derail the method. To prevent this, delegates from every native executive had been screened out of doors the corridor. Within the venue, they’d additionally queue in entrance of the aspirants and their brokers for on-the-spot ultimate tests ahead of their names can be referred to as. At different occasions, a head depend used to be taken and cross-checked to tally with the quantity within the check in.

By the point the delegates from Idonri Native Govt Council had completed casting their votes at 7:33pm, everybody heaved a sigh of aid that it have been a reputable workout.

Then again, an inventory of 17 names despatched in from the nationwide secretariat threatened to throw spanners into the works. Nearly the entire aspirants vehemently adverse that those individuals would no longer vote as a result of “they’re odd to us and weren’t a part of the harmonized listing we agreed with them (PDP) at Abuja.”

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“Your Excellency (Ugwuanyi), you’ve performed a reputable number one election,” probably the most aspirants cried out. “Why do they wish to smash the great activity that you simply and your committee participants have finished with those odd names?”

No doubt, it used to be one difficult and tempting scenario that required cautious and convincing dealing with to succeed in a suitable consensus. Reputed for his adeptness at such problem-solving, Gov. Ugwuanyi embraced the cautionary information and went right into a closed-door assembly with the committee participants. As they emerged 30 mins later, the Enugu governor engaged every aspirant separately.

The soothing phrases, the reassurances, the convincing engagement did the magic and resolved the seeming logjam.

From 9:29pm to 11:17pm, Governors Ugwuanyi and Fintiri, assisted by way of others, took rate of the sorting of votes with make a choice brokers receiving the votes solid in favour in their distinct principals.

Because the names of the contestants had been being referred to as throughout the collation, there used to be nice trepidation and suspense far and wide. Non-delegates who had been barred from any type of get entry to into the corridor, stored vigil out of doors. Even those that had begun to nod off each outside and inside the Akure Dome had been roused to their ft as soon as the baritone voice of Gov. Ugwuanyi began to name out the names at the ballots, adopted afterwards by way of Fintiri.

A few of the aspirants, something that used to be visual used to be that every time they huddled to talk about or take a commonplace place, the present deputy governor of the State, Hon. AgboolaAjayi, didn’t participate. Was once he no longer invited or did he make a decision to shun the invitation?

Then again, when the chips in spite of everything settled, he proved that he used to be no pushover. He garnered an outstanding 657 vote tally, which used to be, except for the eventual winner, greater than what six different aspirants cumulatively polled.

As for Eyitayo Jegede, the winner of the main election, he used to be a learn about in comportment. Together with his face masks on all over the evening (possibly the one probably the most aspirants to so religiously follow this protocol), he betrayed no noticeable feelings despite the fact that the face masks hid his facial expressions.

The gang erupted as soon as his tally crossed Agboola’s 657 mark that used to be the main ranking however Jegede, the previous Lawyer-Basic and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo, refused to sign up for the social gathering that started to sing and dance. Together with his legs crossed and one hand to his chin, he listened attentively till the general ranking pegged his general haul at 888 votes.

It used to be very refreshing when Dr. Bode Ayorinde, Senator Boluwaji Kunlere and Leader Adebanji Okunomo took turns to congratulate Jegede ahead of the formal announcement of the consequences by way of the Enugu governor.

The Akure contest provides the PDP a glimpse into the cohesion and team spirit {that a} credible intra-party election can create between contenders and their fans. Gov. Ugwuanyi has, thus, laid a workable template for the opposition social gathering to undertake in its long term primaries.

Now, the level is about for Akeredolu and Jegede to move at it once more on October 10, 2020. Each Senior Advocates of Nigeria slugged it out in 2016. 4 years after, right here comes any other alternative for the folk of Ondo State to make a decision, and it continues to be noticed who will blink first.

•Ugwoke, a former newspaper editor, lined the Ondo State PDP governorship number one

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