Allegations that the just concluded Ondo State governorship election was characterised by vote buying is attracting reactions from interested stakeholders; this time, legal luminary, Dr. Kayode Ajulo disclosed that the three major political parties competed to entice the electorate with money during the exercise.
The Independent National Electoral Committee on Sunday announced the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as the eventual winner of the election.
Speaking on the reports of widespread vote buying which was reported to be one of the major feature of the Ondo polls, Ajulo, a legal icon said that against the popular notion that the case of vote buying was only common to the APC, all parties, particularly the three leading ones were involved.
He disclosed that aside the APC, the main contender, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Zenith Labour Party ZLP similarly “tried in the game of outspending and overreaching one another.”
He further explained that the only difference was the financial strategy, wit and coordination of the political parties involved to facilitate this act.
Speaking on why the PDP failed to unseat the incumbent governor, Ajulo said that the party failed to be united in entering the election therefore negated its chances at winning.
According to the legal luminary, several governors of the Peoples Democratic Party also supported Barr. Agboola Ajayi of the ZLP who dumped the PDP after the party’s primary which he lost to Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP.
He went to further to explain that the PDP would have had a better shot at winning if the party flagbearer had emulated the tactic embraced by his APC counterpart who stoop to conquer by making peace with all his old and new adversaries.
He wondered why Jegede failed to be on the same page with his former principal and former Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko which he explained helped Akeredolu as the opposition went into the election with a cracked wall.
He piqued, ”Where are all state governors and national party leaders of the party, they even tried to beat up Ayodele Fayose during one of the campaign rallies.
He however commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for the peaceful conduct of the election and enjoined the body to strive to do better in subsequent elections.