Jimoh Ibrahim, the senator from Ondo South, claimed that the passing of Rotimi Akeredolu, the state’s previous governor, would increase his prospects of becoming Ondo’s next governor.
Ibrahim made this claim on Thursday in an interview with reporters in Akure.
The senator noted that Akeredolu’s death would not affect his chances but would rather increase the chance of winning the primary and governorship elections.
His remarks follow his announcement that he was prepared to run in the state’s next governorship election.
He said, “Maybe the death of Aketi has enhanced my chances because Aketi is a human being, he can be subjectively objective at the last minute. But now that he is no more, that possibility is written off completely. So whoever is there, wants to run for governor will meet me at the field.
“So Aketi’s death doesn’t affect my chances at all, but it would rather enhance my chances to win the governorship position of this state. So we are working seriously to win this election.
“Among the contestants, I am the oldest. I have contested elections twice in my lifetime, one of which I contested for the governorship position in 2003, and none of these contestants was on that ballot,” he said.
Furthermore, Ibrahim expressed optimism that there would be no imposition of a candidate from the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress and the Presidency.
The senator said President Bola Tinubu would allow a free and fair primary to enable the best candidate to emerge.
“The President will never say that we should go and work for the incumbent governor. He can only appeal that maybe he prefers one person if you can prefer him and if you cannot, go and do your election.
“So the President cannot say that I have taken this person, so all of you should go and sit down. Even Buhari, who is very clueless about anything, can never do that.”
He noted that economy and security were part of his cardinal programmes for the state, saying there was a need to empower the state Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun, with modern technology to enable it to combat criminals effectively.
“My programmes are very straightforward; we are to create moral efficiency and moral knowledge and make the body more efficient.
“We must also map Ondo State borders for a security network and then ensure that we will never have any cases of kidnapping, by making Amotekun a classic unique security outfit that will come with a good strategy to challenge any security issues in our state.
“So one of the areas we are looking at is to ensure that everybody in Ondo state can go to sleep with their eyes closed and that’s top most of our priority. Mapping every systems, the tactical operations of Amotekun have to come more distinct into technology, I want an Amotekun that is Information Technology informed because I have PhD in war, ” he said.
Numerous APC candidates have expressed interest in competing as the state’s major political parties get closer.
Other candidates besides Jimoh Ibrahim are the current governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; a former commissioner for finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa; a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Mayowa Akinfolarin; a former secretary to the state government, Mrs. Oladunni Odu (the only female candidate); a former APC candidate for governor, Chief Olusola Oke; Dr. Paul Akintelure; Brig-Gen Olamide Ohunyeye (retd), and more.
Remember that in December 2023, while receiving treatment in a German hospital for prostate cancer, Akeredolu, then 67 years old, passed away.
Akeredolu, who was born on July 21, 1956, completed his legal education at Obafemi Awolowo University, formerly known as the University of Ife, in 1977. In 1978, he received his bar admission.
The same day he passed away, the state’s acting governor at the time, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, took the oath of office as the official governor.
Prior to his passing, Akeredolu had given Aiyedatiwa authority by sending a letter to the state House of Assembly on December 13, 2023, directing him to take a medical leave of absence to Germany.
The event came about as a result of President Tinubu’s participation in the problem that arose after Akeredolu failed to transfer authority to his deputy upon his return to the nation from Germany in September.