Ahead of the November 26, 2016
governorship election in Ondo State, the
state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr.
Kayode Akinmade, has said the Peoples
Democratic Party will pick its candidate
based on competence and without
considering the zone where such a
candidate comes from.
Akinmade said there was no agitation for
zoning in the party, stressing that the PDP
in Ondo State had no history of picking its
governorship candidates based on zoning.
A statement made available to our
correspondent on Sunday quoted
Akinmade as saying this in Akure at the
weekend.
Going down memory lane, the
commissioner recalled that what had
always been important to the Ondo PDP
was “the extraordinary quality in the
personality of a candidate.”
He said, “If you go into history, between
1999 and 2012, all the candidates of the
PDP in those elections had been coming
from a particular zone and at that time we
never thought of zoning.
“In 1999 when the late Adebayo Adefarati
wanted to contest election, the late Dr.
Olusegun Agagu contested against him;
the people of Ondo State voted for
Adefarati. They did not vote for Adefarati
because he was from Akungba-Akoko in
Ondo North senatorial district; they voted
for him because he was central to the
agitation for the emancipation of Nigeria
from the military junta in Ondo State. He
was a leader of the Afenifere in Ondo
State. He was voted because he was vocal
and was able to achieve a lot in
galvanising the people towards a common
goal.
“In 2003, he also stood for election with
the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu from Ondo
South. At that time, Dr. Agagu won the
election. Dr. Agagu did not win the
election because he was from the
southern senatorial district of the state.
“He won the election because of the
political structure of that time. In 2007,
the same re-contested election with some
other people from other zones.
“You will recall that Prince Ademola
Adegoroye from Akure contested the
election and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko from
Ondo contested the election. It was not
based on any primordial sentiment.
“At that election, Dr. Mimiko won and he
was rigged out. But thank God, he got his
mandate back through the judiciary.
People voted for Dr. Mimiko in 2007 not
because he is from Ondo, they voted for
him because of what he has consistently
stood for in terms of progressive politics.
They voted for him because he has used
the instrumentality of government to
better the lot of the people of Ondo State.
They voted for him because he has
pedigree.”
Akinmade said the aim of the PDP in
Ondo State was to present a candidate
that would unify Ondo State rather than
one with ethnic, linguistic or primordial
sentiments.