AHEAD of the governorship election in Ondo State, the immediate former Commissioner for Justice and the State Attorney General, Eyitayo Jegede, on Monday emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard-bearer for the forthcoming election in the state.
Jegede who defeated the former Senior Special Adviser to Governor Olusegun Mimiko on Political matters, Hon Saka Lawal, during the primary held at the International Event Centre (DOME) in Akure, polled a total of 760 votes to defeat Saka who polled 22 votes.
Accreditation of the 840 voters drawn from the 203 wards across the state commenced around 8am while the voting and counting of votes was supervised by the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, who declared Jegede as the winner of the contest.
While announcing the result, Dickson commended the delegates, saying there was no winner or loser in the contest but said the result of the election showed the unity within the party in the state which remains the strength of PDP.
The chairman of the electoral committee who handed the copies of the result to the representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), urged the party leadership in the state and the other aspirant to ensure unity in the party and work together to win the governorship election in November.
Responding after his defeat, Saka assured the party leadership and members of the party of his readiness to work hand in hand with Jegede and stressed the need to bring back some of the leaders who defected to other parties into the party’s fold.
He said “I am assuring you that Saka Lawal will remain in PDP, I will join hands with other leaders for genuine and true reconciliation to bring some of our leaders on the other side on board because we still have a lot to do to win this election. What is paramount before us is for the party to win the November 26 governorship election.
“I will be consulting with all my political friends and within the next one week we will come up with a statement on the way forward for PDP in Ondo State, I thank you all and God bless you.”
In his acceptance speech, Jegede who thanked the delegates and party members for the confidence reposed in him, promised to build on the legacies of governor Mimiko, he also promised to focus mostly on the development of the state economy as a way out of the present economic situation.
Jegede, who said “there is no victor, and there is no vanquish, we are all winners because this is purely a family matter within the PDP and we will continue to build bridges of friendship between our people.
“We will continue to open our doors for those who are genuinely interested in reconciliation. The PDP is a big party and for others who are on the other side it is between light and darkness. PDP is the light and we have seen it in the last one year.”
He however offered himself to serve and promised to consolidate on the previous and present administration, saying “my administration will focus on economy, economy and economy and that is the only way out we can continue to develop our infrastructures, unemployment and to overcome our challenges.
“This indeed is challenges to all of us. The economy is dwindling every day. The price of diesel has gone up from N135 per litre to N200 per litre. So is the price of bread, so is the price of rice. It is now time to talk about economy, economy and economy by that, our people will be happy and build prosperity for our state.”
Mimiko, while congratulating the party and the standard-bearer, said the success of yesterday is a road to victory in the November 26 governorship election, saying that “we will not only beat APC in the election but we will beat them big in Ondo State.”