Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo, says that defeating Eyitayo Jegede, the candidate of the people’s Democratic party (PDP), in the October 10 gubernatorial election may not be easy.
Akeredolu defeated Jegede, who was PDP candidate in the 2016 gubernatorial election.
Speaking to reporters at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after addressing the APC’s primary election appeal Committee in Abuja, Akeredolu, who called Jegede a friend, said he hoped their campaigns would be based on issues and without violence.
Jegede is my friend. We are colleagues and both members of the inner bar As, ” Akeredolu said.
“I have nothing against him and just pray that our campaign is based on issues without violence. I’m sure he knows it won’t be easy for him.
“Yes, it may not be easy for me to win, but, by his grace, I will win. I can assure you that it was so in the beginning, and it will be so now and forever. We will win this election by the grace of God.”
Asked if the defection of Agboola Ajayi, his deputy, to the PDP can affect his votes during the election, Akeredolu replied that Ajayi has no political influence and that he will even defeat him in his local government area.
Ajayi had defected to the PDP in June and had contested for the position of the flagbearer of the party but lost to Jegede.
Akeredolu described Ajayi’s exit from the ruling party as “good riddance to bad rubbish”.
He said the APC had thought they could accommodate the deputy governor but he decided to return to where he “truly belongs”.
He said as a “big brother”, he would advise Ajayi to give all his support to Jegede since the former had boasted that he helped him (Akeredolu) to become governor in 2016.
“For me, the deputy leaving the APC to return to the PDP is good radiance to bad rubbish,” Akeredolu said.
“We thought we could accommodate him at the APC but since he returned to where he truly belongs, it is all well and good. I always wish people the best I can.
“From what I have been told, he has lost the ticket and I pray he won’t jump to another place but if he does, all well and good.
“However, for his own sake and as a big brother, I will advise him to stay with Jegede, support him very well.
“He made a case that he helped me win, let him help him win, and we will confirm that he is popular. All I know is that it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t have any influence on local government. I can assure you that by coming in during the election, I will defeat him in his local government, and he will never recover from it.”