One of the advantages of the gladiators of old Greece is that open wars between reigning powers were quelled promptly and decisively. Time was in the old days when one man could fight another openly and be praised for it. Things are different now and democracy has lent its character to state affairs, giving leadership the responsibility to earn the approval of the common folk. This fact is even more evident in Ondo State today where, just ahead of the 2020 gubernatorial elections, no less than 20 individuals have offered to jostle for the governorship seat.
At present, the governor of Ondo State is none other than Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, repping the All Progressives Party (APC), who took over from Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party. This is he whom about 20 stalwart individuals have volunteered to replace, and so more than anybody else in the Nigerian league of sitting governors, probably, Akeredolu is on the front lines, under fire, and prepping for further surprises from adversaries within and without.
Nothing surprising about this onslaught from Akeredolu’s brothers and sisters. On the one hand, there is the position of First State Citizen to consider, a mouth-watering, belly-swelling, hair-greying calling to serve the good people of Ondo State. So, nothing personal; it’s just politics.
Some of the materialized and most notable of the Sunshine State gladiators for the governorship seat – flanking Governor Akeredolu himself – include Senator Ajayi Boroffice (APC), Olusola Oke (APC), Olusegun Abraham (APC), Sola Ebiseni (PDP), Moyosola Niran Oladunni (APC), Barrister Bode Ayorinde (PDP), Isaac Kekemeke (APC), and Eyitayo Jegede (PDP).
As an aside, Ondo State has always had a change of party leadership, as if the good folks of the State are sampling the ideologies of its most prominent political parties. From Adefararti’s AD, to Agagu’s PDP, to Mimiko’s Labour Party, and now Akeredolu’s APC. Another interesting bit to note is that the first two governors were only permitted the Seat for one term, and Mimiko was the first to chair the Sunshine State Seat for two terms. Two single steps, one double step, the foxtrot of Ondo State governorship. Does the suspended step of 2021-25 belong to Akeredolu, or one of the volunteering aspirants?