By Sakin Babalola, Ibadan
Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR, was on Monday elected the Ondo State governorship candidate of the Ali Modu Sherif’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 26 gubernatorial election in the state.
The Igbotako-born business mogul and politician emerged victorious with 502 votes in the gubernatorial primaries election conducted at the Banquet Hall, Premier hotel, Ibadan, with the other aspirant, Hon. Olusola Ebiseni, scoring 41 votes.
Leaders of the party present at the event attended by mammoth delegates from Ondo State include the National Vice Chairman, South West, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, South-West Secretary, Chief Pegba Otemolu and Senator Remi Okunriboye.
Dr Ibrahim was among the five aspirants who jostled for the gubernatorial ticket. Other contenders were: Hon. Ebiseni, Hon. Bamiduro Dada, Hon. Niran-Sule Akinsuyi and Mrs. Abiye Ademoyegun.
Three of the aspirants, Ademoyegun, Dada and Akinsuyi, withdrew from the race and declared their support for Dr. Ibrahim before the election commenced.
The three aspirants expressed their determination to work with Dr Ibrahim, towards taken the Sunshine State to an enviable height.
It was only the former commissioner for Local Government under the administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Ebiseni, who decided to contest the election.
After much delay all through the night, the electoral committee headed by Alhaji Ahmed Gulak commenced the process at around 6.48am with accreditation of the 801 delegates from the 18 local government areas in the state.
Other members of the electoral committee include Shetima Shehu, Chief Tunji Akinosi, Elder Layi Falaju, Mala Sheriff, OzoUchechukwu Ngwu, Bimbo Balogun, Prince Poroye Bill Biyi, Ikenna Nnajioffor,Lawan Gana Karasuwa and the secretary of the committee, Bernand Mikko.
Immediately after accreditation, each aspirant was given three minutes to present their manifesto to the delegates and it was at that point that the three aspirants withdrew their participation from the election and duly supported Dr. Ibrahim.
And in the election which lasted over two hours, Dr. Ibrahim polled 502 votes to win the election which processes commenced on Sunday night while 17 votes were declared invalid.
As the Chairman of the electoral committee announced the result, the hall erupted with celebrations as delegates expressed their joy over the eventual completion of the primary election.
While announcing the result, Alhaji Gulak said Ibrahim emerged winner after an open primary election conducted in accordance with the constitution of the party.
He said: “Jimoh Ibrahim has emerged the winner after an open and organised gubernatorial election before all the official delegates of PDP in Ondo State. This is internal democracy in action, we have not asked any delegate to vote for anybody or write the name of a particular candidate for the delegates.
“No governor has written a name for the delegates. We are law abiding representatives of the party. The delegates and the candidates will be presented with the copy of the result. We won’t change the name of the winner on the way to Abuja.”
Delivering his acceptance speech after the election, Dr Ibrahim promised to create jobs and make youth empowerment a priority if he wins the governorship race.
He stated that he would see to the improvement of the educational development of the state.
Dr Ibrahim said: “I will only occupy one seat in Ondo State and that is the position of the governor of the state by God’s grace after the governorship election, the rest belong to the people.
“I have managed over 8,000 workers, 16 companies and have two national honours. And when you talk of integrity, I have first class integrity. Anything Mimiko is not acceptable. He has collected over N1trillion and has destroyed Ondo State with one trillion suffering.
“I will create jobs and make educational meaningful by introducing school system to prepare a new standard future for our children.”
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