Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Ondo State, political activities in the Sunshine State are gaining momentum as various political parties gear up for their respective primaries.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier announced that parties’ primary in the state will be held from April 6-27, 2024.

Following the INEC timetable, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) fixed its governorship primary election for Saturday, April 20, 2024, while the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) plans to hold its primary election on Thursday, April 25.

Meanwhile, potential candidates from both APC and PDP are making strategic moves to secure their party’s ticket and become the flag bearer.

Here’s a closer look at some prominent aspirants to watch out for in this high-stakes political race as the APC and PDP head into their primaries.


Lucky Aiyedatiwa

Political analysts are predicting the most likely aspirants to emerge the APC flag bearer at the party’s Ondo 2024 primary election scheduled to hold on 20 April and the Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has continued to top the list in those predictions.

Born in Obe-Nla, Ondo State, on January 12, 1965, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa is a seasoned Nigerian businessman and politician. He acceded to the governorship seat on December 27, 2023 following the passing of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, whom he served as deputy governor from 2021 to 2023. Aiyedatiwa’s political journey began in 2011 as a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which later merged into the All Progressives Congress (APC).

With his incumbency advantage as the sitting governor, Aiyedatiwa is a frontrunner for the APC ticket. His strategic engagements include grassroots campaigns and seeking endorsements from fellow governors and national figures like President Bola Tinubu.

Despite some reservations regarding his tenure’s impact on Ondo South Senatorial District, Aiyedatiwa remains a formidable contender, leveraging his experience and network to rally support. Meanwhile, the governor has continued to grow support from various groups in the state, including youths and elders.

Jimoh Ibrahim

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim stands out as another influential figure eyeing the governorship seat. Representing Ondo South in the Senate, Ibrahim’s political acumen and constituency support bolster his candidacy. His two-term senatorial success reflects a strong grassroots backing, especially from Ondo South, advocating for equitable power distribution across the state.

Ibrahim’s campaign focuses on infrastructure, job creation, and modernized security measures, including an envisioned technology-driven Amotekun network. His strategic alliances with traditional rulers and civic groups amplify his candidacy’s appeal, positioning him as a seasoned leader capable of steering Ondo State forward.

Another factor at the senator’s advantage is the fact that he comes from Ondo South, a constituency that has been argued to be sidelined for too long. The people of Ondo South have continuously lamented the alleged sidelining of the constituency and called for fair rotation of power to their constituency in order to produce the next governor and Jimoh Ibrahim, as a today, is the most influential aspirant from Ondo South. Unlike the incumbent Governor Aiyedatiwa who may be limited to one tenure having helped complete the late Akeredolu’s tenure, Senator Ibrahim is not restrained by any means and has continued to express optimism in clinching the party’s ticket.

Wale Akinterinwa

Adewale Olumuyiwa Akinterinwa, a former finance commissioner in Ondo State, emerges as a significant contender backed by a strategic alliance with the late Governor Akeredolu.

The former commissioner is alleged to have been endorsed as Akeredolu’s successor. His popularity within the APC and across the state’s local government areas strengthens his bid as a very popular aspirant among members of the party across, including among members likely to constitute the delegate list if indirect primary is adopted.

Akinterinwa’s campaign emphasizes economic growth, leveraging his finance background to promise continued development. His recent relocation to Abuja to garner presidential support underscored his determination to secure victory. With endorsements from key stakeholders and a track record of fiscal accomplishments, Akinterinwa presents a compelling case for gubernatorial leadership.

It is also believed that all members of the party loyal to the late Governor Akeredolu will support Mr Akinteriwa as he is rumoured to be the ‘anointed candidate’ of the late governor.

Wale Akinteriwa is optimistic about his victory come next week Saturday and he is undeterred by Governor Ayedatiwa’s power of incumbency affecting his chances of clinching victory at the primaries.

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Agboola Ajayi

Agboola Ajayi has a background in politics, law, and business, having previously served as the deputy governor of Ondo State from 2017 to 2021. Ajayi, who hails from Kiribo Town in the Western Apoi tribe of the Ese Odo Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State, obtained a Bachelor of Law (LL.B) with Second Class Upper Division from Igbinedion University, Okada, in Edo State, and was called to the bar in 2010 after completing his legal education at the Nigerian Law School in Abuja.

The former deputy governor’s political journey in Ondo State shows a mix of ambition, strategic maneuvering, and alliances. His experience as a former deputy governor positions him well for this election and provides him with insight into state governance, which could be an advantage. However, his resignation from the APC and subsequent party-hopping may raise questions about his consistency and loyalty among party leaders and members.

Aligning with the Zenith Labour Party after leaving the APC, and later returning to the PDP, shows his ambition for the position of the number one seat in the state. While this flexibility could broaden his support base, it also opens him up to criticism regarding his principles and commitment to party ideology.

Ajayi’s success will rest on his ability to articulate a compelling vision for Ondo State’s future, address key issues affecting residents, and effectively communicate his plans for governance. Additionally, navigating the complex dynamics within the PDP and managing any lingering tensions from his previous party affiliations will be critical.

Ultimately, while Ajayi’s political background and experience position him as a formidable contender, his success will depend on how well he navigates the challenges ahead, builds coalitions, and resonates with voters across Ondo State.

Otunba Bamidele Akingboye (OBA)

Otunba Bamidele Akingboye (OBA) presents a unique candidacy for the Ondo State governorship, bringing to the table extensive experience in entrepreneurship and a vision that emphasizes the application of business principles to governance.

His nearly four decades of successful business ventures provide him with a strong foundation in strategic planning, innovation, and resource management, qualities that could potentially translate into effective leadership for the state.

OBA’s focus on developing Ondo State by leveraging its abundant natural resources and tapping into the potential of its people resonates with voters who are eager to see tangible progress and economic growth in the region. His commitment to giving back to the community further enhances his appeal, as it demonstrates a genuine connection to the needs and aspirations of the populace.

However, while OBA’s business acumen may be viewed as an asset, there could also be concerns about how effectively his private sector experience will translate to the public sector. Governance requires a different skill set than entrepreneurship, with its own set of challenges and complexities.

Sola Ebiseni

Chief Sola Ebiseni emerges as a formidable gubernatorial aspirant in Ondo State, boasting a rich tapestry of experience across law, politics, and public service. His extensive tenure as the former Chairman of Ilaje/Ese Odo Local Government Area and his multiple terms as commissioner in the state underscore his deep-rooted commitment to serving the people of Ondo.

Ebiseni’s track record as the pioneer Commissioner for Environment and later as Chairman of the state Law Commission highlights his capacity for leadership and his ability to navigate complex policy issues. His representation of the South-West region at the 2014 National Conference further solidifies his credentials on the national stage.

Beyond his political roles, Ebiseni’s advocacy for human rights and his involvement in the Afenifere socio-political organization demonstrate his dedication to advancing the interests of the Yoruba people and promoting justice and fairness.

His reputation as a principled and forthright individual, coupled with his integrity and commitment to truth, positions him as a candidate who is trusted by both the legal profession and the broader community. As the Secretary-General of Afenifere, he has been a steadfast voice for the values and aspirations of the Yoruba people.

However, while Ebiseni’s credentials and reputation may make him a compelling candidate, the political landscape in Ondo State is dynamic and competitive. He will need to navigate intra-party dynamics within the PDP.

Overall, Chief Ebiseni’s candidacy brings a wealth of experience, integrity, and dedication to public service to the forefront. His ability to leverage his diverse expertise and his strong ties to the community could position him as a frontrunner in the gubernatorial race, provided he can mobilize support and navigate the challenges ahead.


In all this, the people and residents of Ondo State are eagerly waiting and yearning to see candidates that will emerge from the APC, PDP and other political parties fielding candidates in the election, so as to enable them to make an informed decision on which candidate and political party to vote come November 16, 2024.