Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has clinched the All Progressives Congress ticket for Oyo South Senatorial District in the primary election conducted by the Chief Ademola Seriki-led electoral panel.
He defeated Dr. Fola Akinosun by 2,659 to 168 votes, to seek a return to the Red Chamber, where he represented the state between 2003 and 2007 under the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD).
Announcing the result in the early hours of Wednesday, Seriki said that the exercise, which started around 6:30pm, was delayed due the late arrival of voting materials from the national headquarters of the party in Abuja.
The Oyo South senatorial district spans nine local government areas, which are Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa Central, Ido, Ibadan North, Ibadan South-East, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan North-East and Ibadan North-West.
Addressing journalists after being declared the winner, the governor applauded the electoral committee for what he called the hitch-free and smooth conduct of the exercise, despite the earlier delay.
Ajimobi said, “I look forward to going back to the Red Chamber to contribute my quota to the national debate and the progress of the nation. I wish to bring to fore my parliamentary experience to grow a Nigeria that the next generation will be proud of.
“The process has just started today (yesterday) with my emergence as the candidate of our great party. The people of Oyo South Senatorial district should expect greater performance from me at the Senate, which will even surpass my unprecedented achievements as governor by the grace of God.
“As you have all witnessed, the election was free, fair and transparent. I was even happy that my younger brother, Dr. Fola Akinosun, could score as high as 168 votes. I think he tried. And you can see that it was transparent and I am happy about it.”
Akinosun who was present at the beginning of the exercise left the venue for undisclosed reasons before the final collation of the results from the nine LGs.
He had earlier promised to abide by the results of the primary on the condition that it was free and fair, adding that he decided to throw his hat into the ring as a free citizen and qualified member of the APC, irrespective of the stature of his co-contestant.
Akinosun added, “This election is not about life. It is about representation and should not be by force. I promise to accept the outcome of the polls and that is if the due diligence is done. We are in the same party and we shall not allow internal election to create crisis in our party.”
Also addressing delegates after announcing the results, Seriki described the exercise as another successful primary that the committee had conducted, having also taken charge of the governorship primary that produced Chief Adebayo Adelabu, on Sunday.
He said, “You heard what happened in some states that conducted the same exercise. Some were not as successful as Oyo State and I give the credit to the aspirants and the entire members of this great party for making this exercise worthwhile.
“I salute the calmness and maturity of the aspirants that have so far participated in the primaries, from Sunday’s governorship primary and today’s Senate primary. We look forward to further cooperation of all stakeholders in the remaining primaries.”