As Ondo State prepares for the 2016 governorship election, to replace the incumbent Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have settled for Sen. Ajayi Boroffice as their party’s candidate, Ripples Nigeria has gathered.
The large number of aspirants in the APC numbering almost 30 at the last count, may naturally present a herculean task in choosing a formidable candidate to confront any contender presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which is the ruling party in the state.
However, feelers from the state indicate that there are just two frontline aspirants for the APC ticket. They are the candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Rotimi Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA and one time Attorney General of the State.
The other is Boroffice, a two term Senator, and current Senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
Though both aspirants possess intimidating CVs, sources close to the APC say the party hierarchy may have settled for Senator Boroffice, a professor of Zoology.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the leadership of the party in the state and the Southwest may have thrown their weight behind the ambition of Boroffice, who was edged out of the race in 2012 after the leadership of the then ACN picked Akeredolu ahead of him.
The candidature of Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, is believed to have robbed the ACN of victory in the 2012 election that returned Governor Mimiko for a second term in office.
A source, close to the inner circle of the APC, confided in Ripples Nigeria that a prominent leader of the party from the Southwest, has endorsed Prof. Boroffice and has actually taken steps to empower him financially for the prosecution of his governorship ambition.
If the endorsement is true, as the source said, then the governorship contest may be an interesting one between Boroffice and the candidate of the PDP, and by extension, Governor Mimiko.
Both Mimiko and Borofice were members of the Labour Party, LP, in the state and were elected as governor and senator on the party’s platform. They have always belonged to the same political family until they parted ways before the 2012 re-election of Mimiko.
Both men claim to be friends despite now belonging to different political families.
Aside the above, political pundits in the state believe the serving Senator possesses all it takes to take on the incumbent governor on account of his popularity, acceptance and political network across the state. A network he is said to have from his days in the LP.
That both Boroffice and Akeredolu hail from the same senatorial district, Ondo North, makes the race for the APC ticket interesting. While Borofice hails from the Akoko axis, Akeredolu is from Owo.
However, Borofice is believed to have a major voter numerical strength above Akeredolu as his Akoko axis boasts of four local government areas while Owo has just two.
Another major factor that may have tilted the thinking of the APC leaders against the former ACN candidate is the fact that he was roundly defeated in his Owo hometown by Governor Mimiko in the 2012 election.
But against all odds and the presence of another political heavyweight, Senator Bode Olajumoke in the race and the obsession of the state government to stop his re-election at all cost, Boroffice won a return ticket to the Senate in the 2015 general elections on the platform of the APC.
He had decamped from the LP in December, 2011, to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, a legacy party of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
This, no doubt attests to his acceptability among his people and, by extension, the state in general, which the APC chieftain may have taken into serious consideration in throwing his weight behind him.
As the November poll date draws closer, no doubt, as with elections in the country, the intrigues and horse plays would soon start to unfold, especially in the choice of candidature y the major parties.
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