Ondo State will elect a new governor on Saturday. PREMIUM TIMES has written a series of reports on issues and activities related to the election in the state. This newspaper has also published analyses on what may shape the outcome of the election.
In this report, we highlight 20 notable things you should know about the oil-rich state in southwestern Nigeria.
1. Ondo State was created on February 3, 1976 by the military regime of Murtala Mohammed from the former Western State that currently constitutes the Southwest region aside from Lagos State.
2. The state has 18 local government areas, with its capital in Akure.
3. The name of the Government House in Akure is Alagbaka Government House.
4. The three senatorial districts in the state have equal number of local government areas. These are Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Akoko South-East, Akoko South-West, Akure North, Akure South, Ese Odo, Idanre, Ifedore, Ilaje, Ile Oluji/Okeigbo, Irele, Odigbo, Okitipupa, Ondo East, Ondo West, Ose and Owo.
5. There are nine federal constituencies in Ondo, meaning that the state elects nine members to the House of Representatives in Abuja. The constituencies are Akoko North East/Akoko North West, Akoko South East/Akoko South West, Akure North/Akure South, Ese-odo/Ilaje, Idanre/Ifedore, Ileoluji/Okeigbo/Odigbo, Okitipupa/Irele, Ondo East/Ondo West and Owo/Ose.
6. Ondo State has a total land area of 15,500 km2 (6,000 sq ml).
7. As of the last census in 2006, Ondo State had a population of 3,460,877.
8. The 18 local governments areas in Ondo have 203 electoral wards.
9. Ondo State borders Ekiti State in the north, Kogi State in northeast, Edo in the east, Delta in the southeast, Ogun in the southwest and Osun in the northwest.
10. The state’s ethnic composition is largely of Yoruba subgroups of the Akoko, Akure, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo, and Owo peoples. Ijaw people, such as the Apoi, Furupagha and Arogbo, inhabit the coastal areas, and a sizeable number of people who speak a variant of the Yoruba language similar to the Ife dialect reside in Oke-Igbo.
11. Tertiary institutions in the state are Elizade University, Ilara Mokin; Federal University of Technology, Akure; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko; Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa; Achievers University, Owo; Wesley University of Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo; Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo; National Open University of Nigeria, Akure; University of Medical Sciences, Ondo;Federal Polytechnic, Ile Oluji; and Federal College of Agriculture, Akure.
12. The first democratic elected governor of the state was Adekunle Ajasin, who was elected in the Second Republic in 1979 and served until the end of that dispensation in December 1983. In the Fourth Republic, Adebayo Adefarati became the first elected governor of the state in 1999 and served one term till 2003. Since then Ondo has been governed by Olusegun Agagu, Segun Mimiko and incumbent Rotimi Akeredolu.
13. Some notable individuals from Ondo State are Adetokunbo Kayode, lawyer and politician; Mo Abudu, media mogul; Gani Adams, Yoruba nationalist and politician; Robert Ajayi Boroffice, politician; Olu Falae, politician; Sunny Adé, musician; Adebayo Adefarati, former governor; Ilesanmi Adesida, physicist; Akintunde Aduwo; former military governor of Western State, Olusegun Agagu, – former governor; Olusegun Mimiko, former governor; and Chinko Ekun, singer, rapper.
Others are Akintunde Akinwande, engineering professor; Yemi Alade, musician; Bamidele Aturu, late human rights activist; Akinyelure Patrick Ayo, banker, politician; Gani Fawehinmi, late author, lawyer and activist; Jimoh Ibrahim, lawyer, politician; T. B. Joshua, pastor; Boluwaji Kunlere, former senator; Micheal Ade-Ojo, business magnate; Bode Olajumoke, politician; Chris Olukolade, army general; Sola Sobowale, actress; Omoyele Sowore, political activist; Funmi Aragbaye, gospel music singer; Small Doctor, musical artist; Tayo Adenaike, painter; and Waje, musical artist.
14. Notable media outlets in the state are Orange 94.5FM, Adaba 88.9FM, Positive 102.5FM, Hope Newspaper, Breeze 91.9FM, Suncity Radio 101.1FM, OSRC TV, ALALAYE 96.5FM, Crest 88.7 FM, RUGIPO 103.3 FM, EMPIRE 104.5 FM, INSIDE FUTA, NIGERIAN TELEVISION AUTHORITY, REMDEL TELEVISION, Kàkàkí Òndó FM, KAFTAN TV, Eki Radio 100.9 FM and FUTA Radio.
15. The Saturday governorship election is a three-horse race among three lawyers from three different senatorial districts and three major political parties in the state.
16. The major candidates among the 17 announced by INEC are Rotimi Akeredolu, Eyitayo Jegede and Agboola Ajayi – candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) respectively.
17. The three major candidates are from three senatorial districts – Akeredolu – Ondo North, Jegede – Ondo Central and Ajayi – Ondo South.
18. Before now, the trio had served the state at different capacities. While Mr Akeredolu is the incumbent governor, Mr Ajayi is the incumbent deputy governor and Mr Jegede was former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
19. There are predictions by Civil Society Organizations that the election may be marred with violence especially in the riverine areas.
20. The three major candidates have signed a peace accord to avoid a violent crisis at the election.