Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has picked Lucky Ayedatiwa as his running mate for the Ondo Governorship Election.

Ayedatiwa, 55, is a former representative of the state on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Lucky Ayedatiwa [Tribune]
Lucky Ayedatiwa [Tribune]

A women's group in the governor's All Progressives Congress (APC) had begged him on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 to pick a female running mate, lamenting that women have always been shut out from higher political positions.

However, the governor announced his choice of Ayedatiwa in a Twitter post on Wednesday, July 28, a week after he won the APC's ticket to contest for a second term in office.

Akeredolu described Ayedatiwa as the 'appropriate choice' during the swearing-in of new aides on Wednesday.

"This person has been with us since the beginning of this political journey in 2012.

"In arriving at this choice, some important factors assisted the leaders of this great party.

"We have decided to sever ties with mediocrity and treachery," he said.

The governor started his first term with Agboola Ajayi as his deputy, but Ajayi dumped the APC in June after he expressed his desire to contest for the governor's seat.

Even though attempts to impeach him have stalled, Ajayi lost his chance to contest in the election after Eyitayo Jegede beat him in the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week.

Although the October 10 election will be contested by a total of 17 candidates, it is expected to be keenly contested between Akeredolu and Jegede who lost the same election four years ago.

When he won the PDP's ticket last week, Jegede said he's best-placed to take over from the incumbent governor.

"By the grace of God, with the assistance of the people, and the support of party members and all the aspirants, we will take over the government of Ondo State on October 10," he said.

Eyitayo Jegede is Governor Akeredolu's main challenger [Twitter/@TayoJegedeSAN]
Eyitayo Jegede is Governor Akeredolu's main challenger [Twitter/@TayoJegedeSAN]

While speaking on Monday, July 27, Akeredolu said he's confident of victory over Jegede, although he admitted that it might be tough.

He said, "I don't have anything against him and I just prayed that our campaign should be issue-based without violence, and I know that he knows that it will not be easy for him.

"Yes, it may not be easy for me to win, but by His Grace, I am going to win."

The governor also said Ajayi's defection to the PDP will not affect his chances at the polls.