The level of uncertainty over Saturday’s governorship election is made evident by the outcome of an opinion poll by renown pollster- NOI Polls, showing that there are more undecided voters than those sure to cast their ballots for Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Olusola the Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
While a total 97 per cent of eligible voters have Permanent Voter Card (PVC) in the state, 69 per cent or seven in every ten say they are most certain to vote.
Akeredolu and Oke, according to the poll, are the most popular candidates poised to replace outgoing Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the Alagbaka Government House in Akure, the state capital.
While the public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls showed a close race between Rotimi Akeredolu, with 24 per cent and Olusola Oke, with a 1 percent point less, the number of undecided voters stood at 29 per cent.
The poll was conducted in the week beginning November 14, 2016 to measure the level of preparedness of Ondo State residents for Saturday’s election also shows that a clear winner will be determined by how many of the undecided voters change their stance before the election proper. It also shows that the election remains open to any of the other candidates, should they succeed in swaying the undecided voters.
The poll’s outcome shows seaming voter apathy for Jimoh Ibrahim, candidate of the state’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This could also explain the high percentage of undecided voters, may not be unconnected with the dissatisfaction court ruling that the Independent Electoral Commission Commission (INEC) recognises Ibrahim of the Ali Modu-Sheriff PDP faction, instead of Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi faction, originally recognised by the umpire.
According to NOI, “interestingly, respondents also mentioned two candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with Eyitayo Jegede (11%) trending ahead of the candidate currently listed by INEC, Jimoh Ibrahim (7%).
“Other candidates mentioned include Olu Agunloye (4%) and Francis Adeyemi Alao (2%) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) respectively,” a statement by NOIPoll said.
Oke, according to the statement is seen as a consolation candidate swinging support across party lines, especially from the PDP where most supporters of Jegede say they would cast their votes in favour of AD candidate, if the party does not resolve its internal crisis.
Specifically, the poll showed that while Akeredolu has significant support in Ondo North senatorial district (36%); Oke has more support in the Central senatorial district (24%), even as more male voters prefer the AD (27%). Female voters are leaning towards Akeredolu (24%).
“The poll also showed that 93 percent eligible voters in the state are registered to vote in the coming election, and 92 percent of this proportion disclosed that they have their permanent voters’ card (PVC).”