The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a provisional list of candidates for the Ondo governorship election.

INEC released the list early on Friday, July 31, 2020, noting that no woman is heading a ticket of any of the 17 parties participating in the October 10 election.

Incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, 64, will hope to clinch a second term in office on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), just like he did four years ago.

His main challenger is expected to be 59-year-old Eyitayo Jegede, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was runner-up in the 2016 election.

The youngest candidate on the list is 40-year-old Rotimi Adeleye Akindejoye, the flag bearer of the Accord party; while 67-year-old Joshua Oluwafemi Adewole of the Action Alliance (AA) is the oldest.

INEC also listed Adeleye Adekunle Peter of the African Action Congress (AAC), Adelegan Adedapo Oluwaseyi of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Martin Kunle Olateru-Olagbegi of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Olowoloba Dele of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and Aminu Akeem Olanrewaju of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

Other candidates who will participate in the election are Adesanya Olaoluwa of the Action Peoples Party (APP), Okunade Taiwo of the Labour Party (LP), Ojajuni Joseph Eniola of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Funmilayo Jenyo Ataunoko of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), and Babatunde Francis Alli of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

Also listed are Fasua Peter Oyeleye of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ojon Dotun of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), and Benjamin Jairus Olarotimi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

Of all 17 deputy governorship candidates on the list, only three are women. One of them, NRM’s 35-year-old Mafimisebi Adetutu, is the youngest.

Parties have until August 18 to withdraw or replace a candidate on the ballot before INEC releases a final list for the public.

This could pave the way for incumbent deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, to sneak on the ballot in the last minutes.

Ajayi dumped the APC to contest for the governorship seat, but he lost the PDP’s ticket to Jegede in last week’s primary election.

He’s rumoured to be considering another jump to the ZLP and could replace Olarotimi on the ballot if he finalises the move.

Ajayi’s appearance on the ballot could add some interesting edge to an election expected to be keenly-contested between Akeredeolu and Jegede.

The election will take place in all of Ondo’s 18 local government areas with over 1.8 million registered voters.

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