Ondo State Governor-elect Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his deputy Ajayi Agboola yesterday received their certificates of return from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Akeredolu was accompanied to INEC headquarters in Akure, the state capital, by his wife, Betty.
Present at the event were All Progressives Congress (APC) State Chairman Isaac Kekemeke, his deputy, Ade Adetimehin, former Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi, Director-General of Akeredolu’s campaign Victor Olabimtan, Femi Agagu, Kehinde Henry Bello, Oladunni Odu and others.
Akeredolu said: “It is a victory for the people of Ondo State, irrespective of which side of the divide you stood during the election.
“For me, it is a call to service and a challenge to perform. Although we have different views before the election but today, as members of one strong, vibrant and indivisible Ondo family, we are united and resolute with one single objective to save our beloved state.
“I cannot thank enough, my fellow compatriots during this election, who had a separate conviction and voted elsewhere.
“They took the guts to answer the call of democracy to make a choice. I believe these resounding voices created this worthy moment, which is making this victory real and refreshing.
“With this new dawn, it is now time to rediscover and reinvent ourselves. It is time to find what we lost, to rescue this land and its people from the myriad of poverty and pains, which assail their lives.
“As patriots, it is now time to unite and revamp our fortunes. As governor, we will take deliberate and decisive steps to optically harness our potential for greatness, prosperity, peace and stability.”
The governor-elect praised INEC and security agencies for organizing what he described as “the most credible, transparent, free and fair election”.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Olusegun Agbaje denied rumours that APC colluded with INEC to rig the election.
“This is not only untrue, but highly embarrassing,” he said.
On why the election was not postponed despite request of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, Agbaje said there was no justification to do so.
He noted that it is unlikely West African Examinations Council (WAEC) will postpone its scheduled examinations, simply because a candidate was ill.