LAGOS– The plans of the Ondo State Deputy governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, to resign from Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s cabinet and contest the 2020 gubernatorial election on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been generating ripples in the opposition party.
Ajayi was said to have commenced negotiations with the leadership of the PDP in the state and at the National level, but all his efforts to convince and persuade the PDP aspirants to drop their aspiration ahead the party primaries met a brick wall.
An aspirant of the PDP who spoke in confidence confirmed that Ajayi had met with him and some other aspirants over his ambition but said many of the aspirants refused to drop their ambition for him.
Most of the aspirants said it is rather too late to drop their ambition at this hour for Ajayi and would prefer to go into the contest and lose than to withdraw the deputy governor.
He disclosed that Ajayi has the backing of some national leaders of the party who assured him of their support, urging him to throw his hat into the ring.
He said “I can confirm to you that Ajayi has been talking to us on his plans to contest the next governorship election on the PDP platform, but we have made him see reasons why we can not abandon our aspiration at this hour.
“There is no doubt that Agboola is a big fish but he cannot secure the party’s ticket without participating in the party primaries.
“We have advised him to join the party and keep mobilising for the party for the 2023 election.
“We have also offered him the senatorial slot, but he should forget being the sole aspirant in the primary election. I can confirm to you that he’s talking to us”
Meanwhile, the Ondo state chapter of the PDP has denied striking any political deal with the state deputy governor, ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state, maintaining that Agboola is not a member of the party.
In a statement issued and signed by the party’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Zadok Akintoye, who described the rumour over the alleged deal as a plan to destabilise the party ahead of the election, by some elements in the state.
The party however, said Agboola is free to join the party at anytime and contest for any elective position, saying the doors of the party are open for anyone willing to join the fold.
Akintoye said “the party acknowledged the right of His Excellency Mr. Agboola Ajayi and of all members of the public wishing to join our fold and would accord all intending members and aspirants a warm reception as we work together to liberate our dear state from the maladministration of the APC government.
“But the PDP remains absolutely committed to the principles and ethos of democracy and all intending members are expected to fully register at their ward and also participate in all party activities.
He assured all the aspirants in the forthcoming primaries of the party that “the party does not have a preferred candidate and will ensure level playing field to all aspirants or intending aspirant.
“We once again assure all aspirants and members of the party that the information as contained in the report is not true neither does it reflect the position of the state and national office.
“As it has been clearly stated by the State Caretaker Chairman, Engr. Clement Faboyede, no aspirant shall be shut out of the process for picking a candidate as the party has concluded plans to guaranty free, fair, transparent and all-inclusive primaries as is the established custom of our party”
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