Following the refusal of the Ondo State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede to accept the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi as his running mate, five PDP governors were said to have backed Ajayi to run on the platform of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Jegede’s refusal to accept Ajayi as his running mate, it was gathered may not be unconnected to PDP’s 2023 presidential slot.
It was leant some PDP top politicians in the state had prevailed on Jegede to retain Ajayi as his running mate, instead of allowing him to defect to ZLP, which can affect the electoral fortunes of the party.
The PDP leaders also pointed out to Jegede that based on the fact that Ajayi controls nine members in state House of Assembly, it will be a great advantage for him to win the state in the forthcoming governorship poll in the state.
They also drummed it to the ears of Jegede the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress(APC) gave to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu ahead of the poll which had added more bite to Akeredolu’s campaign in the state.
They said that based on these, Jegede should see the reasons to pick Ajayi as his running mate. But Jegede refused to see all these reasons from their perspectives. This development, it was gathered, has led to cracks in the state chapter of the PDP.
The five governors, it was gathered, had attempted to use the primaries to stop Jegede from becoming the party’s candidate.
It was gathered that their plot is to divide PDP’s votes and stop Atiku from producing a governor in the Southwest for his 2023 presidential ambition.
According to a report by a Lagos based national newspapers, the five PDP governor were dissatisfied with the outcome of the PDP primary.
The report said the PDP governors allegedly instructed the deputy governor to open talks with the leadership of ZLP in the state.
“They have made commitments to bankroll Ajayi’s governorship bid, if he secures ZLP’s ticket. Penultimate Friday, Ajayi met with ZLP’s national leader and former governor of Ondo state, Olusegun Mimiko, where discussions held on the deal to concede the governorship ticket to Ajayi. “Precisely, last Tuesday, Ajayi was said to have dispatched a chartered aircraft to convey the former governor to Abuja, ostensibly to firm up arrangements with both the NWC of ZLP as well as the five PDP governors backing Ajayi,” the report, quoting sources, said.
“We are good to go and bounce back as a political family. It is true that our boss met some powerful forces who asked if there was enough war chest to prosecute this battle and our oga (boss) told them he could raise N10 billion for the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state.
“It was at the meeting in Abuja with the five PDP governors that it was revealed that the current political drama in Ondo State PDP was all about the 2023 presidential ticket. “These governors, led by their colleagues from the Northwest and Southsouth, also vowed to stop Atiku from clinching the PDP ticket and one of their grand plans was to stop Jegede from becoming the governor of Ondo State,” the report added.