The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State has explained why it picked a former commissioner in the state, Prince John Ola Mafo, as the running mate to its governorship candidate, Mr Eyitayo Jegede
The party noted that having considered some key party members, it found that Mafo had an edge over the others during the selection process.
Speaking during a radio programme in Akure, the party’s Director of Publicity, Mr Ayo Fadaka, said the emergence of Mafo who is from the Ilaje ethnic stock in the South Senatorial district, was the result of a careful selection process undertaken by the party leaders.
He said of Mafo: “He’s been a steadfast party member, he’s capable, he has the psychological temperament that will complement our candidate and he is a loyal party member.”
He said it was normal for other party members to have shown interest in the position, but that the emergence of Mafo had come with widespread acceptance.
“It is not that the others who contested with him did not merit the exalted position, but the party elders considered some factors that gave him an edge,” Fadka stated.
“Nobody can say people like Johnson Ogunyemi, Mrs Banke Sutton, Mr. Ibine and others who showed interest in the position are not eminently qualified. But there must have been an aspect in the issue, when put on the table, that gave Mafo an edge.”
He added that the party opted to pick its deputy governorship candidate from the South district because the incumbent and his immediate predecessor are from the North district, stressing that the North district would still have a fair share in the Eyitayo Jegede administration, once elected.
Speaking in the same vein, the party’s state publicity secretary, Mr. Banji Okunomo, said Mafo’s experience gave him an edge.
“He had been chairman, Ilaje Local Government, Commissioner for Youth and Sports and later Information, and currently, he is the Chairman of Ondo State Football Agency; and in all these capacities, he performed very well.