Ondo 2020: Crisis brews in PDP over delegate list
• Deputy governor allege of bribing Ad Hoc• Allegation laughable -Ajayi
A fresh crisis seems to be brewing in the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over claims by some members that some leaders of the party are planning to doctor the names of delegates for the primary election of the party.
Some party members in the early hours of Friday, protested at Heritage Hotel, venue of the PDP Ad Hoc results computation, alleging the State Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, of attempting to bribe the panel to replace the names of the delegates across the 203 wards in the state.
The members who are supporters of some of the aspirants also alleged the State Caretaker Chairman, Engr Clement Faboyede and his Committee members of colluding with Ajayi to manipulate the delegate list in order to provide leverage for the deputy governor in the forthcoming gubernatorial primaries of the party.
The protesters who vowed to resist any manipulation called the National leadership of the party to call the state leaders to order to avoid losing the next governorship election in the state.
One of the protesters who spoke with Saturday Tribune alleged that the deputy governor had offered a sum of N8m to the Committee to substitute the names of delegates.
He explained that some members of Ajayi’s campaign team were seen at the venue with some of the members of the Election panel while other aspirants were locked out.
In a reaction, the PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Zadok Akintoye, who confirmed the protest, said he could not authenticate the allegations against Agboola.
Akintoye said “ I didn’t see the Deputy governor at the event but i saw three other aspirants and I know the party will react at an appropriate time.
“ I can tell you that I did not at any point in time see Mr Agboola Ajayi at the venue of the collation centre. That is not to say he was not there, but I didn’t see him.
I only met three of our aspirants, that’s, Eyitayo Jegede, Sola Ebiseni and Senator Boluwaji Kunlere. Those we’re the three aspirants I met.
I was aware of all this brouhaha but I don’t have any details, neither can I confirm whether it is true or otherwise. ”
But one of the aspirants said some aspirants were at the venue to ensure that the process was free and fair and to ensure that no one takes undue advantage of the process
He explained that the panel listened to the complaints and fears of some party members and said “everything was resolved around 3 am and it was agreed that the list will be looked into and given final authority by the Chairman of the party this morning.
“The committee was saddled with the supervision of the congress for the purpose of electing three ad hoc delegates per ward to join the statutory delegates. I am not aware of crisis but I am aware that all stakeholders are vigilant to ensure that the process was not compromised.”
However, the Deputy Governor has described the allegations as not only laughable and false but an attempt to blackmail the members of the committee who are in the state for the compilation of the Adhoc delegates’ list for the July 20, 2020 party primary
While reacting to the allegations, the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Mr Babatope Okeowo, said Ajayi and his Campaign organisation members were never at the Heritage hotel to bribe the Committee as alleged
Okeowo however, noted that “the Deputy Governor has become the nightmare of his political adversaries within PDP and their allies in the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in the state because of his political capital and rising acceptance popularity.
“For purposes of clarity and unsuspecting members of the public who may be hoodwinked in this celebrate falsehood, the Deputy Governor never visited the venue of the Congress. Not even when all the aspirants were invited on 9th July 2020.
“We, therefore, urge the general public and committed members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) to disregard in its entirety these panicking measures employed by the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN and his allies in the PDP to pull down the Deputy Governor at all cost.
“It is highly embarrassing and disgraceful that some PDP gubernatorial aspirants could descend so low to telling lies that the Deputy Governor and his campaign team were in the hotel at night to bribe members of the committee.
“Let the general public know that the Deputy Governor, the Director-General of his re-election campaign, Dr Kola Ademujimi and other members of the Campaign Team were in their respective houses sleeping when the phantom protest was said to have been carried out.
According to Okeowo, Ajayi has said repeatedly that he is not desperate for PDP’s ticket but would make himself available for party members among the array of qualified aspirants of the party seeking the ticket of the party for October 10, 2020 governorship election.
“The Deputy Governor and members of the Pre-election campaign committee are not deterred by this baseless and wicked lie being told about his person and that of his election team,” he said