Ripples in PDP, as Akeredolu’s deputy may resign this week

SPECULATIONS were rife at the weekend that the deputy governor of Ondo State, Honourable Agboola Ajayi, may resign from his office this week, amidst rising intrigues ahead party primaries.

Ajayi is believed to have concluded plans to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to allow him participate in the primary election of the PDP.

The deputy governor, according to one of the top aspirants in the opposition party,is believed to have obtained the nomination form of the PDP to enable him contest in the party’s primary.

The aspirant said intense pressure on most of the other contenders to drop their ambition was responsible for the lukewarm attitude of some PDP aspirants in paying for nomination and expression of interest forms.

According to multiples sources in the party, the latest permutation is to field the deputy governor as running mate of the candidate of the PDP in 2016,  Eyitayo Jegede.

But all the aspirants reportedly resisted the option, despite the initial belief that Ajayi had the necessary structure to win the election for the PDP.

There were speculations that he had agreed to run alongside Jegede, as running mate, but it was said to have triggered resistance from those who consider themselves as original members of the PDP.

The source said: “We are waiting for them as all their plans to pair Jegede and Agboola Ajayi is already on the card.Don’t forget that we all resisted the initial plan of the national leadership to give the deputy governor an automatic ticket.

“From what we are getting now, the same elements, who are bent on controlling our party from outside, want to bring Agboola on board at all cost. The question is: what is the reason for this desperation by Agboola. Here is a man who wanted to be governor and that ambition made him to fall apart with Akeredolu.

“Are they saying those of us who have built the PDP since inception are fools? The man went to APC and worked against us, which led to our failure in 2016; how are we sure that there won’t be crisis as a result of his ambition after the election?

“What has suddenly happened to the hyped slogan of Ondo South for Governor, which was the driving force for some southern gladiators to join him in the defection plan from APC?”

But the chief press secretary to Ajayi, Mr Babatope Okeowo, said denied any plan by his principal resign from the APC this week, because, according to him, Ajayi does not need to resign as deputy to contest the governorship election.

Okeowo added that his boss could contest whether in the PDP or the APC without resigning from office.

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo had also denied any friction between the governor and his deputy.

According to Ojogo: “I don’t know if there is a cold war. If at all there is, it is not abnormal in politics; it is not unusual in politics. And as far as governance is not affected adversely, those of us who are working under them have not seen the reason to believe that there is a cold war. We do not believe that there is any cold war, we don’t think so.”

Asked if the deputy governor planned to join the PDP, Ojogo said: “I lack the competence to answer that question. I’m not in his mind, I’m not in his heart, I’m in APC and I do not think I would want to subscribe to rumours that he is going to PDP.

“If actually, you have also considered them rumours, why don’t you wait and see that he has actually moved to PDP before we confirm that these things are real. I do not want to believe in those rumours but I also hear them as rumours. I don’t want to believe that it is true. Even if it is true, it is not within my competence to either confirm or deny.”




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