Incumbent deputy governor of Ondo State, Mr Agboola Ajayi, has perfected plans to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Democratic Party less than five months to the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state.
There has been a cold war between Ajayi and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and this became visible shortly after the 2019 general elections.
SaharaReporters learnt that as a result of the crisis between them, Ajayi has decided to join the PDP to contest against Akeredolu during the governorship election.
Findings revealed that the deputy governor’s defection plan has created disaffection among top members of the APC and loyalists of Akeredolu, who had been pleading with Ajayi not to leave the party.
In fact, some APC leaders in the South-West including Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State had several times intervened in the face-off between Ajayi and Akeredolu, but had not been able to settle the rift.
Governor Akeredolu is seeking a second term in office and has obtained the APC’s form to indicate that interest.
However, strong indications of Ajayi’s defection to the PDP emerged during the week when his campaign posters surfaced on the various social media platforms.
Also, news of his planned resignation became rife on Friday evening after his return from Abuja where he had held a series of talks and meetings with some key leaders of the PDP.
A current governor from the North-West and part of the major financiers of the PDP, who facilitated the meetings, was said to have reached out to the national and state leadership of the party on the workings for the deal.
It was reliably learnt that top cabinet members of Governor Akeredolu’s government and a handful of lawmakers of the state’s House of Assembly are to move with the deputy governor to the PDP.
An aide to Ajayi said, “The deputy governor’s defection is confirmed for next and nothing can change it because he just returned to the state after a week where he met some stakeholders on the project ahead of us.
“I can confirm to you right now that he would resign his position from the cabinet any moment from now and join the PDP.”
When contacted on the matter, Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP in Ondo State, Mr Zadok Akintoye, could not deny or confirm the defection plan of Mr Ajayi but said the party remains committed to the principles of democracy and revealed that those willing to join the party were expected to register at their wards.
Saharareporters, New York