Race for Jegede's deputy kicks off, group drums support for Ajayi

SDP shuts its door against failed aspirants

Dayo Johnson – Akure

THE rat race for the deputy of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State Eyitayo Jegede, has kicked off in the state.

Jegede won the party’s primary defeating the deputy governor Hon Agboola Ajayi with a margin of 231 votes.

Party leaders close to the candidate have been mounting pressure on him to consider his first runner up, Ajayi as his deputy.

A group, the Ondo State Southern Senatorial Patriotic Movement (OSSSPM) has again appealed to the candidate to pick the deputy governor has his running mate for the October 10, poll.

In a statement signed by the group’s coordinator, Comrade Wale Edamisan also urged the national leaders of the party to rally round the deputy governor in this trying period.

The group, who noted that Ajayi is an asset to the party warned that he shouldn’t be frustrated to an extent that he may exit himself from the party.

It added that Jegede must understand that at this point, he needs running mate that can muster enough votes for him and Ajayi is the only politician in the party from the south with such capacity.

“Our party national leaders must ensure that we have a genuine reconciliation among the governorship aspirants. Agboola Ajayi must be pacified and compensated with the Deputy governorship slot.

“We must safe Ajayi from going into political oblivion and we should understand that his defection added a great value to our party.

“We can’t afford to lose votes to the APC in the southern senatorial district. The aim of the people in the south is to produce the next Governor but with the emergence of Jegede and Akeredolu as PDP and APC candidates respectively, PDP candidate needs a running mate that is well-grounded in the southern senatorial district.”

But reacting to the race for his deputy, Jegede said that “the choice of who will be my deputy governorship candidate would be determined by all the stakeholders including the PDP leaders.

Jegede added that “such decision would be made after effective consultations.

Stay away from SDP, Rep warns failed aspirants

Meanwhile, speculation was rife that the deputy governor and other aspirants who failed to win the tickets of the party are planning to defect to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to realise their governorship ambition.

Consequently, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency, Hon Tajudeen Adefisoye, has asked the aspirants to stay away from the party.

Adefisoye wrote on his Facebook that “Congrats to the winners of both the APC and PDP party primaries.

“As for the rest, stay in your party and work for the candidates. No carry your wahala come another person party. Wahala full here already”.

Vanguard, however, gathered that loyalists of the deputy governor are reaching out to some national leaders of the SDP to concede the party ticket for him.

A source said that Ajayi may soon finalise his move into the SDP.

However, another source said leaders of the party in the state may reject Agboola as they are not prepared to support a politician who will use their platform and later abandon the party.

However, while reacting to the alleged romance of Ajayi with SDP, his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo, said: “any other political party is not an option for the deputy governor. He is not desperate to become a governor. So the story is not true.

Also, the Director-General of the Ajayi campaign organisation, Dr Kola Ademujimi, said that “PDP remains our party and we, therefore, want all our supporters to remain loyal to the Party as we work towards the way forward.

Vanguard

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