Dayo Johnson – Akure
A former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo state, Hon Banji Okunomo has said that the party’s candidate, Eyitayo Jegede can’t fly in the forthcoming election.
Okunomo who had since defected to the Zenith Labour Party ZLP, contested with Jegede in the party’s governorship primary and lost. He came fifth in the election.
He insisted that Jegede was wasting his time because its not yet the turn of his central senatorial district to produce the governor.
Recall that Jegede’s kinsman and the Minister of State for Niger/Delta Affairs, Chief Tayo Alasoadura had also echoed the same that Jegede was wasting his time contesting in the forthcoming election.
However, Okunomo while speaking with ZLP supporters in Okitipupa said ” As a matter of fact, I’ve always maintained my ideological stand on issues, I don’t go by the crowd. By Alasoadura statement and coupled with what people are saying, the race is between the APC and ZLP.
“Majority of us who were working for the PDP then have abandoned the PDP now, leaving only the party structure loyal to Jegede.”
“If you look at the campaign of the PDP, you’ll discover that the PDP candidate,Mr Eyitayo Jegede goes to the market area for his campaign where he can enjoy the natural gathering of people because people gather in market areas or motor parks, but if it’s about people coming out to embrace the party, the PDP has lost out in this contest in Ondo State.
“Maybe next time, the party will learn because this same error was committed in 2012 when they fielded Chief Olusola Oke from the South as at the time it was not the turn of the South to produce the governor, the same error was repeated in 2016 when Eyitayo Jegede himself was nominated from the Ondo Central after 8years of Dr Mimiko from the Central as the governor of Ondo State for uninterrupted 8 years which both resulted to the failure of the PDP in the two circumstances.”
“Now, PDP has again picked from the wrong zone, Ondo Central and the people are saying NO, including a minister who is their son from Akure”.
“My people, it is not the turn of the Central to produce the governor thus the contest is a straight contest between the candidate of APC and ZLP.
“But I’m optimistic that what affects Jegede also affects the incumbent governor of Ondo State from Ondo North Senatorial District who also doubles as the APC flag bearer.
“Though the constitution permits him to run if he so wishes the people are against him based on number one factor which is Zoning, many people in Ondo State want the power to shift to the South because they believe Ondo North where Governor Rotimi Akeredolu hails from, has used 12 years (4yrs of Pa. Ajasin, 4yrs of Pa. Adefarati and 4yrs of Akeredolu himself).”
“Let me also state that a pot does not call kettle-black, I would have taken the statement of Alasoadura more serious, if he had said it is not the turn of the North senatorial district this time but he is being political because he didn’t extend that statement to affect the candidate of his own party.”
“The reality is that neither the North nor the Central is favoured, it is only the South senatorial district that is favoured at this moment, I mean it is only the ZLP that has produced a candidate from the south which we want in Ondo State and that is the reason why in the last couple of days, there have been a number of people trooping in from the APC and the PDP to join the ZLP.”
” As we speak, you’ll discover that no single person is joining the PDP or the APC in Ondo State, it has been the chieftains of PDP and APC that are joining the ZLP.
Okunomo said that ” The ZLP together with the candidate is the beautiful bride of the masses. People are satisfied with the pedigree of the deputy governor Agboola Ajayi who has been elected to serve in various capacities before and he did well and this time around the National Leader who is also a former governor, Dr Mimiko, is strongly supporting the continuity of those caring-heart projects in Ondo State.”