Indication yesterday emerged that the embattled Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi has concluded plans to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). With Ajayi’s latest moves from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition PDP, a series of political permutations had continued to play out ahead of the October 10, 2020 elections. The latest political calculation in the state was due to the fallout of the governor ship primaries of the two major political parties- the APC and PDP.
While the APC may have settled for Lucky Aiyedatiwa as running mate to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the choice of the running mate for Eyitayo Jegede has started creating cracks in the PDP fold. Jegede was reported to have picked a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ikegboju Gboluga However, barring any last minute change, Ajayi will be flying the flag of ZLP founded by former Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Sources said the move will be made public on 3rd August, 2020 after he had reached a compromise with the National Chairman of the Party, Dan Nwanyanwu and Mimiko. Ajayi was also said to have temporarily relocated to Abuja in a bid to seek the backings of about eight governors from the PDP and APC.
The deputy governor who had an impressive showing in the PDP primaries as the first runner up had also met with Hon. Saka Lawal who was the former Special Adviser to ex-Governor Mimiko on strategy. Lawal, who has been tipped as Ajayi’s running mate was the running mate to Olusola Oke in the 2012 elections. He was also the only aspirant who contested the governorship ticket with Jegede in the 2016 PDP primary election. His pedigree as one of the respected grassroots mobilisers in Akoko may have informed the decision of Ajayi to reach out to him.
Reacting to development, the Media Adviser to the Deputy Governor, Allen Sowore in a press statement said “without equivocation, let it be known that the Deputy Governor is still a member of PDP. He’s committed to the party under whose platform he contested the recent gubernatorial primary election.” Sowore went on: “After the primary election of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) held on 22nd July, 2020 where Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) emerged as the candidate of the party, the Deputy Governor had embarked on wide consultations with critical stakeholders within and outside Ondo State. “He is also determined to reassure his teeming supporters following the PDP primary election and i a couple of days, Agboola Ajayi will announce his next line of political decision.”