Following the victory of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) in the Ondo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and other party leaders have been reminded of the need to close rank and work for victory of the party.
A group within the opposition party, the Vanguard for Justice and Fairness in PDP (VJF), stated that anything other than supporting the party’s flag bearer in the October 10 election is a disservice to the party and may ruin the chances of defeating the All Progressives Congress (APC). Speaking on the backdrop of the inability of the Ondo State deputy governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, to clinch the party ticket in the July 22, primary and his rumoured defection to Zenith Labour Party, VJF cautioned members of PDP NWC and other party heavy weights to desist from any act that can work against the overall interest of the party.
A statement by the group’s president, Malam Abubakar Abagi, said the group is worried over the growing disaffection particularly among the top leadership of the PDP over “anti-party activities” by ranking officials of the party and leaders following the victory of Jegede at the primaries. “It has come to our knowledge that some top party leaders are not happy over the victory of Mr Jegede over Ajayi’s loss at the PDP governorship primaries and are beginning to show tacit support for Ajayi to leave the party and withdrawing their support for Jegede who clearly won in a transparent process.
“We are fully aware that Jegede is seen by these unhappy leaders as being a follower of the political ideology championed by the former vice president and PDP candidate in the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. However, Jegede still remains the choice of the people of Ondo State and the entire PDP followers in the state and that should be respected.
“We can’t to go into the election with a divided house as APC members in the state are on a daily basis uniting and closing ranks while we are busy with antiparty activities that may ruin our chances of kicking Rotimi Akeredolu and his All Progressives Party (APC) out of power and free people of Ondo State from the grip of poor governance,” the group said.
Abagi pointed out that Governor Akeredolu was in Lagos recently to introduce his running mate, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to one of his erstwhile political antagonists, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and noted that such development is a pointer to the reality that discord among top PDP stakeholders in the state at this crucial time is a serious minus on the part of the leaders. “If Akeredolu could unite with Tinubu, I don’t see why the victory of Jegede should be a problem to our leaders. We therefore call on the National Chairman of our great party, Prince Uche Secondus, to rise to the occasion by rallying all party leaders and faithful behind our candidate, Jegede to victory. He owes all of us that responsibility of bringing peace and harmony at this very important time.
“We are seriously appealing to the deputy governor, Hon. Ajayi, not to dump the party at this crucial time when the party needs his experience and support to win the October 10 election. For the avoidance of doubt, Hon. Ajayi remains a valuable and respected member of the PDP.
We, therefore, urged the NWC and other top leaders of the PDP to quickly move to Ondo State and reconcile all sides, in the interest of the party regardless of who won and lost the primaries. Showing tacit support to preferential candidate other than the party’s flag bearer will spell doom for our party,” Abagi said.