…Ajayi may head to the PDP
…Eight lawmakers to defect with him
…Oladunni Odu may be picked as replacement
Barring any last minutes changes, the deputy governor of Ondo state, Agoola Ajayi may be dropped as the running mate to Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the July governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
This became more evident as the estranged deputy governor was reported to have struck a deal with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on his possible defection to the party to pick the governorship ticket, Vanguard news reports.
A member of the Ondo State House of Assembly confided in Vanguard said Ajayi may defect with no fewer than eight members of the Assembly any moment from now.
The source noted that Ajayi was considering opting out because the national leadership of the APC is considering the indirect mode to pick its candidate for Ondo State.
The lawmaker said: “You know that Akeredolu is in charge of the delegates and the deputy governor has vowed to contest against the governor if the APC goes ahead to field him.
“This is expected to play out shortly after the APC NWC’s pronouncement of the indirect mode of primary for Ondo state.
“It is just a matter of time; as soon as the APC announces the mode of primary for Ondo which we believe is likely to be indirect, we will invite all the aspirants from that state to talk to them and allow the incumbent deputy Governor to slug it out with Akeredolu.”
Vanguard also gathered that Akeredolu’s decision to drop Ajayi, necessitated his movement to the PDP to slug it out with his boss.
However, a member of the PDP told Vanguard that Ajayi has been advised by those in the know of the deal to suppress his ambition since the numerous governorship aspirants might revolt.
The source said: “We know how this thing works. It is difficult to just bring a man who has been out of the party to come in and pick the governorship ticket; so we advised him not to engage the leadership of the party based on his ambition but based on his desire to join the party to stop the incumbent.
“It is just a matter of time because we have to wait for the APC NWC to announce the indirect mode of primary because, from the look of things, the governor will be given the ticket to run as a candidate.”
Vanguard also learned that “in the last three weeks, the Ondo deputy governor has been meeting with the leadership of the PDP at all levels, including members of the PDP NWC.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs Oladunni Odu may be picked as replacement to Ajayi, The Precision NG learnt.
Odu, just like Ajayi is from the southern senatorial district of the state and had been a grassroots politician and mobilizer for over two decades.
As the state approaches the October 2020 election, there are interesting times ahead as more political development will likely shape the process of the election.