There were indications on Monday, that a crack has developed in the Ondo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, .
This followed the reluctance of the PDP Governorship Candidate in the October 2020, election, Eyitayo Jegede, to accept the embattled Deputy Governor of the State, Agboola Ajayi, as his running mate.
Also, the division in the State Chapter of the PDP, has been linked to the supposed cold war over PDP’s 2023 Presidential slot.
Jegede is a close Ally of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; he won the primary election, despite the support Ajayi got from 5 top PDP Governors.
The 5 Governors had attempted to use the Governorship primary election to stop Jegede from becoming the party’s Candidate.
Following the failure of the Deputy Governor at the primary election, the 5 PDP Governors were said to be pushing Ajayi to run on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
It was gathered that their alleged plot is to split PDP’s votes, and stop Atiku from producing a Governor in the South-West, to use as a springboard for his 2023 Presidential ambition.
However, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which was aware of the development in the PDP, has been banking on the cracks in the opposition party, to consolidate its strength across the State.
The support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, added more bite to the campaign of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Worried by the new political mileage of the APC in the State, it was learnt that some forces in the PDP have begun to prevail on Jegede, to retain Ajayi as his running mate, instead of allowing him to defect to the ZLP, which can affect the electoral fortunes of the State’s opposition party.
Jegede’s camp is said to be wary of Ajayi, who controls 9 bmembers of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
According to sources, Jegede’s Strategists fear that Ajayi could become rebellious and impeach the Governor, if the PDP wins in Ondo State.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Dissatisfied with the outcome of the PDP primary, 5 PDP Governors allegedly instructed the Deputy Governor to open talks with the Leadership of ZLP, in the State.
“They have made commitments to bankroll Ajayi’s Governorship bid, if he secures ZLP’s ticket.
“Penultimate Friday, Ajayi met with ZLP’s National Leader and former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, where discussions held on the deal to concede the Governorship ticket to Ajayi.
“Precisely, last Tuesday, Ajayi was said to have dispatched a chartered aircraft to convey the former Governor to Abuja, ostensibly to firm up arrangements with both the NWC of ZLP, as well as the 5 PDP Governors backing Ajayi.”
Another source added: “We are good to go and bounce back as a political family. It is true that our boss met some powerful forces, who asked if there was enough war chest to prosecute this battle, and our oga (boss) told them he could raise N10 billion for the October 10, 2020, Governorship election in the State.
“It was at the meeting in Abuja, with the 5 PDP Governors that it was revealed that the current political drama in Ondo State PDP, was all about the 2023 Presidential ticket.
“These Governors, led by their colleagues from the North-West and South-South, also vowed to stop Atiku from clinching the PDP ticket, and one of their grand plans was to stop Jegede from becoming the Governor of Ondo State.”
As at Monday night, Jegede had not shown any conviction about choosing Ajayi as his running mate.