• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Ondo 2020: Eleventh-hour alliance possible between Jegede, Ajayi as Obasanjo wades in

Elections in Nigeria

Less than 10 days to the Governorship Poll in Ondo state, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other chieftains of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have begun frantic moves to woo Agboola Ajayi, candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) back to PDP as part of political manoeuvring to win Ondo gubernatorial election.

These political moves by former president and some chieftains of PDP, including Uche Secondus, PDP National Party Chairman, were made as part of the political efforts to wrest power from incumbent Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state, having won the recently concluded governorship poll in Edo state.

Recall that the Election Review Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 led by Governor Bala

Mohammed of Bauchi state had recently met with the former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan; former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and former Senate President, David Mark in Abuja behind closed doors.

Findings revealed that Governor Bala Mohammed led 2019 PDP Election Review Committee, categorically and particularly begged former President Obasanjo forgive them for the poor outings between 2015 and 2019, asking the elder statesman to deploy longstanding political experience of his, to savage ‘the sinking ship of Nigeria’ by helping them identify PDP problems and probably offer solutions to them ahead of 2023 General Elections.

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This prompted a political meeting in Abuja between Segun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo state and National Leader of Zenith Labour Party and Obasanjo where Mimiko was reportedly persuaded upon to plead with Agboola Ajayi, deputy governor and candidate of Zenith Labour Party to drop his ambition and work with Eyitayo Jegede of PDP ahead of next Saturday election.

It will be noted that Agboola Ajayi, who has a very large number of home-based loyalists from the Ondo South Senatorial District, was earlier defected to PDP, having fallen out with his boss, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of APC, but left PDP hurriedly for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) when he could not secure governorship ticket of PDP.

Speaking on the political arrangements ongoing ahead of Ondo governorship poll, a party chieftain, who was privy to the meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, said that “anything is still possible politically, even 24 hours are said be too long in politics if you consider what happened in 2016 when Jimoh Ibrahim, an aspirant of PDP, dumped the party to join Akeredolu of APC then when Court’s judgement didn’t favour him.

“What is possible in the coming Ondo poll is that Agboola Ajayi might be stepping down for Jegede, Governorship Candidate of PDP, you can see that Baba Obasanjo is already talking to former Governor Segun Mimiko who is the major backbone and financier of Zenith Labour Party in Nigeria of today.

“Mimiko respects Baba Obasanjo very well and that is more reason why PDP leaders sent Baba Obasanjo to him to negotiate with him and part of the negotiations they had is that Mimiko will be given Ondo Central Senatorial ticket, a position he contested for and lost on the platform of ZLP in 2019 and I know he would want to go for that seat knowing full well that he has been longing for it after he left office as governor.

“PDP is also working to compensate Ajayi with options of running again as the deputy governor, in addition to some juicy posts and appointments for which I know he would accept at the end of the day, so, we must not rule out eleventh-hour political alliance”, the source concluded.