Ondo poll: ‘We will defeat APC roundly’, PDP boasts

FOLLOWING the emergence of the former deputy governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, the party has boasted that it was on its way back to power.

The party’s publicity secretary,  Kennedy Peretei, said this while speaking with The ICIR on Friday, April 26.

Ajayi, who served under the late governor Rotimi Akeredolu, picked the party’s ticket on Thursday, April 25, having defeated six other aspirants at the primary held in Akure, the state capital.


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Akeredolu and Ajayi parted ways after an unresolved feud at the end of the late governor’s first term in 2020.

Akeredolu picked the incumbent Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa as his running mate instead of continuing with Ajayi in the 2020 poll.

Coincidentally, Aiyedatiwa who succeeded Akeredolu after his demise on December 27, 2023 is the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the November 16 election.

In 2020, Ajayi defected from the All Progressives Congress to the PDP and subsequently joined the Zenith Labour Party in his bid to become the state governor but lost to Akeredolu. 

Common things between Ajayi, Aiyedatiwa

Both leaders served as deputy governors under the late Akeredolu.

Ajayi served as the chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2007 to 2010, when he was in the House of Representatives. Aiyedatiwa was the Ondo State’s representative on the NDDC Board from 2018 to 2019.

They are both from the Ondo South senatorial district.

They are both in their 50s (quinquagenarian). Agboola is 55, and Aiyedatiwa is 59.

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Controversies continue to trails APC primary

The ICIR reported that Aiyedatiwa was declared the winner of the APC primary on April 22.

The primary committee chairman and Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Ododo, declared him the winner, having gathered 48,569 votes. He edged out his fellow contender, Mayowa Akinfolarin, who polled 15,343 votes, while Olusola Oke came third with 14,865 votes.

Although several contestants alleged that the election was married with irregularities, Ododo said the exercise went on “smoothly”, with little skirmishes recorded.

In addition, some party supporters staged protests in Akure, calling for the cancellation of the primary and removal of Ododo as the committee chairman.

PDP vows to unseat APC

Meanwhile, speaking with The ICIR, the PDP publicity secretary in the state said the party was ready to give the ruling party a run for its money.




     

     

    Responding to a question on suspected friendship between between Agboola and Aiyedatiwa which might not make the election very competitive, Peretei said, “Do you know that all the 16 people that contested in the APC are from the South? Do you know that even the seven who contested from the PDP are all from the South?

    “Seven plus 16 is 23. All the 23 are from the South. They are all kinsmen. All of them are kinsmen. There is no issue of being friends, they can’t fight each other. It’s a political warefare. We are saying that APC has not done well to deserve another term in government. The PDP is going to give them a run for their money.”

    Asked if there were aggrieved aspirants in his party as the APC recorded after its primary, he said, “Not to my knowledge. This is because the process was free and fair. The delegates were known two weeks before the primaries. Nobody was in the dark.”

    When reminded that the PDP had not been in power for nearly a decade in the state and there could be challenges with its structures, especially at the local level, he said “We’ll defeat them (the APC) roundly.”

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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