Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ondo State Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) on Thursday promised to lead the party to victory in the October 10 poll.
From Osagie Otabor, Akure and Jide Orintunsi, Abuja
He told reporters in Akure, the state capital, shortly after picking the ticket, that the days of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) in the Alagbaka Government House were numbered.
Jegede said: “With this outcome, we have served notice on the APC. Their end has come. We will take over the government of Ondo State come October 10, 2020”.
But, Akeredolu, who defeated the PDP standard bearer in the 2016 election, said there is no vacancy in the State House, adding that Jegede was under illusion.
Akeredolu, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, maintained that Jegede’s wishful thoughts were illusory permissible in politics.
He added: “This is more so that the euphoria of his victory over certain entrenched principalities was capable of igniting an outburst. But our message to Jegede is that he should beware of the ides of figure 888. It’s symbolic and too dangerous to ignore.”
The ruling and opposition parties confirmed fence mending within their chapters yesterday as part of preparations for the election.
Akeredolu and Jegede have also commenced consultations on the choice of running mates. Both of them, according to sources may pick their running mates from the South Senatorial District.
According to a source, Jegede is under pressure to pick Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi as his running mate.
Ajayi who dumped APC for the PDP last month came second in the PDP primary. He polled 657 votes, trailing Jegede who polled 888 votes.
Sources said Jegede is yet to open talks with Ajayi, although some PDP chieftains have been mounting pressure on him to pick Ajayi due to his ability to gather such votes within one month of joining the party.
The source said Jegede is putting off the pressure on grounds that he needed a running mate he could trust.
According to the source, “some PDP national leaders, including a governor from the Northwest have been talking to Jegede on the need to pick Ajayi as his running mate.
“They stressed that apart from the fact that Ajayi is a grassroots mobiliser, Jegede needs a running mate that can match whoever is picked by the APC as Akeredolu’s running mate from the southern senatorial district.
“But Jegede reportedly told them that it would be difficult for him to accept their offer because he does not want someone who would be working behind to oust him from office if he eventually becomes a governor.”
Ajayi and other aspirants have accepted the defeat and promised to work for Jegede’s victory.
Ajayi, in a statement, thanked the people for standing with the PDP ‘in the struggle to liberate the state’.
He said: “We remain undaunted and resolute about our commitment to a people-oriented government against personalised democracy. “We wish the good people of Ondo State and the winner the best as we march on. For us, life goes on.”
Also, Eddy Olafeso who got 175 votes, said he was ready to support Jegede, if he (Jegede) was willing to seek his cooperation.
He said: “Our support to Jegede is not going to be a blanket support. He will have to tell us what is the need for us. If our candidate is willing to seek our cooperation, then, at a very formal and informal level, we will have to talk. Most of what needed to be done rest with him.”
A APC aspirant, Dr. Nathaniel Adojutelegan has rejected the outcome of the primary that produced Akeredolu.
In his two-page petition to the APC national secretariat, Adojutelegan alleged that the primary fell short of the party’s constitution and the electoral laws.
He said: “The electoral college of delegates that voted in the governorship primary election was not democratically elected by members of the party from their various wards, contrary to the provisions of Article 20 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The electoral college of delegates that voted in the governorship primary election was selected during the 2018 Congresses and not democratically elected by members of the party from their various wards, contrary to the provisions of Article 20 of the.”
The petitioner also referred the appeal committee to a pending suit against the selection of the members of the executive committees at the ward, local govemment, and state levels.
Adojutelegan also complained that “the mode of the primary was disclosed on Friday, 17 July, few days to the date of the primary, contrary to the guidelines.
“The delegates list was disclosed to the aspirants on 19 July 2020, few hours to the commencement of the govemorship primary election contrary to the Guidelines, Rules and Regulations of the APC.”
He alleged that “there were no polling booths. Tables were placed together, and voters were directed to vote at the same time on the same table. Thereby making them vote under duress and enabling them to contmfirm and verify how they voted in the election.
“The voters were permitted to use their mobile phones to take photographs of the ballot papers enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.
“The voters openly displayed their ballot papers enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.
“The voters were assembled closely together in a single line to drop their ballot papers in the ballot boxes enabling them to confirm and verify how they voted in the election.
He also alleged that Akeredolu and his agents propagated and spread false infomation about him on Twitter, Facebook and 0ndo State Radiovision Corporation that he had stepped down.
He said: “This premeditated act affected my fortunes in the election thereby causing the delegates that supported me to vote for the governor.”
The petitioner then prayed the appeal committee to declare the primary of 20 July 2020 Ondo State Governorship null and void, and cancel the result.
But, former Kebbi State Governor Muhammad Adamu Aliero called for unity, urging the Ondo State APC family to work for victory. He said it is important that APC should retain the state.
He spoke with reporters after the Ondo State APC Governorship Reconciliation Committee meeting at the party’s national secretariat on Thursday in Abuja.
The former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, who is a member of the committee, said efforts to pacify aggrieved chieftains will yield positive results.
Aliero said: “The governor has already emerged the winner, what is important is to carry everybody along to ensure victory for our party. We will do whatever that is possible to win the election in Ondo state. It is very critical to us.
“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that we win that election.
“Already, we have gone to Ondo State in our effort for reconciliation and we spent a whole day there talking to aspirants and stakeholders and members of the state assembly.
“We are going to continue with the reconciliation. On Friday (tomorrow), we are going to invite members of the National Assembly representing Ondo to discuss how they will assist to ensure that we will win the election.