Some leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have listed fresh conditions for Ondo Deputy Governor Hon Agboola Ajayi before he is allowed to run the governorship race on the party’s platform.
Part of the conditions is for Agboola to agree to serve only one term and hand over to a core PDP loyalist.
They spoke as some aspirants, who have purchased the nomination and expression of interest forms, have vowed never to step down for Agboola.
Agboola and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu have parted ways politically over the ambition of Agboola to contest against his boss.
A PDP chieftain, who pleaded anonymity, said Agboola is expected to formally announce his defection this week and would not resign as Deputy Governor.
The chieftain noted that the quest for automatic ticket by Agboola was being resisted by some aspirants.
Another member of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), who spoke to select journalists in Akure, disclosed that Eyitayo Jegede is being positioned to be Agboola running mate.
According to him: “Honestly, we at the national level want the best for the party and that is what we have been working day and night to do as far as the Ondo State governorship election is concerned.
“We are on the verge of receiving the Deputy Governor into our party and he is no doubt, a big fish that will give the APC a good fight in the forthcoming election. One clear message we have been giving to all aspirants is that none of them will have anything to share in zero.
“So, initially when the Deputy Governor met some of us, he insisted that he was not desperate to be Governor but he just wanted the incumbent out. Our informal conclusion was that he could pair as running mate with our 2016 candidate, that is, Jegede and he had no objection to that.
“But from what we have seen on the ground in the last one week, the deputy governor seems to have a more formidable structure than Jegede and we have opened discussions on how Ajayi will be candidate while Jegede runs as his deputy with a caveat that Agboola will run for only one term and hand over to Jegede.
“We have been assessing their strengths, popularity and experience but the issue we have been confronted with is the fact that the deputy governor seems to have sealed another deal with some APC without our knowledge that after his victory at the poll, he would return to the APC.
“He is already discussing at top levels in this regard in order to have some leverage of security. But we are yet to confirm. So we are already talking to Jegede to cede the ticket to Ajayi by stepping down; he would then be picked as running mate to Ajayi”, he said.
But a PDP political pressure group, the Ondo Renaissance Movement (ORM) has accused the PDP NWC of being financially induced to cede the governorship ticket to Ondo South.
Co-ordinator of the group, Comrade Joshua Falade, said: “We are aware of the all behind the scene moves by the deputy Governor as he is trying all manner of things to get our party ticket.
The latest is that he took the sum of N200 million to bribe the NWC of our party to cede the ticket to the south and then pick him as candidate with Eyitayo Jegede as his deputy governorship candidate.
“This one will fail because those of us who suffered for the party since 2011 and even before then are not fools. If that happens, we shall mobilise our teaming supporters across the state to move to the APC and work for whoever is the candidate of the party.”