A sharp crack has emerged within the ranks of members of the Ondo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over who flies the party’s flag in the state’s 2020 gubernatorial election.
Thepage reliably gathered that the agitation by aspirants from the Southern part of the state to contest the election against Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) who was the party’s flag bearer in the last election, is causing ripples and may affect the chances of the party.
According to sources, there was an agreement within the party that Eyitayo Jegede ( Ondo Central), who narrowly lost to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu would be the party’s candidate in the next governorship election.
A new twist was introduced to the plans however, when aspirants from the Southern part of the state started indicating interest in the race and this, it was gathered, is causing tension within the party at the moment.
As at the last count, Dr Eddy Olafeso, Hon. Kolade Akinjo a serving and reelected member of the House of Representatives and Banji Okunomo, a former Local government chairman are members of the party from the riverine area of the state who have signalled their intention to vie for the party’s ticket.
Thepage also gathered that the immediate past Commissioner for Special Duties. culture and Tourism in the state, Femi Adekanmbi may emerge a surprise aspirant from Ondo North, allegedly, at the prompting of the National leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
It was gathered that Tinubu is currently involved with the popular , Owo, Ondo North born former Commissioner in an undisclosed business deal, in what a source mentioned as a way of empowering the politician for the election.
Segun Abraham who was Tinubu’s choice for the Ondo state number one seat in 2016 is already preparing to contest the position again, a source quiped , though on APC platform. Our source said Adekanmbi’s choice is strategic.
“You know Femi is a home boy, very popular, young and also from the same town with Aketi. So his choice is very strategic, taken into consideration the frosty relationship between Asiwaju and Aketi.
” Asiwaju may feel safe sponsoring a candidate against Aketi because if Oshiomole remains the Chairman of the Apc, Aketi may not be able to get the party’s ticket.
” The permutation therefore is that if his candidate is able to secure PDP ticket and Abraham is able to secure that of APC, either way, Asiwaju wins”
According to the source, the current form of the PDP in the state is the motivation for the interest of the ApC leader in investing in a PDP candidate, ostensibly for his own personal ambition. It is also considered that, unlike in the last election, fund may not be much of a difficulty for whoever emerges PDP candidate, as he would have the governors of 16 or more PDP controlled states to run to.
If Thepage investigations are anything to go by, wrestling the ticket from Jegede may be an impossible task, as it was gathered that the party leadership may have settled for the SAN to pick the ticket.
It was also gathered that those who have signified to wrestle with him from the South don’t have the financial muscle to engage the Akure born lawyer. In fact, the PDP National vice chairman ( Southwest) Eddy Olafeso, considered to be the most chariamatic among the aspirants from the south may have jettisoned the idea for financial reasons.