Ondo State Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has defected to the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) to contest for the celebration’s governorship ticket for the October election. Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN examines what led to the deputy governor’s exit from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the challenges he’s more likely to face within the opposition celebration.
THE speculations that the Ondo State Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi would dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the opposition Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP) has been laid to relaxation.
Ajayi resigned his membership of the APC final Sunday and joined the league of aspirants jostling for the PDP’s governorship ticket.
For months, the connection between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Ajayi has not been rosy. Ajayi has been at loggerheads together with his boss over the forthcoming governorship election.
Akeredolu misplaced religion in his deputy when he bought to know that Ajayi was placing political constructions in place to unseat him.
Apart from, the deputy governor was stated to have been holding conferences with PDP leaders, together with Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal to good his defection and contest for the PDP ticket.
When confronted by the governor’s supporters, Ajayi denied the allegation and blamed some political detractors for the event.
Regardless of his defence, it was learnt that many chieftains of the celebration, notably these from Ondo South Senatorial District, Ajayi’s constituency, had suggested the governor to exchange him for what they described as disloyalty and actions that undermine the curiosity of his principal.
A supply summarised the state of affairs this manner: “Ajayi was now not comfy as there have been many odds working in opposition to him within the authorities.
He has been boycotting authorities capabilities since March. The governor’s spouse didn’t need him as a result of she perceived him as a betrayer.
The disaster bought to a stage you could by no means see the spouse of the deputy governor in any occasion organised by Mrs Akeredolu. So, the First Woman was not comfy having Ajayi as her husband’s operating mate once more.
“Akeredolu by no means thought Ajayi would stab him on the again as a result of he trusted him a lot and relied on him within the administration of the state.
In actual fact, they’re cousins. Akeredolu is disenchanted. He stated if Ajayi, his personal blood might this to him, then he can’t belief another shut political affiliate.”
Nonetheless, Ajayi’s defection and aspiration to contest the PDP governorship major has elevated the political enemies of Akeredolu forward of the October ballot.
The governor now has robust opponents inside his celebration and people within the opposition eyeing his job.
Akeredolu has causes to fret. Ajayi isn’t a novice in Ondo politics. He’s a grassroots’ politician. He began his political profession in Ese-Odo Native Authorities, the place he served as Supervisor for Agriculture; Works and Transport between 1999 and 2003, on the platform of the PDP.
He was appointed Caretaker Chairman of the council in 2004 and subsequently elected to function chairman between 2004 and 2007.
He was elected as a member of the Home of Representatives on the platform of APC in 2007 and was in the home until 2011.
He’s widespread in his native authorities space. It’s anticipated that his supporters would observe him to his new celebration.
Analysts say it will likely be tough for Ajayi to ship the southern senatorial district to the PDP as a result of there are lots of APC chieftains from the zone.
They embody Chief Olusola Oke (SAN), a 2016 frontline governorship aspirant; the instant previous state chairman of the APC, Chief Isaac Kekemeke; the Irele-born oil mogul, Jimi Odumayo and the Govt Director of Niger Energy Holding Firm (NDPHC), Ife Oyedele who hails from Okitipupa.
The Southern Senatorial District has remained the stronghold of the PDP for the reason that return to civil rule in 1999. This explains why the celebration has determined to zone its governorship ticket to the district.
Regardless of the zoning association, analysts imagine that Ajayi isn’t more likely to get the governorship ticket, except the celebration provides it to win on a platter of gold, by consensus.
He’ll slug it out with different formidable aspirants who’re equally optimistic of grabbing the ticket.
The aspirants from Ondo South are the Chairman, Southwest PDP, Eddy Olafeso; Sola Ebisemi, Boluwaji Kunlere and Otunba Bamidele Akingboye.
Additionally from the district are the previous Publicity Secretary, Banji Okunomo, in addition to former Commissioner for Info and deputy governorship candidate in 2016, Olu Mafo.
For Ondo Central, former Lawyer Common and Commissioner for Justice, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), an Akure man, is within the race. He was the celebration’s governorship candidate in 2016.
Additionally eyeing the ticket from Ondo North, Governor Akeredolu’s zone, are the previous Particular Adviser on Labour Issues, Dayo Fadahunsi and former Commissioner for Tradition, Tourism and Particular Duties, Femi Adekunle.
Ajayi’s defection has began creating ripples within the PDP. Different aspirants have vowed to withstand any undue benefit to be accorded him by the celebration.
They’ve suggested the celebration management to create a level-playing floor for all contestants to keep away from implosion. As an illustration, there have been speculations that the nationwide leaders of the celebration are reaching out to different aspirants to step down for Ajayi to emerge as a consensus candidate.
It was learnt that the nationwide management of the PDP had reached a take care of Ajayi, for Jegede to be his operating mate on the situation that he (Ajayi) would serve just one time period. However Jegede has denied coming into into such an settlement.
The embattled deputy governor after defecting has vowed to not resign from the administration of Governor Akeredolu as a result of he was elected on a joint ticket with the governor.
He argued that there’s freedom of affiliation and that this isn’t the primary time a deputy will half methods together with his boss.
Ajayi recalled what occurred through the Obasanjo-Atiku presidency when the court docket dominated that there’s freedom of affiliation, saying he can’t be denied his tenure just because he had modified political celebration.
Though there is no such thing as a legislation that claims he ought to vacate workplace as a result of he has modified political platform, critics argue that Ajayi has no ethical justification to carry on to workplace on the bottom of disloyalty to the APC and his boss.
They’re of the view that Ajayi ought to, as a matter of precept, resign as deputy governor simply as he had resigned his membership of the celebration on which platform he got here into workplace.
Lawyer and civil proper activist, Monday Ubani stated Ajayi is true by insisting that he can’t be kicked out from workplace as a result of he has defected to a different celebration.
Ubani cited the case of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar which bought to the Supreme Courtroom after he left the PDP to contest presidential election on the platform of the defunct Motion Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007.
He stated the Supreme Courtroom dominated that the then President Obasanjo had no proper to take away him since he (Atiku) was additionally elected.
Ubani stated the structure states that the workplace of the Vice President, Deputy Governor shall be vacant on situation of demise, resignation, incapacitation or impeachment.
He stated this facet of the legislation needs to be reviewed to make it inconceivable for elected workplace holders that dumped the celebration that introduced them into energy to proceed in workplace.
He stated: “It’s morally improper for a politician whether or not on the government stage or the legislature to dump the celebration on which platform he/she was elected and nonetheless stay in workplace.
The authorized practitioner argued that the votes that introduced such public officers to workplace had been forged for the political events and never people.
Given the present provision of the structure, the political events are at all times short-changed by politicians who cross carpet at will.”
The previous Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Affiliation (NBA) stated: “Ajayi has the precise to stay in workplace however he can be pissed off by his boss.
The governor has misplaced confidence in him. All of the privileges connected to his workplace might be withdrawn. Extra importantly, he received’t make any enter into coverage decision-making as he will not be allowed to attend the state government council conferences the place choices are taken as a result of he’s now not on the identical web page with the governor.”
He stated the 1999 Structure made the deputy governorship place a mere appendage of state energy. He cited Part 193 (i) which stipulates that: “The governor of a state might, in is discretion assign to the deputy for any enterprise of the federal government of the state together with the administration of any division of presidency”.
He stated this clearly makes a deputy governor an pointless attachment to the governor. I received’t be stunned, if Akeredolu treats Ajayi as inconsequential.”
On the seemingly impact of Ajayi’s defection on the re-election bid of Akeredolu, the governor’s spokesman, Segun Ajiboye, stated the deputy governor’s exit wouldn’t have an effect on his principal’s probabilities of successful the election. He described Ajayi’s defection nearly as good riddance to unhealthy garbage.
Ajiboye stated: “Ajayi was an additional weight within the Rotimi Akeredolu administration. When a automobile is relieved of extra load, it can transfer sooner; that’s what has occurred with Ajayi’s exit.
It’s inordinate ambition that’s pushing him. His model of politics is to convey down his principal to be able to rise.
The Akeredolu administration won’t miss Ajayi. His departure won’t have an effect on the probabilities of the governor within the forthcoming election in October.
“The governor may be very liberal and had entrusted him with delicate issues and massive initiatives, however ultimately, he disenchanted his principal.
The individuals of Ese-Odo the place Ajayi hails from will inform you how he had short-changed them previously three and half years.”
Ajayi won’t be the primary deputy governor to half methods together with his boss within the Sunshine State. The state is reputed for deputy governors disagreeing with their principals.
A former deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, defected from the PDP to the t APC, two weeks earlier than the 2015 common elections, after falling out with former Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
Olanusi challenged the impeachment on the Excessive Courtroom. The swimsuit was thrown out on technical floor. Nonetheless, he challenged the decision of the decrease court docket and requested the Enchantment Courtroom to upturn the choice of the State Excessive Courtroom.
His prayers had been answered because the appellate court docket annulled his impeachment. The court docket dominated that every one the salaries and entitlements for the reason that date he was purportedly impeached to be paid to him.
The ability wrestle between the primary civilian governor of outdated Ondo State, the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin, and his erstwhile deputy, the late Akin Omoboriowo, was legendary.
The duo had been elected into workplace in 1979 on the platform of the defunct Unity Celebration of Nigeria (UPN), based by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
However, on assumption of workplace, they fell out. It started with the declare of Omoboriowo that he was a greater candidate for governor, having scored extra votes than his boss on the major.
The genesis of the bitter relationship was the refusal of Ajasin to handover to his deputy to behave throughout a prolonged journey away from the state.
In 1983, Omoboriowo dumped the UPN for the defunct Nationwide Celebration of Nigeria (NPN), the ruling celebration on the centre then. He contested the governorship election on the platform of NPN in opposition to his erstwhile boss.
The NPN used federal would possibly to make sure Omoboriowo’s victory. Outcomes declared by the Federal Electoral Fee (FEDECO) on August 16, 1983 urged that Omoboriowo received the election.
However his victory was short-lived because the Courtroom of Enchantment upturned the outcomes earlier than his inauguration and returned Ajasin because the governor.