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Is Agboola Ajayi really a Political Horse in Ondo politics?

By Sam Olakunori
AKURE – The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi defected to the Zenith Labour Party last week, Agboola had earlier contested to be the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party for October 10 Gubernatorial election in Ondo state, after defecting to the party from APC.
In this article, you will read about the timeline of activities that have occurred around Mr. Agboola Ajayi, the Deputy Governor in the past few months.
Dumping The Broom
June 20: Although there had been a rumour that Mr. Agboola Ajayi will be defecting from the All Progressives Congress to another party in no distant time. Agboola battled with his boss, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and the Party is believed to have started this day. A video started circulating online on the night of June 21. In the video, Ondo State commissioner of police, Mr. Bolaji Salami who was invited by the deputy governor blocked him from leaving the government house with ‘official vehicles’ – this tussle lasted for few hours and the video went viral on social media.
June 21: Barely less than 24 hours after his encounter with the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Agboola Ajayi confirmed he will be defecting to his former party (Agboola was formerly a member of the PDP before he defected to APC in 2016, he contested in the 2016 election against Akeredolu, but he lost. He, was however chosen as Akeredolu running mate). PDP 2019 presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and the national chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus welcomed the deputy governor to the Umbrella Party. Agboola Ajayi also confirmed he won’t be resigning his position as the state Deputy Governor. However, media reports said – Agboola moved out of his Government residence that night.
His Stay and Exit from The Umbrella Cover
June 22: Mr. Alfred Agboola Ajayi was on this day formally welcomed to the party at PDP state secretariat in Akure. The welcome ceremony had PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus in attendance.
June 23: The Ondo State deputy governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, on Friday submitted his interest form to take part in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary for the governorship election in the state. He submitted the expression of interest form at PDP secretariat in Abuja after he was granted a waiver by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP.
June 23: Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu sacked all Aides working with Mr. Agboola, including the deputy governor’s wife aides. It was very clear; these aides were sacked due to Agboola’s defection. Immediately after the news went round, Agboola announced the immediate employment of all the aides as his personal aides. The sacked aides were Olomu Bayo, special assistant on special duties; Allen Sowore, special assistant on media; Olawale Mukaila, special assistant on photography, Babatope Okeowo, deputy chief press secretary; Samuel Ogunmusi, personal assistant to the deputy governor, Omotunmise Tokunbo, special assistant to the wife of the deputy governor; and Erifeyiwa Akinnugba on photography to the wife of the deputy governor.
July 7: Ondo State House of Assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor but in what happened to be a political smartness from the side of the deputy governor, nine (9) Honourable members led by the deputy speaker, Mr. Iroju Ogundeji, however, disassociated themselves from the planned impeachment. According to the Constitution – it requires the consent of two-thirds of the 26 members, which is 18 members, to impeach the deputy governor. The lawmakers were Iroju Ogundeji, Jamiu Maito, Rasheed Elegbeleye, Tomide Akinribido, Samuel Ademola, Favour Tomomewo, Festus Akingbaso, Adewale Adewinle, and Torhukerhijo. The deputy governor also approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop the impeachment process. He also prayed to the court to compel all security agencies in the suit to pay him one billion nairas each.
July 10: After receiving a request from the State Assembly, to set up a panel to investigate allegations against the Deputy Governor, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Akeredolu (SAN), rejected the request from the state’s House of Assembly. In a letter sent the State Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, the chief judge wrote:  “The honourable members of the House of Assembly have not completed the constitutional process that would lead your very good self to invite my humble self to set up a panel of 7 to investigate allegations of gross misconduct as stipulated in the Constitution,”
July 23: The Deputy Governor lost in the primary to Mr. Eyitayo Jegede which he won with 888 Votes while Mr. Agboola Ajayi secured the second position with 657 votes. Although, some quarters said Agboola will deputize Jegede, for PDP to have good strength. Things took a twist when Mr. Eyitayo submitted three names – Mr. Banji Okunomo, one of the aspirants that participated in the primaries and Mr. Sola Ebiseni, another aspirant who participated in the primaries, and Mr. Gblogu Ikengboju, a serving member of House of Representatives representing Irele/Okitipupa Federal Constituency. He eventually became the running mate of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede after wide consultation with party leadership according to Jegede.
The Zenith Destination
August 10: The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) headquarters cleared the Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, to contest as the party’s candidate in the October 10 governorship election.
August 10: After 50 days of re-joining the PDP, Mr. Agboola Ajayi resigned his membership of the party.  He handed over his letter of resignation to Chairman of the PDP in Apoi Ward II of Ese-Odo LGA of the state, Mr. Festus Oboro. The Deputy Governor appreciated the PDP “for their warm reception and acceptance in the short period he rejoined the party.”
August 14:  After a series of meeting with the immediate-past governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who is a major financier of the ZLP. Mr. Ajayi joined Zenith Labour Party in Akure, the state capital of Ondo State. He said he joined the party “to give hope to the hopeless, to change the narrative”.
With the INEC window for substitution of names by party still opens, Zenith Labour Party will replace Mr. Rotimi Benjamin name with Mr. Agboola Ajayi.
To conclude this article, the Big Question is – will Agboola Ajayi be able to muster enough political patronage and structures to defeat the incumbent, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu?
© Technocrat Media House
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