Many leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday dumped their parties for the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, ahead of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State
While the immediate past Chief of Staff, CoS, to the state government, Dr Kola Ademujimi, led the PDP defectors, Chief Bepie Akintunde led those of the APC into the ZLP at a meeting of ZLP in Idanre Local Government Area of the state.
Speaking on the defection, Ademujimi said the ranks of the PDP was been depleted on daily basis since the primary election that brought in Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming election.
Regreting that the Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi l, was made to leave the party because of the hostility displayed to him by members of the party in the state, Ademujimi, who is the Director General, of Agboola/Gboye Campaign Organization, said he left the PDP in order to help realise the ambition of Ajayi as governor of the state
He said, “People are defecting from the APC, the PDP and others ever since the deputy governor picked the governorship ticket of ZLP.
“Agboola Ajayi is out to win this election. Ajayi’s coming to join PDP was an advantage to the PDP, but they lost it opportunity. They attacked some of our members because of the Deputy Governor.”
Similarly, Mr Jimi Akintade, who led over 100 members of the PDP to the ZLP in Idanre, said they decided to dump the PDP because those they met in PDP were hostile to them.
Akintade said, “We went to the APC with former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, but we left and joined the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, when he defected to PDP.
The former Senior Special Assistant, SSA, Direct Labour Agency to former Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration said, “We were treated like unwanted guests in the PDP, that is why we defected to the ZLP. ZLP is very accommodating.”
Speaking on the chances of Agboola Ajayi and his running-mate, Engr. Gboye Adegbenro, at the poll, Akintade declared that whoever would win the election in the state would be determined by Idanre Local Government Area.
Noting that whichever party emerged victorious in Idanre Local Government Area would win the election, Akintade said, “Only two people are contesting. Akeredolu who is running a government for his family by his family, is contesting with Agboola Ajayi.
“It is not yet time for the Central, so Jegede is not contesting. The way the PDP is treating people from Idanre, PDP cannot win any election here.
“We chose Agboola because whenever he held the fort as acting governor, he paid staff salaries on 24th, 25th day of the month.
“He knows how to help the downtrodden. He can do better than Akeredolu.”
Chief Akintunde, who led APC defectors said, “We left the APC because since we had been there, we did not gain anything from them. So we have to defect to ZLP. And ZLP will win the election.”
Receiving the defectors, the leader of ZLP in the local government, Dr. Ayewamide Olaiya, declared that the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, who is the standard bearer of the party would emerge victorious at the October 10, 2020 gubernatorial election in the state.
Enjoining all members of the ZLP to go home and enlighten the people of the local government to vote for the ZLP candidate in the election, Olaiya said, “We have been working with them (defectors), we will deliver Idanre to ZLP . I still received over 50 from PDP today and over 100 from APC yesterday.
The running-mate to Agboola, Gboye Adegbenro appreciated the people, and promised that he and Ajayi would not disappoint them.
He assured that all the people-oriented programmes executed by the former Governor Mimiko-led administration would be resuscitated and new one added.
Lamenting that programmes such as free baby delivery, lighting the streets in Akure,making others have been jettisoned by the Governor Akeredolu-led administration, Olaiya assured the people that the ZLP government would review downward school tuition that’s currently not affordable.
He said, “I am convinced that Idanre is secured. I will never disappoint you.”