Ondo 2020: ZLP Candidate, Agboola Ajayi Denies Withdrawing From Race

A file photo of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.

 

The Deputy Governor and candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Agboola Ajayi denied reports suggesting that he has withdrawn from the Ondo State governorship race.

According to the reports making the rounds, Mr. Ajayi is said to have written a resignation letter to affirm his backing down from the governorship election, a claim which the governorship hopeful has denied.

In a communique by his media adviser, Comrade Allen Sowore, the deputy governor claimed that the fake reports stem from the camp of the Ondo State Governor and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Mr Ajayi was of the opinion that the governor and his media hirelings will stop at nothing to peddle fake news.

He said that the forged resignation letter was posted by a pseudo account which Leke Akeredolu, Special Media aide to the governor is behind.

“This fake news is sponsored by the outgoing Governor and his cohorts. It’s not different from the earlier ones sponsored and paid for that the Zenith Labour Party’s Candidate, Agboola Ajayi is working with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Eyitayo Jegede SAN.

“Nothing can be farther from the truth.

“For the umpteenth time, and for the purposes of clarity and emphasis, the Deputy Governor and candidate of ZLP, Agboola Ajayi will not resign or back out from the race he’s winning ultimately,” the communique read in part.

The deputy governor urged the general public, members of the ZLP party, and most importantly the electorate to disregard any report regarding his backing-down from the gubernatorial race.

He said rather than moving around with the “false news”, Governor Akeredolu should be “courageous enough to accept defeat in good faith”.

Ondo Election: Akeredolu, Jegede, Ajayi, Other Candidates Sign Peace Pact

 

Candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede; the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) Agboola Ajayi, and others, have signed a peace pact ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Saturday.

They signed the pact on Tuesday in the state capital, Akure, pledging to shun violence during the election and avoid actions that may undermine the peace accord.

The event, facilitated by the National Peace Committee (NPC), had the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu; and the Inspector-General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who was represented by the DIG Of Police, Research and Planning, Oyebade Adeleye, in attendance.

Others in attendance included the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo and traditional rulers from the state.

 

 

With the election drawing close, there have been claims and counterclaims about attacks from the two leading contestants, the candidates of the APC and the PDP.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the convoy of the PDP candidate, Jegede has been attacked severally – a situation which he credited to ‘hoodlums’ who according to him, escort the governor.

Read Also: When You Have A Bright Chance, That’s When They Conspire – Jegede

“Why should hoodlums be following a governor?,” Jegede asked, in an interview on Channels TV last Wednesday, as he reiterated that it can only be because they are threatened by him.

The APC, on the other hand, has accused the PDP of attacking its party properties in Owo the hometown of incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

Read Also: Guber Poll: Like Edo, I Expect Ondo People To Vote For Continuity, Says Akeredolu

They also accused some supporters of the opposition party of shooting at passers-by and damaging their vehicles, shops and other building in an attack.

While both parties have denied responsibility of the attacks, they have now signed the pact, agreeing to a violence-free exercise.

Jegede had contested in 2016 under the PDP and is hoping to secure a victory this time.

Also looking to secure a second term, Akeredolu on Tuesday, however, gave an assurance that the election will be peaceful, even as he urged INEC to ensure that the exercise is free, fair and credible.

Guber Poll: I Will Make Edo The Dubai Of Nigeria – ZLP’s Akhalame

 

The Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) governorship candidate in Edo State, Bishop Akhalame, has bemoaned the bane of what he describes as bad leadership in the state.

Akhalame said if elected as the governor of the state come September 19, he will turn around the economic fortunes of the state thus making it the Dubai of Nigeria.

He disclosed this on Friday during a governorship debate in Benin City, the state capital.

“As I am offering myself to the good people of this state, the problem of bad leadership in the state is solved already because I have all it takes to drive the economy of this state and make it the Dubai of Nigeria,” he said.

The 40-year-old Akhalama, an accountant by training, said the people of the state need a governor who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and accountable.

He claims to possess all it takes to take the state to greater heights, adding that his administration will address the unemployment of youths.

When asked how his party intends tackling the unemployment scourge that makes the state lead in the south-south region, Akhalame said the ZLP has the solution to the menace.

The Zenith Labour Candidate (ZLP) candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Bishop Akhalame speaks during the governorship debate in Benin City on September 11, 2020.

 

“That is why the Zenith Labour Party and Bishop Akhalame is the solution. You cannot be a good governor if you don’t have the database of your people.”

“The first thing I will do to curb the issue of unemployment is to create a database for my people. I want to know my people because I am not going to be a governor for myself,” he said.

Speaking further, the governorship hopeful said his administration will revive the dead industries in the state in order to keep the people gainfully employed.

In addition, he promised to establish Edo bakery in the three senatorial districts of the state, adding that bread is the food of the common man.

According to him, agriculture can fix unemployment in the state and also feed the people, pledging to engage the youth in agricultural activities by providing them with fertile land.

PDP, ZLP Boycott Ondo LG Elections

A voter is seen casting his vote Voting has commenced in unit 4 ward 7 in Akure South LGA, Ondo State on August 22, 2020.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party have boycotted the local government elections in Ondo State.

Channels Television learned that the parties believe the election could not be conducted in a credible, free and fair atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the Ondo State High Court, in Akure, the state capital on Friday struck out the interlocutory injunction filed by 15 political parties in the state, seeking to stop the conduct of the election.

The presiding judge, Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye struck out the application on the grounds that it breached Section 58 of the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) laws.

The polls commenced on Saturday, as Channels Television observed the early arrival of some electoral officials in some local councils.

In Ward 5, in Akure South LGA, ODIEC officials were seen sorting out voting materials as early as 7 am.

Similarly at Unit 10, Ward 6 in Akure South LGA, voting had commenced with low voter turnout.

The electoral body is conducting local government elections in 18 LGAs and 203 wards in the state.

Ondo Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, Joins ZLP

Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, with ZLP State Chairman, Joseph Akinlaja, and others at an event in Akure on August 14, 2020.

 

The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has officially defected to the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

He made the announcement on Friday at a colourful ceremony held at the state secretariat of the party in Akure, the state capital.

Addressing a crowd of party faithful at the event, the deputy governor said he was happy to join ZLP and was confident that the party would win the forthcoming governorship election.

He appealed to all loyalists of the party not to exercise any anxiety but be united and work for the party’s success in the poll.

Ajayi was received into the ZLP fold by the state party chairman, Joseph Akinlaja, and other leaders of the party in the state.

In an earlier remark, Akinlaja told the deputy governor that the ZLP members in Ondo were happy to receive him and his teeming supporters across the state into the party.

He was full of confidence that with the governorship election conducted under a free and fair atmosphere, ZLP would win convincingly.

The party chairman also disclosed that the official declaration of Ajayi as the ZLP governorship election would take place later.

Members of the ZLP in Ondo State gather at the reception of the state’s Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, into the party in Akure on August 14, 2020.

 

Ajayi’s defection to the ZLP, which is in line with his resolve to contest the October 10 governorship election in the state, has put an end to the speculations that Ajayi planned to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In June, the deputy governor left the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the PDP, where he contested for the party’s governorship primary election.

He was, however, defeated by Mr Eyitayo Jegede who won the PDP’s governorship ticket, prompting Ajayi to leave for the ZLP to actualise his ambition of becoming the governor of the state.

Although some of his supporters agitated that Ajayi be picked as Jegede’s running mate, that was not the case as another person was chosen for the position.

The deputy governor’s exit from the APC followed a disagreement between him and the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who has since emerged as the APC flagbearer for a second term in office.

Ondo Deputy Governor Yet To Declare For ZLP – Aide

A file photo of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.

 

The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has reacted to the reports that he has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he joined from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ajayi’s Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo, faulted the claims that his principal has defected to the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) on which platform he would contest the October 10 governorship election in Ondo after he lost in the PDP primary.

Okeowo told Channels Television during a telephone chat on Sunday that the deputy governor was under intense pressure from his supporters to contest for the election.

He, however, insisted that his principal has yet to declare for the ZLP or any other political party to contest the governorship election.

The deputy governor’s aide added that Ajayi has yet to take a decision on his next political move, saying he would likely make a declaration before the end of the week.

READ ALSO: Ondo Deputy Governor, Ajayi Resigns From APC

When contacted, the Publicity Secretary of ZLP in Ondo, Felix Olatunde, told Channels Television that the party has adopted Ajayi as its governorship candidate.

He explained that plans were being perfected to ensure that was done, noting that the candidate of the party, Rotimi Benjamin, had stepped down for the deputy governor.

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu.

 

Earlier, the PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Zadok Akintoye, issued a statement that Ajayi was still a member of the party.

The deputy governor defected from the APC to the PDP in June to fight for the party’s governorship ticket in the primary but lost to Mr Eyitayo Jegede.

Thereafter, some of his supporters agitated that Ajayi be picked as Jegede’s running mate, but that was not the case as another person was chosen for the position.

The deputy governor’s exit from the APC followed a disagreement between him and the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

While he left the party in a bid to unseat the governor in the forthcoming election in Ondo, Governor Akeredolu has since emerged as the APC flagbearer for a second term in office.

Ondo ZLP Deputy Chairman, LG Chairmen, Others Dump Party

Adebayo Abayomi speaks during a press briefing in Akure on March 2, 2020.

 

 

The Deputy Chairman of the Zenith Labour Party in Ondo State, Adebayo Abayomi, and some other leaders of ZLP have defected from the party.

Abayomi announced this on Monday while addressing a press conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

He listed other leaders who resigned from ZLP to include the state organising secretary, 13 local government chairmen, as well as 161 ward chairmen and their executives among others.

The former ZLP chieftain said the leaders have agreed to join a political movement, Grassroot Progressive Network (GPN).

He informed reporters that the group unanimously resolved to collapse their structure into the GPN.

Some of the former ZLP members who defected to GNP.

 

 

According to Abayomi, the decision was taken with a mission to effectively mobilise the people for the purpose of bringing governance to their doorstep.

He promised that the GPN would involve the people in making decisions that affect them, describing the party as a political platform that accommodates like minds across party divides.

GPN is led by a lawmaker, Bunmi Ojo, who represents Akoko North-West/North-East Constituency of Ondo State in the House of Representatives.