Ondo PDP facing challenges over Kuku’s rumoured defection plan
The woes of the Ondo State chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be compounded going by the unfolding developments in the state.
The state chapter had been decimated by the crisis rocking the national body, which culminated in the party’s loss at the governorship election.
However, an alleged move by two major financiers of the party to dump PDP in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would definitely increase its troubles.
This is coming barely five weeks after the former PDP governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko left office and the APC took over under the leadership of governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The Guardian gathered that the former Special Adviser and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku as well as the western fringe commander of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Bibopere Ajube, are set to leave the PDP for APC.
This is despite the fact that it was claimed that Kuku nominated Mr. John Ola Mafo as running mate to the party’s governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede in the November 26 governorship election.
It was also suspected that Ajube funded the PDP in Ese-Odo Local Government Area.
Kuku, who has been having a running battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged mismanagement of Amnesty funds, is believed to be currently on self-exile in the United States.
He has, penultimate week, reportedly passed the message of his defection across to his supporters to prepare to join the ruling APC in the state.
Though it could not be confirmed if the former presidential aide’s decision to anchor with the APC is linked with the need to have a soft landing regarding the anti-graft agency’s probe of the Amnesty Office during his tenure as head.
Ajube who is an associate of Kuku, is said to have opened discussions with some close confidants of Akeredolu on Kuku as he also seeks to retain the local vigilante job purportedly given to his company, by the immediate past government.
However, a former caretaker chairman of Ese-Odo Council, Mr. Kennedy Peretei and a close associate of Kuku and Ajube in the PDP, dispelled the defected moves as fallacious and untrue.
According to him, “There is no strength of truth in that, I have no such plans. And if you remember when this current government was sworn in, I wrote a piece saying we have to strengthen our democracy.
He urged his people to remain steadfast to PDP and not to jump ship because of a current loss of power, stressing that by that way democracy is deepened.
“I admonished our people to strengthen our party by staying where they are so that there can be an opposition that can be viral,” he stated.