PDP governorship aspirant, 15,000 supporters dump Jegede
• Makinde, Mimiko’s scramble for presidential running mate in 2023 whittles down the opposition
• Akeredolu rallies monarchs for Yoruba president
Former State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State and governorship aspirant, Banji Okunomo, has deserted the party for Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
Okunomo resigned his membership of the party at Okitipupa Local Council yesterday, declaring that he would leave with over 15,000 of his supporters.
It was gathered that his main grouse for leaving the party was the failure to pick him as the running mate of Eyitayo Jegede.
The Guardian also learnt that the PDP deputy governorship slot was causing a lot of disaffection among the party leaders in the South Senatorial District, the strongest base of the party, where Okunomo and others hail from.
Aside that, it was also learnt that the bid by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, to become running mate to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in 2023 was causing disaffection among the opposition parties.
Reliable sources said that the plot for the 2023 presidential election had been fuelling a battle of supremacy between PDP leaders in the South-West, Makinde and the National Leader of ZLP, Mimiko.
They noted that Atiku had perfected plans to pick his running mate from the South-West even as he had been told by his South-East allies that the region was more focused on running for the presidency in 2023.
However, a source within Atiku’s camp, who is close to Mimiko, disclosed that the PDP had foreclosed the issue of the presidential ticket because the elders had resolved to re-present Atiku for the contest in 2023.
Meanwhile, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is yet to confirm if he would run, but he is believed to be eyeing the 2023 presidency with his political foot soldiers already putting pseudo pressure groups and campaign outfits ahead of the contest.
Akeredolu mobilised traditional rulers to have meeting with Tinubu, after commissioning the Revenue House to mark his second term kick-off at the weekend.
He stressed that the outcome of the election would determine the chances of the South-West in the 2023 presidency saying: “The October 10 election in Ondo State is not about Akeredolu but about the future of Ondo State and the entire Yoruba nation because whatever the outcome will be shall determine our seriousness in the quest for the 2023 presidency.”
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