A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede has declared that zoning will not be a factor in deciding who will fly the party ticket in this year’s governorship election.
In a statement made available to THISDAY Wednesday, Jegede, who is an aspirant for the race, said anybody who has been following the trajectory of the party since 1999 will know that the PDP in Ondo State has never emphasised on zoning, noting that aspirants should lure delegates by what they can offer, as he for one was not afraid of competition.
He said: “I am optimistic that PDP will defeat the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in this year’s governorship election.
The internal crisis in the APC and the number of aspirants contesting the governorship ticket with Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu is a clear indication of vote of no confidence passed on his administration not only by the APC members but by the majority of residents of the state.
“Democracy is about choice, the people determines who will govern them. The populace will have to weigh their options, whether their lives have improved in the last three and half years, whether the economy has improved, whether the security has improved, whether the education system has improved. If there is no improvement, the obvious thing is to have another government in place. This election will give a verdict about Akeredolu’s performance. And I believe that the PDP is standing a good chance to take over”.
Jegede, who was the governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2016 election hinged his optimism on the alleged dismal performance and dwindling popularity of the APC in the state.
Jegede described the defection of the Deputy Governor of the state, Hon Agboola Ajayi as a welcome development that would further weakened the chances of the APC in the election.
“There is no cause for alarm. If APC is a good party, the gentleman would not leave the party and if he has good chances in APC, he would not have left the party. I am not afraid of competition”.
He noted that since 2016 the PDP in Ondo State has grown to become a formidable party and united to defeat the APC and provide better governance for the people of the state.
He noted that in 2019 general election, the PDP got more votes in the presidential election than the APC and got two senates.
He said, “Before 2019, APC had all the three Senators, but in 2019, they lost two to the PDP. Secondly, in 2015, APC had highest votes in the presidential election but in 2019 PDP scored majority of votes despite the fact that APC was in government both at the federal and state level. Ondo State was the only state in the South West that recorded margin of votes for the PDP. It is my privilege to lead as the Director General (DG) of Atiku campaign organization in the state when we achieved this feat.”
He said he has gathered enough experience not to allow what happened to him in 2016 when “his hands were tied to his legs” by some party members only to be loosened two days to the election by the court.