Despite the Bola Tinubu-led peace effort the ruling APC made to settle the crisis rocking its Ondo chapter, there are still signs Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu will fight the battle of his political life to seek a come-back in 15 months’ time.
And his prime enemy, in the battle, is himself, many analysts agree.
The newbie lawyer-governor has been sacking and ruffling his cabinet and party loyalists. The fear of the unknown has also made him declare cold war on his deputy who Akeredolu’s critics describe as the real McCoy of Ondo grassroots politics.
Dep. Gov Agboola Ajayi is a walk-in from the PDP. And he may return there soon, as reports have it, because Akeredolu is almost getting paranoid with this bogeyman of his deputy.
Ajayi himself is battle-ready.
After his expected resignation and return to the PDP, Ajayi, sources say, is going to pick his running mate, federal Rep Adedayo Omolafe from Ondo Central.
A faction of the APC Akeredolu has alienated will then follow Ajayi to the PDP which is already waiting with outstretched arms to pull him in, and give Akeredolu a fight come 2020.
The Feb 23 presidential election has helped political observers meter Akeredolu’s political influence in the state. His party candidate Muhammadu Buhari lost clearly to the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar in the election, something that revealed the APC governor is a paperweight.
So the rallying point of opposition in the state might probably become the estranged deputy governor. And even outside, forces are aligning to give him enough backwind to mow down Akeredolu at the poll.
Sokoto Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, who was a former Speaker and colleague of Ajayi’s at the House of Rep, is among those already enlisting to help.
As expected, all the warriors in this 2020 battle have dismissed the reports as mischievous.
The deputy governor denied any romance with the PDP—or any ambition to kick over his boss in 2020. Their relationship, he insists, has been a most cordial one.
“There is no place where the Deputy Governor has met with stalwarts of the PDP not to talk of dividing their party,’ Ajayi’s media handler Babatope Okeowo said in a press release.
He also apologised to Tambuwal dragged into the murky water of Ondo State’s politics.
“Agboola Ajayi remains the deputy governor and loyal to his boss, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. He was chosen as the Deputy Governor at the benevolent of his boss, Governor Akeredolu,” he added.