Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State yesterday urged his embattled deputy, Agboola Ajayi, to demonstrate his political relevance in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Akeredolu asked him to work in concert with his rival of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, rather than defect to another political party in pursuit of his governorship ambition.
The governor, who spoke with reporters at the national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, was full of optimism that he would emerge victorious at the poll.
“For me, the deputy governor leaving the APC to return to the PDP is good riddance to bad rubbish. We thought we could accommodate him at the APC but since he returned to where he truly belongs, it is all well and good.
“I always wish people the best I can. From what I have been told, he has lost the ticket and I pray he won’t jump to another place but if he does, all well and good.
“However, for his own sake and as a big brother, I will advise him to stay with Jegede, support him very well. He has made a case that he helped me to win, let him help him (Jegede) to win and we will confirm that he is popular,” he said.
Akeredolu, who reiterated his determination to reconcile his differences with aggrieved members of the party in the state, said that he was at the party secretariat to offer explanations on the legality of his emergence as flagbearer of the party.
Meanwhile, Jegede has warned that the people of the state would resist any attempt to rig the October 10, 2020 governorship election.
He gave the note of caution at the weekend while fielding questions during a personality programme on Crest Frequency Modulation (FM) radio station in Akure.
In another development, the second term bid of Akeredolu received a boost yesterday as the Special Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Bola Ilori, agreed to work for him.
Ilori, who was among the party stalwarts opposed to Akeredolu’s government, expressed heartfelt congratulations to the governor over his victory at the just-concluded APC gubernatorial primaries in the state.
The former Director-General of Olusola Oke’s campaign team in 2016 said: “The governor has since winning the APC party primaries stretched the hands of reconciliation to all other contestants. This is a highly commendable sign of new beginning for the citizenry and good tidings for the fortune of APC in Ondo State.