Ondo Guber: How Agbi, Others Influenced Mimiko To Endorse Eyitayo Jegede
Facts have emerged on how a former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Greece and Asiwaju of Akureland, Prof. Olu Agbi and Mr. Soji Bello influenced Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s endorsement of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo state.
Mr. Eyitayo Jegede who has just been endorsed by Governor Mimiko is the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo state.
Before the news went viral, key leaders of the Old Akure Division (Akure South, Akure North, Idanre and Ifedore) had met and decided to nominate two aspirants (Dr. Oluwadare Bada and Mr. Eyitayo Jegede) for Governor Mimiko who was to be allowed to use his discretion to pick the most credible to represent the Old Akure Division at the primary election of the ruling party ahead of the November governorship election.
Nigerian Concord gathered that Professor Olu Agbi and the Chairman of the Ondo State Property Development Corporation who is also a former Chairman of Akure South Local Government, Hon. Adedayo Omolafe (Expensive) were parts of the people that agreed to nominate the two aspirants from the Division.
Nigerian Concord’s findings showed that key leaders of the Old Akure Division took this decision because they had agreed never to accept a Deputy Governorship slot.
These resolutions were contained in a letter jointly signed by the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, Professor Olu Agbi, Dr. Oluwadare Bada, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN, Reverend Remi Adegboyegun, Engineer Niran Jogbodo and Prince Bisi Adeniyi (Akure North), Mr. Abiodun Omonijo, Arch. Jide Adejuyigbe and Hon. Adedayo Omolafe (Akure South), Hon. Bola Ogunmolu, Hon. Telim Oyadare and Hon. Afolabi Adesoji (Idanre) and Chief Olu Ajayi, Prince Tunde Adegbonmire and Chief Wemimo Olaniran (Ifedore)
The letter which was written under the letterhead paper of the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, on July 4, 2016 with a title: “Resolution of the Old Akure Division” was addressed to Governor Mimiko.
The letter reads: “We are pleased to present our resolution as people of the old Akure division of Ondo state to your good self for your kind consideration.
“We have consulted very widely within the four local government areas that make up the old Akure division of Ondo state, principally amongst traditional/community leaders, opinion leaders, political leaders and the general populace on the place of the Akure division in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in our dear state.
“The preponderant and overwhelming desire of the people is for the position of the Governorship of Ondo State; our people do not want the Deputy Governorship again. This painstaking consultation is precisely why there is a reduction in the usual motley crowd of Aspirants to only two serious aspirants in the PDP, namely: Dr. Oluwadare Bada and Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN.
“As the Chief Executive of our dear State and leader of the PDP, you are eminently placed to access the preferences of the other parts of the state, information of what the party desires in its flag bearer for electoral victory and the attributes you will like to see in your successor.
“We are therefore sending the two aspirants to you to make your choice, the aspirants have agreed to abide with your choice and we take full responsibility to ensure that your choice will be acceptable to all our people across board and only that choice will contest the PDP primary election from Akure Division”
It was gathered that the governor was earlier advised by people like Professor Agbi and Mr. Soji Bello to pick an Akure man from the Ondo Central if his party, the PDP, must win the governorship election in November.
“When they (Agbi, Bello and others) saw that the decision of the Akure division was favouring Dr. Oluwadare Bada who was nominated alongside Eyitayo Jegede, they quickly advised Governor Mimiko to consider Jegede as he (Bada) would be uncontrollable. And the idea to endorse Jegede came up as a result of this.
“The governor then told the Oba Aladelusi that he has made up his mind to back Jegede even though he hasn’t made it open to the public. But Agbi on returning from a recent overseas medical tourism told some groups of women who came to greet him that they should start spreading the news that Mimiko had officially endorsed Jegede” a party source told this newspaper.
However, a chieftain of the PDP who prefered not to be mentioned said the choice of Eyitayo Jegede was sold to the governor by Professor Agbi who claimed that the Attorney General had already informed him that people like a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and other external persons were going to bankroll his campaigns.
Another chieftain of the party also said that Alhaji Atiku had recently told Governor Mimiko to endorse Jegede as his successor, adding that he (Atiku) would return back to the PDP to run for the presidency in 2019 and then make Mimiko his running mate.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the PDP has reacted against Governor Mimiko’s endorsement of Eyitayo Jegede.
The party which made its position known in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Hon. Banji Okunomo, said it had become necessary to debunk the rumour making the rounds that the PDP Ondo State chapter had adopted a particular aspirant when the party is yet to conduct its primary election.
The party in the statement said it wished to clear the air that the rumour was a figment of imagination and not emanating from the secretariat of the PDP.
“The PDP has a constitution which guides its affairs. The issue pertaining to picking the candidate who would be the flag bearer of the party in the forthcoming governorship election is purely a constitutional affair of the party. Provisions for the party’s primary are purely unambiguous in the constitution of our party.
“The PDP as a party believes strongly in internal democracy and as such issues of imposition of candidates on the party would not arise.
“One of the attributes that mark the leader of our party, Governor Olusegun Mimiko is his belief in the input of people in the emergence of their representatives. This attribute he has demonstrated in a number of occasions where the people decide at the instance of the governor.
“To this end, the party wishes to implore all the aspirants not to entertain any fear as regards their ambitions. The party wishes to assure all aspirants that there would be a level plain ground for all aspirants in the primary election. The party believes so much in democratic appeals, fairness, equity and justice.
“Among other things, the party would consider issues of leadership prowess, popularity and acceptance of candidates to the electorate before such is picked to be the flag bearer of the party at the polls.
“The party’s primary would be conducted at a date which would be fixed within the period which INEC allows by which time the flag bearer of the party would emerge.
“We cannot afford to shut the door against any aspirant when the primary of the party has not yet been done.
Before then, the leadership of the party under our amiable governor would have held various stakeholders meetings where the modalities for the conduct of the primary and other matters connected thereto would be deliberated and agreed upon.
“We wish to use this medium to appeal to all aspirants to remain focused and committed to their aspirations while doing the necessary lobbying pending when the primary would be held.
We do not want to leave anybody in doubt as regards the rumour being peddled and to state unequivocally that the party has no anointed candidate.
We call on members of the PDP in Ondo State to continue to blossom in the enviable sanity which has continued to exist within the party” the statement reads in parts.