Ondo 2024: PDP Youths Advocate dismisses chances of six guber aspirants, says none of them can face APC …See details

By Aare Abiodun, Reporting for Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Comrade Akinrinsoye Mercy, the Coordinator of the PDP Youths Advocate in Ondo state has dismissed the chances of the six governorship aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party from the Southern part of the state.

According to the renowned political analyst with decades of experience, Ondo is for the People’s Democratic Party to win or lose depending on the candidate presented for the election. “As it is, I can conclude that the PDP is yet to have a viable aspirant who can challenge the ruling APC in Ondo State” he added.

In his article titled: “Ondo 2024: An Unbiased X-ray Of PDP Governorship Aspirants which went viral over the weekend, Akinrinsoye, a renowned political analyst wrote:

As per the timetable released by the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a few weeks, the gubernatorial primary of the PDP for Ondo State will be conducted. A variety of aspirants have trumped up and have been crisscrossing the length and breadth of Ondo State, consulting leaders and Party faithfuls, seeking support for the topmost job in the State. While we will have to wait till March 7, 2024, when the sale of forms will kick off, to know the pretenders and the serious ones, this piece is aim at giving a clear and concise debrief on each of the available aspirants as at now.

Sincerely, there has never been a better time for PDP to take over the State with the imminent implosion of the ruling party and the untoward hardship being witnessed across the land as a result of the poor leadership and maladministration that APC have brought to bare on governance in the state.

One of the major reasons for the degrading status of the PDP as a party in Ondo State, is the refusal to reward loyalty, and the encouragement of anti-party activities by leaders who should discipline erring members. It is possible to decamp into PDP within a month and become the candidate of the Party for an election as long as you oil the pockets of some leaders within the Party. This singular act has effectively engineered disunity and mistrust in the Party by those who genuinely care about it. The Party has been turned into a dumping ground.

However, without boring you with the PDP internal problems, let’s take a look at the political weights and strengths of the aspirants jostling to take the gubernatorial ticket of the party.

Deolu Akinwunmi

Young, bold, and brilliant, Deolu Akinwunmi presents the Party with an opportunity to have an energetic man on the ticket that can be adopted by the youths of Ondo State. Of all the aspirants, he was the first to go out and start consulting, touring and building a structure within the PDP but he’s largely unknown to the Party’s stakeholders. His Aluta brand of politics will disaffect Party leaders who don’t seem open to it. He is not financially ready for the task ahead. He’s also being faulted for taking sides with those who said zoning was antithetical to the politics of Ondo State by campaigning against the Southern agitation for the gubernatorial ticket during the last election.

John Ola Mafo

John Ola Mafo, on the other hand is an experienced politician, lawyer, and a grassroots politician in the politics of Ondo State. He is a two-term commissioner under Governor Olusegun Agagu and Special Adviser/ Executive Chairman ODSFA under the administration former Governor Segun Mimiko. Mafo was the deputy Governorship Candidate of the PDP in 2016. He has been in the Party for a very long time without wavering.
Of all the aspirants, Mafo seems to have little or no enemy within and outside the party. He could have been a picture and a rallying point in the PDP, but for his lack of deep pocket which appears to be a source of concern and a necessity to prosecute a governorship election in Nigeria, his ticket may not fly as the PDP in Ondo State is currently broke.
It’s obvious and indisputable that the Ondo State PDP needs a candidate that has financial power and influence to muster resources to prosecute his election, such a candidate must also have the financial capacity to finance and build the PDP in Ondo State if wining the forthcoming governorship election is anything close by.

Chief Sola Ebiseni

Chief Sola Ebiseni, a Constitutional Lawyer and former Commissioner in Ondo State is the most experienced of the lot contesting. But his ticket will cause more harm than good to the PDP in Ondo State. Ebiseni was the South West Coordinator for the Obi/Datti campaign Organization in the last presidential election in Nigeria. His sudden support for Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, ditto his regular articles on the pages of newspapers, against the PDP and its candidate, no doubt, whittled down our chances in the 2023 general election.
It’s also on record that Chief Ebiseni obviously strained his relationship with some notable leaders of the party while working for Peter Obi as the South West Coordinator of his campaign Organization in the last presidential election. I can conclude that Chief Ebiseni won’t get sympathy and support from the members and leaders of the PDP for decamping at will, and abandoning them when needed most. It will be an under statement to say that his ticket may further polarise the PDP in Ondo State.

Hon. Sheba Abayomi

Hon. Sheba is an Irele born former federal lawmaker and a former Chairman of Federal Character Commission. Like Ebiseni, he has shown to be one other aspirant whose candidature poses danger for the PDP. He returned to the Party in 2023 in order to contest the House of Representatives election — an ambition that failed to succeed because he did not win his party’s primary. But losing the primary election is not the issue here, he has been accused of working against Hon. Ikengboju Gboluga, the Party’s candidate in Ikale Federal Constituency during the last general election. He will be a candidate with so many enemies within the Party which may open the floodgate of doom for the PDP if fielded in error. Besides the above, he is also not buoyant financially nor strong enough to muster resources to prosecute a governorship election. He is believed to be banking on the influence of Chief Eddy Olafeso who is interconnected and influential within and outside the PDP.

His Excellency, Hon. Agboola Ajayi

None of the aspirants (Referring to the South) can match the popularity of Hon. Agboola Ajayi, former Deputy Governor and recently the senatorial candidate of the Party in Ondo South Senatorial District. Aside losing Ondo South to APC under his watch, Agboola Ajayi seems to be contesting for vendetta. His candidacy will further plunge the Party into crisis as he’s effectively amassed more enemies than friends within and outside the PDP. His proclivity for jumping ship whenever things aren’t working for him has given him out as someone who is not a Party person. If he’s empowered, no one can guarantee he will stay in the Party three months after his election. Also, Senator Nicholas Tofowomo suit against his academic records may be revisited by his enemies to frustrate his chances since the Supreme Court refused to dispense Justice in the matter but struck out the case on the ground that it was filed out of time.

Otunba Bamidele Akingboye

Otunba Bamidele Akingboye is a popular figure in Ondo State politics and has been in the party for a long time. He is loyal and faithful to the PDP, but he is not really an active member of the party, mostly more visible when in need of something within the system. He contests virtually all elections, lose and yet support the candidates of the Party afterwards. The Okitipupa born businessman, however, doesn’t have the charisma and political wit to strongly challenge the ruling Party if given the ticket. Someone said he contests every election as his way of empowering his people. It is my opinion that the Peoples Democratic Party needs to pick a candidate that will not only resonate with the masses but finds a common ground with the various tendencies within the Party. The people are earnestly yearning for the PDP to get it right.

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