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EXCLUSIVE: Ondo Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, To Dump APC For PDP Next Week

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Incumbent deputy governor of Ondo State, Mr Agboola Ajayi, has perfected plans to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Democratic Party less than five months to the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state.

There has been a cold war between Ajayi and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and this became visible shortly after the 2019 general elections.

It was learnt that as a result of the crisis between them, Ajayi has decided to join the PDP to contest against Akeredolu during the governorship election.

Findings revealed that the deputy governor’s defection plan has created disaffection among top members of the APC and loyalists of Akeredolu, who had been pleading with Ajayi not to leave the party.

In fact, some APC leaders in the South-West including Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State had several times intervened in the face-off between Ajayi and Akeredolu, but had not been able to settle the rift.

Governor Akeredolu is seeking a second term in office and has obtained the APC’s form to indicate that interest.

However, strong indications of Ajayi’s defection to the PDP emerged during the week when his campaign posters surfaced on the various social media platforms.

Also, news of his planned resignation became rife on Friday evening after his return from Abuja where he had held a series of talks and meetings with some key leaders of the PDP.

A current governor from the North-West and part of the major financiers of the PDP, who facilitated the meetings, was said to have reached out to the national and state leadership of the party on the workings for the deal.

It was reliably learnt that top cabinet members of Governor Akeredolu’s government and a handful of lawmakers of the state’s House of Assembly are to move with the deputy governor to the PDP.

An aide to Ajayi said, “The deputy governor’s defection is confirmed for next and nothing can change it because he just returned to the state after a week where he met some stakeholders on the project ahead of us.

“I can confirm to you right now that he would resign his position from the cabinet any moment from now and join the PDP.”

When contacted on the matter, Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP in Ondo State, Mr Zadok Akintoye, could not deny or confirm the defection plan of Mr Ajayi but said the party remains committed to the principles of democracy and revealed that those willing to join the party were expected to register at their wards.

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Politics

FRESH: North-East Governors’ Forum Elect Zulum Chairman

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Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has been elected as the pioneer Chairman of the North-East Governors Forum.

The Borno governor will hold the position for a period of two years.

This was made known in a communique issued at the end of the forum’s second meeting, which held in Maiduguri on Saturday and signed by the Forum’s Chairman and governor of Borno, Zulum.

According to the communique, the meeting was attended by governors of Adamawa- Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Gombe- Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya, Borno- Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, Bauchi- Sen. Bala Mohammed, Deputy Governors of Taraba- Engr Haruna Manu and Yobe, Idi Barde Gubana.

The governors also agreed to make Maiduguri headquarters of their forum.

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Ize-Iyamu: Buhari Blasts PDP, All Your Governors Must Quit First

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President Muhammadu Buhari has lashed PDP over its call that he should dissociate from Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, questioning the party’s moral ground to make the call.

In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari asked the PDP to clear moral cobwebs in its camp first before questioning the integrity of the APC candidate in the Edo election.

The statement referred to some PDP governors, facing corruption trials before their election and who nevertheless were elected.

Read the full statement:

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has been struggling to clear its name from alleged deals with the underworld in Dubai and the United States has, to our surprise, found the voice to attack the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration following the President’s endorsement of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s dashing candidate for the governorship election in Edo State.

Forgetting its own history and antecedents, the PDP said in a garrulous statement that “the President ought to have been aware that the Candidate is standing trial for corruption,” and then went on rant against the government’s war against corruption, alleging its failure.

Let PDP first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to Ahmadu Fintiri and Bala Mohammed of Adamawa and Bauchi States respectively, before it opens its mouth and talk on the efforts of this administration in fighting corruption. Or else, it should shut its mouth forever and leave us to do what it dares not attempt.

Both PDP governors were actually on bail from criminal trial on several counts of fraud and embezzlement.

Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, July 1, 2016 granted bail to the former acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. He was charged on June 30, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his company, Mayim Construction and Properties Limited on a five-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N2.9 billion.

In the case of Bala Mohammed, the PDP Governor of Bauchi State, the EFCC, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, arraigned the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, before Justice A.

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FRESH: I Won’t Vie For President In 2023, South Deserves It –El-Rufai

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Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai has said he would not vie for the 2023 presidency.

He stated this in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Saturday.

The governor said the 2023 presidency should be zoned to the South at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office.

El-Rufai noted that rumour of his presidential ambition has been making the rounds since he was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory under President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003 to 2007.

He said, “Many have been saying that I want to contest for president since I was a Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“This does not make sense.

“I do not want [to contest the Nigerian presidency].

“It’s God that gives power, whether you like it or not.

“If He [God] wants, He [God] will give it to you, but I have never intended to contest for the presidency of Nigeria and nobody can say I did.”

El-Rufai disclosed that there is a gentleman’s agreement for power to rotate between north and south every eight years.

“The southern part of the country is supposed to produce the president come 2023; I don’t support a northerner to vie for the seat after President Muhammadu Buhari, based on Nigeria’s political arrangement,” the governor said.

He further explained that though the arrangement is not recognised by the constitution, politicians are aware of its existence.

“I believe that (there is) no developed country across the world that considers leadership based on where someone comes from. However, in Nigerian politics, there is an arrangement that we all believe on rotational leadership. We are aware of that, anyone who denies that is wrong,” el-Rufai said.

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