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Why I withdrew from Ondo guber race — Eyitayo Jegede

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state in 2020, Chief Eyitayo Jegede, on Thursday, said he withdrew from the 2024 governorship race to give room for unity and ensure victory for the party in the forthcoming governorship election.

Jegede who noted that disunity has not allowed any candidate from that party to win the governorship race in the state, said he chose to sacrifice his ambition for the development of the party.

This is just as a group within the party, PDP Crusader, hailed the decision of Jegede to step aside in the forthcoming governorship election in the state in order to build a strong and united party that can send the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) packing in the state.

The Coordinator of the PDP Crusader, Hon Mayokun Akinmoladun, said the group was ready to follow and support Jegede in any decision he took on the party’s primary and the November 16 governorship election.

Akinmoladun said the most important thing to the party is to come together and rescue the state, noting that the party was not being run the way it was supposed to be.

He said the party may go into extinction if care is not taken, and commended Jegede for financing the party since it lost the governorship seat some eight years ago.

Jegede who hails from Ondo Central senatorial district was the candidate of the PDP in 2016 and 2020 but lost to the ruling APC, while there was speculation that he might contest for the third time.

However, Jegede said that the constitution of the PDP is silent on zoning, but told his supporters to remain calm and work for the progress of the party for future elections.

In a statement titled ‘It is Time to Rebuild the Party for Victory’ Jegede said he would allow other aspirants to try their luck this time around and ultimately win the next governorship election.

Jegede said “A decision has to be taken whether we need to repeat the same process that we passed through in 2016 and 2020.

“After several intensive and extensive consultations, consolidations, and reconsiderations, it became obvious that we need to reexamine whether to proceed or take a detour that could guarantee an alignment with the preponderance of opinion in terms of the quest for equitable representation, equity, and fair play particularly at the level of governorship.

‘It is imperative to state that our party constitution is not receptive to zoning and this has been demonstrated through the election of successive Governors, the elections were not based on zoning but on merit.

“I must also state here, albeit clearly that the succession since the civilian administration had witnessed the emergence of two Governors (Chief Adebayo Adefarati and Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu) from the Northern Senatorial district. Governors Olusegun Agagu and current Governor Lucky Ayedatiwa, from Southern Senatorial District.

“The central produced Governor Olusegun Mimiko. Their respective tenure had been based on both constitutional provisions and/ or providence. Today, we have an array of governorship aspirants who are competent and distinguished in their various callings, we also have those who have shown exceptional qualities including consistency and unalloyed loyalty to the party.

“I feel it is time to allow these men the opportunity to try their luck in the primary and by God’s grace, ultimately win the governorship election, all the aspirants would be accorded every support that is available at my disposal.”

He called on his supporters to make necessary sacrifices to ensure victory for the party and its candidate in the forthcoming election.

According to him, “I am committed to making all necessary sacrifices to provide solutions to the problems of the Party rather than join in compounding it.

“I recognise that the success of our party is achievable if we all work together, and I, therefore request you to join hands with the party leadership in your wards and in our various local government areas to ensure a rancour-free primary and a successful outing in the forthcoming governorship elections.”

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