Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, has declared he remains the deputy governor despite his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ajayi said he remains committed to serving the state, adding that he was unperturbed in his desire to serve as governor.
The deputy governor also expressed readiness to contest the next governorship election on PDP platform, saying he would not be part of any arrangements of imposing candidate on the party.
He said he was already prepared for the PDP governorship primary and urged other qualified contestants to embrace the primary.
Ajayi formally dumped the APC on Sunday and joined the PDP after a protracted crisis between him and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
However, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has said the defection will not have any effect on the administration and his re-election bid.
Akeredolu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, said he was not interested in any issue that could bring about crisis in the state, adding that his wish was to continue with his developmental agenda.
Notwithstanding, APC has advised Ajayi to resign in the interest of peace.
The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, said it is better for Ajayi to toe the path of honour and peace by resigning from office since he was sponsored by the party on the same ticket with Governor Akeredolu.
It described the development as a worrisome and unfortunate, saying it is disturbing that the journey which commenced in one accord a few years back could go awry this soon.
“We wished Ajayi had not taken this decision, after series of efforts and attempts by royal fathers and party leaders, from within and outside the state to forestall this migration.
“The State Working Committee is taken aback by a reported statement credited to Ajayi that he would remain the deputy governor as long as his people have not asked him to quit. This statement is vexatious.
“It is imperative to remind Ajayi that he ran on an APC ticket given to Akeredolu and both were sponsored by the party. Now that he chooses to defect, the party advises Ajayi to toe the path of wisdom, and resign honourably.
“We will, however, be willing to reabsorb him and his followers whenever they opt to retrace their steps,” he said