The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Southwest zone, has said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State will be welcomed into the party but without special privileges, if he decamps from the All Progressives Congress, APC.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Zonal Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Ayo Fadaka.
He, however, said the alleged defection of Akeredolu remained a rumour and currently a non-issue within the PDP.
He noted that the rumour was predicated on the recurring challenges confronting the Ondo state governor over the crisis in his party.
Fadaka said “Our attention has been drawn to rumoured defection plans by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State to PDP. This rumour is predicated on the recurring challenges the Governor continues to encounter in his Party, APC.
“It will be recalled that this development is responsible for his hijack of AA as a platform which some of his candidates who were denied ticket in APC used to contest the last election.”
“We, however, wish to state most unequivocally that the PDP in Ondo State remains cohesive, solid and vibrant through dint of hard work and commitment of leaders and members of the Party and as such is not primed to be taken over by anyone, irrespective of his status.
“We also declare that anyone who wishes to join our Party will also be welcome into our ranks provided such a person or group recognises the fact that no special privileges will be accorded him/them upon joining.
“Thus should Governor Rotimi Akeredolu desire to join our Party today, he will be welcome as a fresh member with no special privileges of any kind.”
However, Fadaka said that PDP had put its house in order ahead next year gubernatorial election.
His words, “Prominent members are already getting prepared to take a shot at becoming the Party’s flag bearer, the Party shall at the fullness of time organize a primary election to pick whoever will become our candidate in that election.
“It is important to again underscore the fact the Party will maintain the tradition of picking its candidate through a free and fair primary election that will be rancour-free.
“In conclusion, the hoopla surrounding Akeredolu’s desire to join our Party remains a rumour and currently not an issue within our Party.
“We, therefore, enjoin our members in Ondo State to disregard the rumour and continue to promote and extend the frontiers of the Party in their various communities.”