TWO factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have submitted the names of two different people as their candidates for the Ondo State governorship election. The two camps led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, chairman, national caretaker committee, PDP, and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, factional PDP chairman.
While Makarfi’s camp submitted the name of Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, Sheriff’s faction gave the name of Jimoh Ibrahim as its own candidate to the electoral body. The election is scheduled to hold on November 26.
Sheriff’s camp relied on two court orders, one of which asked the commission to take candidates for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states from Sheriff’s camp to make the submission.
Bernard Mikko, spokesman of the faction, confirmed the submission of the name of Ibrahim by his faction. Mikko said his faction was sure of winning the election in the state. He said Sheriff was sure of being pronounced the real and authentic national chairman of the party by the courts.
He said there was nothing to worry about, adding that the faction was merely against the alleged impunity in the party. Mikko said, “We have a formidable candidate in Jimoh Ibrahim and we have forwarded his name to INEC as the party’s candidate. We believe he will defeat any other candidate based on the clean process that threw him up and his antecedents in the state. He had contested before, and was and still, well received by the electorate. He’s our candidate for the election.”
However, a member of Makarfi camp, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, faulted the submission of Ibrahim’s name by the Sheriff faction. He said the aim and the action of the group would come to nothing, just the way the faction failed in its bid to submit another name as the party’s governorship candidate in Edo State.
Adeyeye wondered where the faction got the courage to take the name to INEC, when the electoral body did not monitor the primary that produced its candidate. The contentious primary that threw up Ibrahim took place in Ibadan, Oyo State, while the one won by Jegede, was done in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
He, nevertheless, asked members of the party in Ondo State in particular and Nigeria in general, not to panic. He said, “If they do that (submission of Ibrahim’s name), it will amount to nothing. This is because, we have court judgments in our favour and moreover, INEC did not monitor their own primary. Let them continue with the entertainment. Nigerians are enjoying their drama.”
Reacting, Nick Dazang, deputy director, voter education and publicity, INEC, said Makarfi group had submitted the name of its candidate. He said, “Yes, one of them, the Makarfi group had submitted the name of its candidate. I’m not sure if the Sheriff faction has done the same thing either today (Thursday) or yesterday (Wednesday). At the end of the day, the commission will sit down to look at the law and take a position on who is the right candidate and who is not.”
— Sep 26, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT