The streets of Akure, the Ondo state capital was on Friday rocked by violent protests as PDP faithful took to the streets.
The protest was over the inclusion of the name of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the list of candidates for the state governorship election scheduled for next month.
The explanation of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ondo State, Olusegun Agbaje, that the move was in obedience to a court order was not enough to quell tempers.
INEC dropped the name of Eyitayo Jegede of the Makarfi-led faction of the party, governorship replacing it with that of the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction, Ibrahim as the candidate for the party.
Jegede has called on supporters to remain calm, stating that he would file an appeal against the decision of the electoral body.
Speaking with newsmen, Agbaje said Ibrahim was approved as candidate based on an order from the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang.
Recall that Justice Abang had on October 14, declared Mr. Ibrahim as the bonafide candidate of the PDP, equally , rejecting the plea by Jegede seeking to be allowed to appeal the judgment.
According to Agbaje, “We received a court order from the High Court in Akure… but there was a subsisting one by Justice Abang (Thursday), that is what happened.”
He also noted that INEC would have no choice but to drop Mr. Ibrahim if another superior order comes in favour of Mr. Jegede.
He also has a piece of advice for the politicians: “Now they have to go on appeal at a higher court,” he said. “They are the ones undoing themselves and like I said, we do not have any candidate. We will only abide by the laws guiding the process.”
Reacting to the development, National Publicity Secretary, of the Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the party said the emergence of Mr Ibrahim as Ondo state’s governorship candidate for the party is victory for the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Jegede, in a press statement issued in Akure by his spokesperson, Mr Fasua Kayode, said he had gone to the Court of Appeal to upturn the decision.
The statement rad in part, that “Eyitayo Jegede, your son and brother, has not in any way abdicated the general consent given to him by the law-abiding members of the PDP to seek election into the office of the Governor.
“Like I have always said, I am guided by the Almighty and the shared vision to transform this state to a land of wealth and prosperity.
“You remain my priority as we, in faith, match on to the Promised Land,” he stated.
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