PDP’s Tragedy In Edo Resurfaces In Ondo Ahead of Guber Poll

By Ikenga Chronicles October 17, 2016

The tragedy that befell the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) in the just concluded Edo Gubernatorial poll where the opposition party initially had two candidates has again reared up its ugly head in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.

It was learnt that the recent Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja judgement recognizing Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s candidate for the gubernatorial election in Ondo state instead of Eyitayo Jegede is tragic.

The PDP under the leadership of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said Eyitayo Jegede remains the party’s flag-bearer in the Ondo State governorship election.

The party stated this position shortly after Justice Okon Abang declared Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the party for the November 26 poll. The judgement was immediately appealed by the Jegede camp.

A statement after the judgement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the ruling of Justice Abang recently did not in any way affect the matter of the PDP candidacy in the Ondo State governorship election.

Adeyeye said that the issue of Ondo State governorship was not the matter before Justice Abang in the suit.

Adeyeye said: “The matter before his lordship was in relation to the 2019 general elections.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, Eyitayo Jegede remains the flagbearer of the PDP in the Saturday, November 26, Ondo State Governorship Election.”

Adeyeye, therefore, called on all members and supporters of the PDP as well as the electorate in Ondo State not to allow the ruling to distract them.

He said that they should rather continue with the campaigns to ensure the victory of Jegede in the election.

In recent times, PDP has been embroiled in a leadership crisis ever since the resignation of its former National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, in May 2015 after losing the 2015 presidential election.

The crisis recently rocking the party is due to the leadership choice between  Ali-Modu Sheriff, who was purportedly removed as the party’s national chairman at its May 21 national convention, and the constituted national caretaker committee chaired by Ahmed Makarfi.

While some stakeholders, including the PDP Governors’ Forum, believe that Sheriff has been removed by the May 21 party convention, Sheriff insists that he remains the bona fide party chairman until 2018 unless he is removed by a law court.

Sheriff has, on different occasions, referrred to the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee which was constituted at the convention as an aberration, saying that there is no provision for such bodies in PDP’s Constitution.

While series of meetings have been held, within and outside PDP, to resolve the lingering crisis in the party, there are still some pending litigations on the crisis. Arising from a recent PDP national caucus meeting in Abuja, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti told newsmen that PDP stakeholders were doing everything possible to resolve the party’s leadership crisis.

Fayose said that the leadership crisis in PDP was a passing phase which would soon be over so as to enable PDP to provide a credible opposition to the ruling party.

“Nigeria as a country needs an opposition party to make the average Nigerian to get value for his or her vote, and any attempt to destroy the opposition is not going to be in the interest of our democracy. We want to make it clear that the international community as well as well-meaning Nigerians must take note that the PDP is prepared to offer credible opposition to the government in power,’’ he said.

Also speaking, a member of the House Representatives, Rep. Joseph Edionwele (PDP-Edo), said that all genuine stakeholders of the party should strive to ensure that all the contentious issues troubling the party were urgently and amicably resolved to usher in lasting peace.

“I believe that all contentious issues will be tackled as soon as possible; I am sure the PDP will resolve the crisis and come out stronger,’’ he added.

All the same, the consensus of opinion is that PDP leaders, members and other stakeholders should make concerted efforts to put the party back on track.

Analysts underscore the need for PDP leaders to jettison parochial, personal interests and work together towards the transformation of the party into a credible opposition party.

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