Multiple Governorship Aspirants Set To Truncate Ondo Guber Poll — By Amako Nneji

By Ikenga Chronicles October 19, 2016

Multiple Governorship Aspirants Set To Truncate Ondo Guber Poll — By Amako Nneji

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has been set on the verge of confusion as multiple flagbearers across different political parties are set to truncate the forthcoming Ondo Gubernatorial poll slated for November 26.

This came after the relatively successful completion of the Edo State governorship election by INEC.

it was learnt that politicians are sweating and engaging in nocturnal meetings to outdo themselves for the November 26 election in Ondo State.

The electorate appear confused on who will fly the flags of the respective parties at the election due to in-fighting and internal crisis within the parties.

While some parties are having sleepless nights on how to unite after their primaries that left indelible mark of crisis, others are still either in the court rooms or boardroom to settle scores.

First, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo is going through the same path it went before the just concluded Edo State election. The factionalisation of the party along the Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi’s camps at the national level has trickled down to the various state chapters of the party.

In the case of Ondo State, while Sheriff’s faction produced businessman Jimoh Ibrahim as candidate from its primaries, the Makarfi faction has Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as its candidate for the November 26 poll.

All appeared to be going well for Jegede, who was the immediate past Attorney General of the state following INEC’s acceptance of his nomination as PDP’s candidate until last Friday, when a Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Okon Abang ordered INEC to recognise Ibrahim of the Sheriff ’s faction as PDP’s candidate.

This, not only ruffled feathers within the PDP but also got many electorate confounded.

Abang had in his ruling on an application filed by a faction of the Ondo State Executive Committee of PDP led by Ademola Genty and Biyi Poroye, ordered for the enforcement of his earlier ruling delivered on June 29 that
INEC should only accept names of candidates sent by Sheriff’s faction.

Expectedly, Jegede’s camp, whose arrowhead is Governor Mimiko, kicked against the development.

It was gathered that the ruling made them to go back to the drawing table in order to see what they can salvage either by appealing the judgement, move to a new political party or seek a fresh and quick political solution.

Second, the Alliance for Democracy(AD)is not among the two major parties in the country’s political system despite its influence in the South-West between 1999 and 2003.

However, the platform usually appeals to politicians who lose out in primaries of other parties as they use it as a fall back to realise their ambitions.

Upon losing out in the APC governorship primaries, a former Commissioner in the state, Olusola Oke, moved to the AD in order to be able to participate in the election.

Although the AD initially had a candidate in Akin Olowokere, it was gathered that he handed over the gubernatorial ticket voluntarily to Oke.

However, the ‘easy cross-over’ of Oke met a brick wall last week after the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) rising from its meeting in Akure, said the party’s NEC, National Working Committee and Board of Trustees were
not carried along in arriving at the choice of Oke.

A communiqué signed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Ibrahim Abdollah, said the party’s NEC was not aware of Oke’s candidature.

The communiqué read in part: “Chief Olusola Oke is hereby not adopted as the flag bearer of AD in the Nov. 26 gubernatorial election.”

However, less than 48 hours after the vote-of-no confidence on the state executive of the party for ratifying Oke’s nomination without the NEC’s blessing, another set of the party’s leadership ratified the candidature of
Oke, saying those who disqualified him do not have the mandate to do so.

Interestingly, all the national officers, including the National Organising Secretary, Abdulahi, who were part of those who rejected Oke’s candidature and passed a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman, Chief Joseph Avazi, and other party chieftains, reneged on their decision.

Lastly, although the APC has settled for Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as its candidate for the election, the dust that the primaries generated is however yet to be settle.

The bickering came to a head when the party’s National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, publicly tore the party’s National Chairman, John Oyegun, apart by accusing him of taking sides in the primaries.

Although Akeredolu has been appealing to aggrieved members of the party in order to brighten the APC’s chances in the poll, the dance steps of some of the party’s leaders still appear contradicting over the expected reconciliation.

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