By Dayo Johnson
THE Senator Ali Modu Sheriff camp of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State was, yesterday, engulfed in crisis as an aggrieved governorship aspirant, Mr Olusola Ebiseni, who participated in the Ibadan primaries has described the exercise as an illegal, anti-democratic contraption that cannot stand.
Ebiseni also expressed suspicion on the nomination form allegedly issued to the factional governorship candidate, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The aggrieved aspirant said, “With the current position of things at the national headquarters of the party, the form may not be a genuine one.”
The faction conducted the governorship primaries in Ibadan, Oyo State, with Mr Ibrahim polling 502 votes as against Ebiseni’s 21 votes.
Three other aspirants; including Bamiduro Dada, Niran Sule and Abiye Ademuyegun stepped down for Ibrahim leaving only Ebiseni, who went ahead to partake in the contest.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, yesterday, Ebiseni described the Ibadan exercise “as one fraught with irregularities and a mockery of democracy.”
He said he had already petitioned the Appeal Committee of the party to redress the matter.
The immediate past Commissioner for Environment, under Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s administration said: “Our grouse is that what took place in Ibadan could not be referred to as any form of election by any stretch of the imagination.
“There was no means of identifying who really were delegates. No delegates’ list or register presented no accreditation of any form which faulted the entire process.”
“How could an election which lasted barely an hour have involved accreditation of almost 1000 delegates?”, he queried.
Ebiseni expressed concern that the faulty conduct of the Ibadan primary “had made a mess of the desire for integrity which made him and others to seek correction under Sheriff’s faction.”
On the INEC nomination being brandished by Ibrahim, Ebiseni said “I have seen forms displayed on social media by several claimants to the candidacy of the PDP and I am amused that it is either some people are playing pranks or INEC is just enjoying itself by such shenanigans.”
While stating that he had written to the National Secretariat on the way forward, Ebiseni said the current situation “may make the crisis linger even after the general election as rather than campaigning, the two sides are waiting for the court to take decision.”
There’s no faction in Ondo PDP — Jegede
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Makarfi faction, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, yesterday dismissed insinuations that the party is factionalised, saying those parading themselves as factional PDP members are empty barrels.
Jegede, who spoke in Akure during an interactive session with party supporters insisted that the party “is one and indivisible party.”
According to him, “The author of a factional PDP in Ondo State is not a PDP member, all those who entered the train cannot but be stranded. Let me tell you the fact. All those canvassing the factional PDP thing are empty barrels and should be ignored.”
Besides, he said “this is how you will know they are unserious people: All the PDP governors are under the leadership of Makarfi; all PDP senators are for Makarfi, House of Reps member, Makarfi, and the Board of Trustees, Makarfi. So, how would they manufacture a PDP without people, without leaders? That is how you will know that they are jesters?.”
Owo monarch rallies support for Akeredolu
Relatedly, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, yesterday, said the community would send a team to the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to appeal to him to accept the candidacy of Rotimi Akeredolu, as the candidate of the party.
The Oba, during a solidarity rally organised in Owo by youths in support of Akeredolu, said “the candidate himself had been reaching out to other aspirants to solicit their cooperation.”
Speaking through Prince Benjamin Koya Adako, the monarch said “definitely, after a primary election, the winner is supposed to bring together all the other aspirants which Akeredolu has been doing. I will expect the other aspirants to reciprocate by joining hands with him to run the election to ensure APC do not lose in the general election.”
“There are moves to send a team to the leaders because a leader is a leader in any circumstance. Whatever that the National Leader is annoyed for, we should try by all means to appeal to him. A leader must have a large heart to accommodate different up and down in the party”, the traditional ruler said.