The Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the PDP in Ondo state has described INEC’s choice of Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s candidate as a justification of the truth and recognition of the people’s will as demonstrated in the party’s primaries.
Spokesperson of the faction, Mr Sola Akinuli commended INEC for adhering to the rule of law despite pressure from some politicians.
He also praised Justice Okon Abang for his display of uncommon courage.
Mr Akinuli called on supporters of the party not to violate the rule of law despite attempts to provoke violence in the state.
There were protests in the state’s capital, Akure at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, with factional party supporters kicking against the list of governorship candidates released by the electoral body, claiming that the PDP candidate was a wrong one.
The Vice Chairman of the Sheriff faction, Mr Alabi Johnson, explained that the commission’s decision is backed by law.
He argued that the candidate of the Makarfi faction, Mr Eyitayo Jegede was not party to the suit that went in favour of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim.
“So I don’t see any means through which Jegede will go and appeal the judgement.
“As at yesterday (Thursday), another court ruled in Abuja that this people cannot appeal the judgement because they were not party to the suit,” he said.
Mr Johnson also accused Governor Mimiko of being behind the protests witnessed in the state capital.
“The people you saw demonstrating are the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Those are the thugs that Mimiko has been using in Ondo state.
“That is why we are up to the task this time, saying that justice must prevail because Mimiko is already enslaving everybody in Ondo state.
“This time around, God has used our candidate, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim to bring us out of slavery.”
The Governor met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday to discuss the action by INEC, which he described as “potentially dangerous”.
He told newsmen after the meeting that “it can cause conflagration in the state and that is why as the Chief Security Officer of the state, I have come to alert Mr President of the potential danger of this injustice so that we can nip it in the bud”.
But Mr Alabi Johnson accused the Governor of working to make the President declare a state of emergency in Ondo state.
Governor Mimiko has insisted that Eyitayo Jegede remains the lawful candidate of the PDP and so has the Chairman of the Makarfi faction of the party, Clement Faboyede.
In a chat with newsmen on Friday, Faboyede argued that it is not the duty of any court to impose or dictate candidates for a political party.
“It is a pre-election matter and the Supreme Court which is the highest order of judiciary in this land, severally, has said it that pre-election matters are not matters of the court,” he argued.
He added that Mr Jimoh Ibrahim is not a member of the PDP in Ondo state.