The Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the loss of the party in the last governorship election in the state.
The Chairman of the faction, Prince Biyi Poroye, set up the seven-man committee which is headed by Senator Omololu Meroyi few days after the party lost the governorship seat to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Members of the committee are to investigate all actions of individuals or group of persons which were not in conformity with the party’s constitution and its fundamental objectives.
Power to Summon
They are to investigate, in particular, the breach of Section 7 (3) (c) of the party constitution which provides that the party shall adhere “to the policy of the rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness”.
Considering that the party lost the election even as the incumbent, the committee will also look into the acts and omissions of the government which impacted the people including public servants negatively, culminating into people’s anger and rejection which affected the electoral fortunes of the party.
Another aspect that the committee has been mandated to investigate is the conduct of certain individuals in the disbursement of the resources of the party in the mobilisation of members for the election.
They were given the power to summon any member of the party in the course of their assignment and to do all things in tandem with and in furtherance of the aforementioned terms of reference.
According to a statement by the spokesman for the party in Ondo State, Yemi Aakintomide, some members of the party have already been summoned by the committee that will hold its hearing at the Conference Room of the party at its secretariat.
The summoned members are the Governor of Ondo state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Deputy Governor Lasisi Oluboyo, all Commissioners and members of the State Executive Council, Ondo State House of Assembly, Honourable Jumoke Akindele, Speaker, Mr Clement Faboyede, Mr Fatai Adams, Mr Banji Okunomo and Mr Eyitayo Jegede.
Others summoned to appear at the office at Mr Oyemekun Road Akure between 8.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. daily starting from Tuesday, November 29 to Friday December 2 are Mr John Ola Mafo, Chairman OSOPADEC, Mr Wole Ogunyemi, Mr Bamiduro Dada, Mr Akin Akinbobola and all elected LG Council Chairmen.
Division in the PDP in Ondo State started after the former Chairman of the party, Senator Sheriff was removed in a convention held in Rivers State.
After his removal, his supporters refused to acknowledge the leadership of a caretaker committee set up by the party’s leaders and headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
The divide led to the election of two different candidates as the party’s representative in the governorship election.
The Sheriff faction of the party had presented their candidate, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, to the electoral body, claiming he was the legitimate candidate.
His name was added to the list of governorship candidates for the election after he secured a High Court ruling in his favour.
The other candidate of the Senator Makarfi faction, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, sought nullification of the ruling of the High Court at the Appeal Court.
After he secured the Appeal Court’s ruling in his favour, the electoral body replaced Mr Ibrahim’s name with that of Mr Jegede.
Mr Ibrahim proceeded to the Supreme Court, to seek the Judiciary’s final ruling on the issue, but lost that suit, when the court sustained the ruling of the Appeal Court.
After My Ibrahim lost at the Supreme Court, he asked his faction of the party to vote for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, a decision that political analysts had partly linked the PDP’s defeat to.
After the party lost the election to the candidate of the APC, the Makarfi faction described the Sheriff faction as agents of darkness that had the intention of destroying the party.