Concise News Correspondents

Ondo pdp sets akure ablaze
PDP faction loyal to Makarfi protests INEC’s decision to swap its candidate with that of Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction. Concise photos

The Police Command in Ondo has assured the residents of Akure of their safety from the violent protest which erupted in the state in the early hours of Friday.

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The protest followed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) replacement of the name of Eyitayo Jegede with Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP governorship candidate for the November 26 election.

The electoral commission also named Mr. Alabi Ebenezer Omotayo as his running mate.

The action of the commission sent the camp of the factional National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff into jubilation. They also described the action of the commission as victory for the rule of law.

Mr. Jegede had emerged the PDP’s candidate in a primary conducted by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the PDP while Mr. Ibrahim won the primary by the Ali Sheriff faction of the party.

Eyitayo Jegede’s name was on INEC list on it’s website as PDP’s flagbearer till it was swapped with Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim’s own Thursday evening.

INEC’s decision to swap the names is in obedience to a ruling by a Federal High Court in Abuja which ordered that Mr. Ibrahim replace Eyitayo Jegede as PDP’s flag bearer.

The decision of the electoral commission is, however, causing ripples in Ondo PDP. This is because the decsision was taken despite another court ruling on Thursday by an Akure High Court which ordered that Mr. Jegede be retained as the candidate of the party.

Why INEC swapped Ondo PDP’s gubernatorial candidate

The Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday night that an order from the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Okon Abang was the reason the commission approved Mr. Ibrahim as PDP’s candidate.

Justice Abang had on October 14 declared Mr. Ibrahim the true candidate of the PDP. On Thursday, Justice Abang also rejected a plea by Mr. Jegede seeking to be allowed to appeal the October 14 court judgement.

INEC approved Mr. Ibrahim as the PDP candidate based on these two court rulings.

“The situation will continue that way until the Supreme Court makes a final pronouncement on the matter. This, however, depends on whether the factions choose to proceed to the apex court,” Agbaje said.

The INEC commissioner said it was the politicians that put themselves into a tight corner.

He also disclosed that the politicians are the ones undoing themselves and that INEC does not have any preferred candidate.