- Groups plan mega rally for him
- Ebiseni faults return of Jimoh Ibrahim
James Sowole in Akure
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, has dismissed the festering rumour that the party is factionalised, saying those parading themselves as factional PDP members are empty barrels.
He spoke in Akure, the state capital monday at an interactive session with party supporters, organised by Sunshine Continuity Network (SCN).
Jegede who insisted that the PDP is one and indivisible party, noted that the author of a factional PDP in Ondo State is not a PDP member, adding that 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. 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 Representatives member, Makarfi, and the Board of Trustees (BoT), Makarfi. So, how would they manufacture a PDP without people, without leaders? That is how you will know that they are jesters.”
He urged the people of Ondo State to await a new dawn, as he would not only build on the foundations laid by the current administration in the state, but also initiate fresh development projects that would create jobs and make the state attractive to foreign investments.
If elected, he said, his administration would encourage private investments from which government too can generate tax to embark on capital projects.
“I know that our people are suffering under this harsh economic situation which came with the government at the centre. But by the special grace of God, the PDP government in Ondo State will continue to initiate programmes that will bring relief to our people, and that is why I have come to seek your votes,” Jegede enjoined.
Earlier, the state coordinator of the SCN, Mr. Macks Ayanbade, had announced that the group in collaboration with other groups of like minds, has slated a support rally for Jegede tagged, ‘Sunshine Continuity Mega Rally’, for October 21, 2016, in Akure.
Ayanbade, while canvassing for continuity in the developmental profile of Ondo State, stressed that his group was backing Jegede to enable him build on the many achievements of Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
“The goal of the rally is to further drum up the growing adulation of Eyitayo Jegede to the wider Ondo State populace and to endear him to the heart of the voting public by showcasing his constructive and innovative developmental blueprint to the electorate of the Sunshine State,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the only opponent of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim in the primary election of the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the PDP held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Chief Olusola Ebiseni, yesterday described the exercise as one fraught with irregularities
Describing what took place in Ibadan as a mockery of democracy, Ebiseni in an interview with journalists in Akure, said he had already petitioned the Appeal Committee of the party to readdress the matter.
Ebiseni, who is a former Commissioner for Environment under Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s administration, pitched his tent with the Sheriff’s faction of the PDP due to the alleged endorsement of his counterpart in the same cabinet, Jegede by Mimiko.
In the interview which came up three weeks after the primary election, Ebiseni said what happened in Ibadan was an illegal anti-democratic contraption that cannot stand.
The legal practitioner also stated that the candidacy of Jegede, whom he described as the governor’s handpicked candidate against democratic tenets and just political culture of the people is also bereft of legitimacy from the beginning.
“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 1,000 delegates?” he asked.
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.
“It was unfortunate that some people would, out of indiscretion, desecrate the altar of integrity on which the Sheriff group in Ondo State worship and for which we sought a separate tabernacle in the first place,” he lamented..
Ebiseni, who expressed suspicion on the nomination form allegedly issued to Jimoh Ibrahim by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said with the current position of things at the national headquarters of the party, the form might not be a genuine one.
“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 the INEC is just enjoying itself by such shenanigans.
“In the Sheriff group, the committee that conducted the primary just submitted its report to the NWC on September 6 after my petition has been received, yet purported Certificate of Return dated September 1 has earlier been on display including form CF001 which is supposed to be obtained by the National leadership of the party.
“It is unfortunate that rather than see the Sheriff group as a veritable higher credible platform for power, some members, especially the state executives, merely used it as an engine of vengeance against Mimiko and anyone ever associated with him.”
Ebiseni said though, the fact that he and others came to seek the party’s ticket under Sheriff Group added credibility to the group but some members of the group are now treating them with suspicion.
“Our choice of the platform brought colour, glamour, greater credibility and acceptance by the people. Unfortunately, these assets attracted suspicion and campaigns of calumny and we were immediately denounced as Mimiko agents while some even wickedly said the governor, from whose cabinet I have resigned out of irreconcilable differences, paid my nomination fees,” he said.