By James Sowole in Akure
Undaunted by the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should accept the nomination of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the party in the November 2016 gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday presented the party’s flag to Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the standard bearer of the party for the election.
The PDP at a rally to inaugurate the campaign of Jegede for the gubernatorial election, declared that any other person presenting himself as the party standard bearer is a counterfeit.
The declaration was made by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, after he presented the party’s flag to Jegede on behalf of the party’s Caretaker Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi.
According to Adeyeye, the candidature of the Jegede fulfilled all legal and political processes.
He said the INEC, the Department of Security Service (DSS), police and observers witnessed the party’s primary that was conducted in Akure, the state capital, unlike the one that was conducted in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, without the presence of relevant government’s agencies.
In addition, Adeyeye said the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson was the representative of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party.
He said it was not the duty of court of law to foist candidate on the party.
The Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, and his Ondo State counterpart, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, while addressing the mammoth crowd as the Democracy Park in Akure, the state capital, raised the alarm alleging plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.
The duo expressed dismay over what they described as the inability of the INEC to organise a credible election in the country.
Specifically, Fayose said the forthcoming election would be a contest between the PDP and INEC.
Fayose who spoke against the backdrop of alleged rigging which he said characterised the last election in Edo State, called on the people of Ondo State to resist rigging by all means.
“We are in a country where the opposition party is contesting against the electoral umpire. The November 26 governorship election in Ondo State is not a contest between PDP and APC, but it is a contest between the PDP and INEC. That is why every member of the PDP in the state must resist all attempts by both INEC and APC to rig the election as they did in Edo State.
“The PDP is battle ready for the next election in Ondo State and we will do everything to prevent a repeat of what happened in Edo State.
“We are not going to allow INEC to destroy our democracy in this country. There is the need for every individual in Ondo State to rise and defend their votes in the next election,” Fayose stated.
The governor, who condemned the President Muhammodu Buhari-led federal government said the present administration has destroyed the economy through harsh policies, stressing that “no right thinking Nigerian can vote for APC again, because the party represents evil and calamity.”
“Today, everybody in Nigeria is a thief except members of the APC. All Nigerians have become thieves in the hands of Buhari and only APC members are saints. If anyone promises you change henceforth, you must ask of the kind of change because the APC has brought terrible and negative changes to Nigeria.”
In his address, Mimiko declared that Jegede is the only recognised candidate of the PDP in the state, adding that Ibrahim who challenged his candidature, was not a member of the PDP and does not have the right to challenge Jegede’s candidature.
Mimiko disclosed that his eight years tenure as governor of the state was full of tremendous achievements, and thereby appealed to the people of the state to allow continuity of his laudable programmes by voting for the PDP.
He urged the people of the state to resist rigging in the election, even as he urged them to be vigilant before and during the election to ensure that their votes count.
Mimiko who presented Jegede to people of the state as his worthy successor, said the people should not allow themselves to be taken back to when women die at childbirth, when children drop out of school because they could not pay school fees and fell down on motorcycles because they ride to school on commercial motorcycles.
“We should not be allowed to go back to Egypt. Somebody went to Ibadan for his governorship primary and wants to get the ticket of our party through the back door. Tell them, it is not possible.
“Our primary was done in Akure, Police, INEC and other security agencies were there. Eyitayo is the one that emerged from that election. He is the one that will not steal your money; he will not use your fund to build houses abroad. He will not tell lie against you.”
The governor said Jegede would continue with the building of more mega markets, schools, hospitals and roads saying all the developments witnessed during his tenure would be a child play if Jegede assumes office as the governor of the state.