James Sowole in Akure
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the 18 local government areas of Ondo State monday called on the federal government to save the state from imminent crisis that the substitution of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede’s name as the candidate of the party with Dr Jimoh Ibrahim might cause.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had last week published Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP for the November 26 gubernatorial election in the state sequel to the October 14 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Since the enforcement of the Justice Okon Abang’s order, there had been series of protests in the state and several meetings of various interest groups on the matter.
Rising from a meeting monday, leaders of the party who met in Akure, the state capital, said the current situation was capable of disrupting the peace that the state had been enjoying in the last seven years.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, the former Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Prof. Olu Agbi, said the situation, if not reversed, would create unusual precedence in the nation’s democracy.
Agbi, who was supported by the two other former Chairmen of the party in the state, Dr. Tayo Dairo and Dr. Lucas Gbakinro; former Minister of Education, Dr Adewunmi Abitoye, and other leaders, said they did not want anything that would truncate the peace in the state.
“What has happened was a deliberate attempt to disrupt the peace and tranquility that we are enjoying.
“Sequel to the peace in the polity, the state had witnessed development in various sectors due to the multiplier effect because there had been no crisis.
“There is no way we can do away with the 1983 experience. People who suffered then are still suffering. Many houses that were razed then were still there.
“A society where there is no justice, there cannot be peace. Once the injustice is addressed, the peace would be sustained.
“We believed that judiciary would not make a mockery of itself. We all saw what happened recently when residence of some judges including that of a Supreme Court were raided.
“Before now, the office of judges are regarded as sacred. But that may not be the case now.
“We all know that many people have lost confidence in the judiciary due to recent happenings.
“ We are therefore appealing to the federal government and the judiciary to save the state from chaos,” he said.
Agbi noted that since the advent of democracy in the country, parties had always been the one choosing their candidates for election and the position of Supreme Court was clear on this.
He said this position of the highest court in the land should be respected.