James Sowole in Akure
Some governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday continued their protest over the list of delegates for the party’s primary slated for July 22, 2020.
The aspirants, who stormed the party’s secretariat in Akure, submitted protest letters to the Appeal Panel of Ad hoc Delegates Congress led by former Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Hassan Ibahim Dankwambo, alleging that the list had been doctored in favour of the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.
Reacting swiftly, Ajayi dissociated himself from the doctored list being complained about by some aspirants.
Ajayi’s position was contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo.
He said: “The truth of the matter is that the deputy governor is not a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP and could not have influenced the ‘doctored’ list if it exists at all.
“It must be noted that it is the national leadership of the PDP that sent a committee to see to the conduct of the delegate election, and they are the custodian of the list and not the deputy governor.”
Ajayi, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), was cleared by the PDP to contest for the ticket of the party ahead of the October 22, 2020, gubernatorial election in the state.
The appeal committee spent over four hours listening to complaints from seven out of eight aspirants, including Ondo PDP Elders Council led by Omotayo Dairo, and Chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Mr. Clement Faboyede.
Governorship aspirants present were Ayorinde Bode, Ebiseni Sola, Eyitayo Jegede, Kunlere Boluwaji, Okunomo Banji Ben, Olafeso Eddy and Gooday Erewa.
All the speakers, who made presentation before the Dankwambo committee, rejected the ad-hoc delegates’ lists as compiled by Kingsley Chinda, who was the Secretary of the PDP Ward Congresses Electoral Committee for Ondo State.
Faboyede, who spoke on behalf of the state PDP Caretaker Committee, described the alleged change of delegates list by Chinda as a fraud to favour a particular aspirant.
He informed the committee that Chinda did not give him a copy of the final results of the ad-hoc delegates ward congresses because of what he termed fraudulent motive.
He stated that he got a copy 48 hours after Chinda had left Akure contrary to the party’s guideline.
Dairo, who spoke on behalf of the PDP Elders’ Council, warned that changing the delegates list by Chinda-led committee could invoke a repeat of what happened in 1983 in the state.
Chief Segun Adegoke, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), alleged that Chinda wanted to ruin the chances of PDP in Ondo State by perpetrating an electoral fraud that could destroy the party and provoked a crisis.
All the seven aspirants who spoke, said they rejected the alleged delegates list, and prayed Damkwambo-led appeal committee to nullify the ‘manipulated’ list and revert back to what they said was the true results of the ad-hoc delegates ward congresses of the party.
While promising to look into their complaints, Dankwambo said his pronouncement cannot be the final as the NWC of the PDP in Abuja which represents the Supreme Court of the party on congresses, would have the final say.