LEADERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, on Monday, described the substitution of the governorship candidate of the party in the forthcoming election in the state, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, with the name of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, as an invitation to anarchy.
The leaders, who stated this in Akure, the state capital, during a press conference, rejected the choice of Ibrahim as the candidate of the party, alleging that Ibrahim emerged through the backdoor, benefitting from the unholy alliance between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC led federal government.
Speaking on behalf of the leaders, a former Ambassador to Greece, Professor Olu Agbi, explained that Jegede emerged from a primary election conducted in the state, in a free and fair atmosphere where members of the party decided Jegede’s candidature through the delegates of the party.
He queried the rationale behind the conduct of a parallel primary by some fringe group in the party outside the state and described it as an unusual precedence in the political history of the country.
Agbi frowned over the injustice perpetrated by the judiciary to enforce Ibrahim on the party as the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming election, saying it is the prerogative of all political parties contesting in an election to nominate or elect their candidate.
His words: “Generally, it is the prerogative of political parties to nominate their gubernatorial candidate. We have not seen in the history of the country where the court will order political parties to accept court nominated candidate
“Such a thing can also create an unusual precedence for us in this country. If tomorrow there’s presidential nomination and I decide to go to Cotonou in Benin Republic to conduct my own primary, and come back to say I want to be president and go to court and the court ratifies it, I am not so sure people will be comfortable with that. But we are going and moving towards that direction with this Justice Abang decision.
“We have been monitoring events in the state following the substitution of the Party’s gubernatorial candidate of our party, Mr Eyitayo Jegede with Jimoh Ibrahim. We have really witnessed the theater of absurd going on in Abuja between INEC and Federal High court of Justice Abang as a rape of democracy.”
The leaders noted that the state had been witnessing unprecedented developments in the last seven years through the peace being enjoyed by the people and called on the Federal Government to nip the impending crisis in the bud.
“We see this as a deliberate attempt to destroy the peace, tranquility and progress that we have been enjoying in this state in last seven years because Ondo state has been very peaceful and we have witnessed a lot of progress in the state and we don’t want this peace to be truncated.
“We want to sound a note of warning to the federal government led by APC not to allow history to repeat itself. There is no way we can run away from our experience in 1983.
“People who suffered in 1983 are still suffering today, many houses that were burnt have not been built and I think the society must take cognisance of this.
“In a society where there’s no justice, rule of law, and order, there can never be peace and stability. The first law of survival as a country is justice, fairness, equity and this should be taken to consideration by our leaders, that once this injustice is addressed, there will be no crisis and chaos in this land.
“We believe that the judiciary should not make a mockery of itself. There’s no doubt now that people have lost a lot of confidence and faith in the judiciary because of corruption,” he said.
The leaders however appealed to the Federal Government to save the state from imminent chaos by respecting the will of the people of the state.
“We therefore appeal to the Federal Government to save Ondo State from imminent crisis by ensuring that the will of the people are respected and protected. Once this is done, we are sure that there will be guaranteed peace in the land,” the envoy said.
Some of the PDP leaders at the meeting included, Dr Lucas Gbakinro, Former Chairman of PDP in the state, Dr Tayo Dairo, Olu Ogidan, Bode Iwaloye, Idowu Ogunmade, Surffy Ugouji, Lawrence Ajetunmobi, Dele Awosika, Samuel Akinbobola, among others.