CHAIRMAN of Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Honourable Sikirulai Ogundele has said the controversy surrounding the two lists of candidates submitted to the state electoral body for the October 8 council poll has been laid to rest with the release of cleared candidates which did not feature candidates from the Senator Buruji Kashamu group.
OGSIEC, according to him, on Thursday, cleared all the PDP candidates presented to it by him.
The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee of the PDP had, through a letter addressed to OGSIEC and published in an advertorial in Saturday Tribune, informed the commission that the authentic list of candidates for the council election would be submitted by the Ogundele-led executive.
Speaking on preparations for the election, which will be conducted into 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas, OGSIEC chairman, Mr Mutiu Agboke, said the body had cleared 207 chairmanship candidates and 784 councillorship candidates for the election.
“So far, we have 903 candidates that appeared with a view to contesting the election and we have others whose names are still pending because of one irregularity or the other,” he said, promising a free and fair election.
But Ogundele, while reacting to the development, called for unity of members and leaders to achieve “a resounding victory” at the council election and take over governance to fix the “mismanagement of the councils over the years under the All Progressives Congress administration.”
A statement signed by the publicity secretary of the party, Mr Malik Ibitoye, noted that the list has finally resolved the controversy surrounding the exercise and rested anxieties about the internal rancour among members of the party in the state.
“Following the recent pronouncement of OGSIEC approving the list of the candidates we submitted for the October 8 local government elections, I wish to congratulate all our candidates in the state and encourage all to be steadfast so that we can have victory in the election.
“The journey has just begun. We must, as a matter of urgency, embrace all our brothers and sisters on all sides of the divide. The desired victory cannot come with divisions and envy but by unity of purpose and steadfastness,” he said.
“We must see the PDP as one indivisible party so that we can achieve victory in all our elections. Ogun State is ripe for better leadership so that it can catch up with other developed states in the country.”
He called on Senator Kasamu, Honourable Adebutu and other leaders to close rank and jointly return PDP to winning ways in the state, adding that unity was crucial to the success of the party in the 2019 elections.