Friday, 4 November 2016

Black Friday Clash in Ondo over PDP governor ticket

According to reports from Vanguard Online News, Smoke billowed from the bonfires made by protesters across the major towns in Ondo state to express their displeasure over the substitution of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Eyitayi Jegede, SAN, last week Friday.

The riot that erupted was spontaneous and happened immediately the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, made a u-turn following a court order directing it to do “elimination by substitution” of the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state.

Palpable tension had enveloped the state for about three days before the final sledge hammer was wielded. Both the Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi factions in the state boasted that the Court of Appeal verdict would be in their favour. But when INEC finally spoke, the Makarfi faction was thrown off balance. The hitherto bubbling Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation was thrown into disarray as confusion and uncertainty reigned.

 Jegede, who had toured many of the 18 council areas to seek for votes ahead of the November 26 governorship election had to apply the brakes abruptly. The crisis in the state PDP less than a month to the governorship election is an indication that the situation in the ruling party remains turbulent. Revabration of the legal tussle over the national leadership of the party has filtered into the state creating confusion and uncertainty over who becomes the candidate of the party in the coming election.
Few weeks back the INEC had published Eyitayo Jegede’s name as the party’s candidate for the election but the Sheriff faction ran to the Federal High Court and obtained an order from Justice Okon Abang asking the electoral body to substitute Jegede for Jimoh Ibrahim. This came despite the pendency of appeals against the decision of Justice Abang and other counter orders from the State High Court restraining INEC from substituting the name of Jegede but INEC on October 27 listed the name of Ibrahim as the candidate of the party.