The PDP was reacting to the violent protests in the state, which were fuelled by the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pick Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s candidate for the Ondo governorship election over Eyitayo Jegede, who is from a rival faction of the party.
In a statement on Friday, Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the PDP, said the people of Ondo state would resist any form of political imposition from the executive.
He also described the decision of INEC as “shocking and surprising.”
“The decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Barr Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Saturday November 26, 2016 Ondo state governorship election is not only shocking but also surprising to say the least,” he said.
“INEC monitored the primary election conducted in Akure, Ondo state by the Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi led PDP which produced Hon Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, and did not monitor the purported primary election that produced Barr Jimoh Ibrahim which was said to have held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
“INEC sighted the order from Justice Okon Abang of the federal capital territory (FCT) high court as the reason for publishing Barr Ibrahim’s name as PDP candidate but ignored another order from the Ondo state high court, which is a court of coordinate jurisdiction that compelled INEC to maintain Hon Eyitayo Jegede’s name as the candidate of the PDP. The least INEC could have done in the circumstance was to maintain status quo and stick to its own earlier decision pending a superior order or judgment from a superior court. But that did not happen in this case.”
Adeyeye said the violent protests in Ondo state could have been avoided “if INEC had adhered strictly to the letters and characters of the electoral laws and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
He, therefore, warned: “The external forces should not seat in Abuja and set Ondo state ablaze. Whatever authority in Abuja, whether it’s the executive that is using the judiciary or vise versa, must realise that they cannot for selfish political reasons toil with the fate of millions of people in Ondo state. Who emerges governor of the state should be the decision of the electorate themselves through the ballot and not from any organ of the federal government in Abuja.”
“It is a known fact that Ondo people are politically sophisticated and any attempt to truncate the will of the people will be resisted vehemently. References should be made to the 1965/66 and 1983 political violence in the west that brought about the collapse of the 1st and the 2nd Republic. We should therefore be careful not to repeat history.”