Two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party have submitted the names of two different people as their candidates for the Ondo State governorship election.
The two camps are that of the National Caretaker Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi while the other is a faction led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Our correspondent gathered that while Makarfi’s camp submitted the name of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), Sheriff’s faction gave the name of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as its own candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The election is scheduled to hold on November 26.
Investigations by our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday showed that the Sheriff’s camp submitted the name “a few hours ago.”
The faction was said to have relied on two court orders, one of which asked the commission to take candidates for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states from Sheriff’s camp.
The spokesman for the faction, Mr. Bernard Mikko, confirmed the submission of the name of Ibrahim by his faction.
Mikko, a former member of the House of Representatives, said his faction was sure of winning the election in the state.
He said Sheriff, who he referred to as “the man who has the love of the party at heart,” was sure of being pronounced the “real and authentic national chairman of the party by the courts.”
He said there was nothing to worry about, adding that the faction was merely against the alleged impunity in the party.
Mikko said, “We have a formidable candidate in Jimoh Ibrahim and we have forwarded his name to INEC as the party’s candidate.
“We believe he will defeat any other candidate based on the clean process that threw him up and his antecedents in the state.
“He had contested before and was and still, well received by the electorate. He’s our candidate for the election.”
However, a member of the National Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Makarfi, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, faulted the submission of Ibrahim’s name by the Sheriff faction.
He said the aim and the action of the group would come to nothing, just the way he alleged the faction failed in its bid to submit another name as the party’s governorship candidate in Edo State.
Adeyeye wondered where the faction got the courage to take the name to INEC, when the electoral body did not monitor the primary that produced its candidate.
The contentious primary that threw up Ibrahim took place in Ibadan, Oyo State while the one won by Jegede, was done in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The former minister of state for works, nevertheless, asked members of the party in Ondo State in particular and Nigeria in general, not to panic.
He said, “If they do that (submission of Ibrahim’s name), it will amount to nothing. This is because, we have court judgments in our favour and moreover, INEC did not monitor their own primary.
“Let them continue with the entertainment. Nigerians are enjoying their drama.”
Reacting, INEC’s Deputy Director on Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang, said Makarfi group had submitted the name of its candidate.
He said, “Yes, one of them, the Makarfi group had submitted the name of its candidate. I’m not sure if the Sheriff faction has done the same thing either today (Thursday) or yesterday (Wednesday).
“At the end of the day, the commission will sit down to look at the law and take a position on who is the right candidate and who is not.”