A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to accept businessman, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming governorship election slated for November 26 in Ondo State.
Justice Okon Abang gave the order for the enforcement of his earlier judgment delivered on June 29, 2016. The ruling displaces Eyitayo Jegede currently recognised by INEC as the governorship candidate and replaces him with Ibrahim.
WSJ reports that the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State is going to be interesting given the fact that the two major political parties in the election are dogged in fierce intra-party crises. All Progressive Alliance, APC is currently neck-deep in crisis over the controversy that trailed the party’s primary which produced former Nigeria Bar Association NBA President, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN. The national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinibu ‘s anointed candidate, Segun Abraham had shortly after the announcement of Aheredolu as winner of the primary congratulated the winner and pledged his unflinching support in the spirit of party supremacy.
Akeredolu had hardly responded to the good tidings when strongly worded protest letter emanated from the Jagaban, rejecting the outcome of the primary election. Tinubu alleged that the party Chairman compromised the outcome of the Ondo Election Primary Appeal Committee set up by the party which reported favoured a rerun of the primary, establishing malpractices in the primary.
Former PDP Legal adviser, Oke who decamped to APC due to alleged injustice meted out to him in the hand of Mimiko in 2011 had to decamp to AS following the rejection of the primary by Tinubu. The Campaign coordinator for Oke, a well-known Tinubu man in Ondo damned the consequence when he declared that Tinubu actually directed them to decamp to AD to pursue Oke’s aspiration.
The crisis had led to open confrontations between John Oyegun, the National Chairman and Tinubu with the president, Mohammadu Buhari, who supposed to be the leader of the party looking helpless. Political analysts had given victory to PDP with Mimiko, the out=going governor having firm grip of the political landscape of the state. The emergence of Jimoh Ibrahim has however, changed the political equation in the state. Analysts say the court decision is tantamount to a damning setback for the Mimiko faction of PDP that had had everything going for them as planned.
Both sides of the divide across party line, a house divided against itself cannot stand, If care is not taken, analysts are of the opinion that the crises in both APC and PDP may give AD backed by Tinubu a major latitude to win the election come November 20, 2016.