Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State met President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday at the Presidential Villa over the crisis fuelled by the publication of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim’s name by INEC on Thursday as the governorship flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Protesters thronged the streets of Akure kicking against the announcement which has dashed the hope of Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP candidate who actually won the primary held in Akure.
According to Mimiko’s INEC’s announcement was shocking.
He said while addressing State House Correspondents that “Mr president has promised to look into it and that if there is any injustice, we should be rest assured that it will be rectified”
He said, “I am shocked. In logic, in law, in politics, there is no basis for it whatsoever. The Jimoh Ibrahim factor in all of this is predicated on a court order given by Justice Abang.
“Incidentally that court order is about zonal and state executives of PDP. That order is about 2009 election. Neither Jimoh Ibrahim nor Tayo jegede were parties to the suit.
“So, when that judgement suddenly came and the name of Jimoh Ibrahim was sent to INEC after a primary election which was conducted in Ibadan without INEC monitoring it, without security agencies, SSS or police observing it, INEC took the right decision initially by making it clear that it is not state or zonal executive that is empowered by the Electoral Act to conduct election and also that the Abang judgement on the basis of which they were putting pressure on INEC to accept Jimoh Ibrahim as a candidate was referring to 2009 election.
“There is nothing about 2016 election in that judgement. So, on the basis of this, INEC refused and discountenanced the name of Jimoh Ibrahim as a candidate.
“Then, they went ahead and filed form 48 and from the blues, the same Justice Abang mandated INEC to replace the name of Eyitayo Jegede who emerged through a primary process that was supervised by INEC, security agencies with all delegates that were supposed to participate.
“Justice Abang ordered that Jimoh Ibrahim should replace Eyitayo Jegede. Ordinarily, we should have disregarded the order because Jegede was not a party to the suit, neither was Jimoh Ibrahim.
“But we were also advised that it was very important for us to appeal so that if anybody is up to a mischief, we would have taken the plank off the person.
“Immediately we appealed, that notice of appeal especially when we had filed in our papers, submitted our briefs and got a date, should serve as a stay of execution.
“We don’t want to take chances because somebody in INEC told us that they obey the last order in the commission. Some went to court and obtained two different orders mandating INEC not to substitute Eyitayo Jegede.
“We served one on INEC around 10 am yesterday, and we served INEC with the other one at the close of business around 3 pm. But around 7 or 8 pm, we got to know that INEC for no justifiable reason had substituted the name of Jegede and replaced it with that of Ibrahim.
“The question to ask is on whose order has INEC done that? Apart from the fact that we have two restraining orders on INEC, INEC knows fully well that Jimoh Ibrahim’s primaries were held in Ibadan.
“There was no report by any security agency that the security situation in Ondo state warranted the movement of the primaries to Ibadan or anywhere outside the state for that matter.
“Under INEC guidelines, the time for substitution of candidates has even elapsed. This action potentially can cause a breach of peace.
” In Ondo state in the last seven and half years, we have done everything possible to put good governance on the table. We see this action as potentially dangerous.
” It can cause conflagration in the state and that is why as the chief security officer of the state, I have come to alert Mr President of the potential danger of this injustice so that we can nib it in the bud.
“The whole day from 5am, I have been on phone with stakeholders to ensure they keep the peace in the state. The extent of the protest you have seen has been reduced by our intervention to ensure that there is no breach of peace.
“For the people of the state, it is just from the blues. I have assured them that this injustice will not stay. We will continue to explore all avenues to make INEC see reasons why this impunity must not stand.
“If INEC finds it difficult to obey court order, a credible election starts with a process like this