Olu Eleko, Alabi trade words over Ondo PDP crisis
A former member o the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. (Aare)Olukanye Eleko and a former Ondo state chairman of the PDP who is also the running mate to barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, a governorship candidate Of the party, Hon. Ebenezer Alabi, this afternoon traded words over the candidature of Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim.
Both PDP top leaders spoke during a Radio Programme on Adaba FM which was monitored by Nigerian Concord Newspaper (Online). They both attributed the ongoing crisis in the party to the inability of the different factions within the party to step in amicably.
While speaking, Hon. Eleko said that the Sheriff faction of the PDP was wrong to have conducted its own gubernatorial primary in Ibadan instead of Akure since it is an election for the governorship of Ondo state.
Saying the court and INEC should not recognized Jimoh Ibrahim who was the product of the Ibadan primary election, the former lawmaker noted that it was only the primary which was organized by the Makarfi- led faction that the electoral body and the Nigerian security agencies attended.
But reacting, Hon. Alabi, Ibrahim’s running mate, said there is no place in the Nigerian constitution where it was said that the electoral body must be present at any party’s primary election for the process to be valid.
Alabi pressed further that what the party should do was done and that was to notify the INEC of its plans to hold its primary election in Ibadan.
Asked why the Sheriff faction had to hold its own primary in Ibadan instead of Akure. Alabi said the faction went with that action when the court had given an injunction that the primary election shouldn’t be held anywhere in Akure.
He said they took the action in order not to become lawless. He also said the action was taken when it became clear that security wasn’t certain in Akure as at that time.
Speaking further, he said Mimiko should be blamed for the crisis in the PDP today, stressing that there was a peaceful executives committee in the state PDP before the governor came from the Labour Party to join them in 2014.
Alabi continued that the governor didn’t come with peace at that time because he simply went to Abuja to say it that he didn’t want to work with his (Alabi) excos which he was the state chairman.
Alabi also said the governor also didn’t respect the sharing formula for positions both in the party and in the state government even after he (Alabi) had agreed with former President Goodluck Jonathan to step aside as the party’s state chairman.
But Eleko reacted, saying that it was the kind of positions that the Old PDP demanded that made the governor to brush aside the earlier sharing formula.
“Even at that, some of the Old PDP members including Hon. Alabi were given juicy appointments as agreed, even though he (Alabi) didn’t accept his own.
On Jimoh Ibrahim’s membership of the PDP, Hon. Eleko who said that the Makarfi-led faction’s candidate Is not a PDP member cited a magazine publication where the controversial billionaire claimed that he had ceased from being a member of the ruling party.
But in his counter reaction, Hon. Alabi said it was a lie, adding that Mr. Ibrahim didn’t send any letter to the party to renounce his membership as demanded by the PDP’s constitution.
Alabi also said that it was the same Ibrahim who bought several buses and donated billions to the PDP when the party had crumbled in Ondo state.
On the delegates that participated in the primary which was held in Ibadan, Hon. Eleko said that the Makarfi faction didn’t involve those delegates that the party’s constitution recognizes including himself.
But Hon. Alabi said that the faction followed the constitution of the party at the Ibadan primary in regards to delegation.
On the protest that took place last Friday, Hon. Eleko who described it as a spontaneous reaction said the protest came from those who were unhappy with the way INEC removed Jegede’s name and replaced it with Ibrahim.
Eleko pressed further that the announcement came as a rude shock to those who felt that the electoral body had soaked its hands in lawlessness.
On his own, Hon. Alabi said it was the governor who incited the drivers union to go on a protest in order to blackmail the electoral body.
Alabi noted that everywhere was peaceful on Thursday night when the candidates were announced by the INEC, stressing that it was Mimiko who called from Abuja the following morning and demanded a protest.
On the governor’s sudden visit to President Mohammadu Buhari in Aso Rock on that same Friday where he reportedly made some threats, Hon. Eleko said that it was the statutory duty of Mimiko being the chief security officer of the state, to notify the president since he had seen what could bring wars into the state he governs.
He denied the reports which had claimed that Mimiko went to threaten Mr. President that wars would come in Ondo state if the name of Eyitayo Jegede is not returned back on INEC’s database.
But Alabi in his opinion said that Governor Mimiko didn’t actually go to Aso Rock to protect his state but rather he went there to intimate the Presidency of the terror he is about to unleash on citizens of the state.