Some PDP youths in Ondo State on Friday protested in Akure over the publication of the name of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the governorship candidate of the party for the Nov. 26 poll.
The protesters alleged that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) replaced Mr Eyitayo Jegede as candidate. The protesters carried placards, some of which read, ‘’No Jegede, no election’’ and ‘’Jegede is our own.’’The protest prompted some commercial banks to close their gates as the protesters made bonfires and blocked some roads, such as Cathedral and Road Block areas.
The situation forced commercial vehicles to withdraw and commuters disembarked from vehicles to walk to their destinations, while students returned to their homes.Meanwhile, ASP Femi Joseph, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Command, has appealed to the people to keep calm as efforts are made to restore normalcy in the state. Joseph said in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the police personnel had been deployed to the scene of protests along Oba Adesida Road.
“We are aware and our men are on their way to the scene, I will speak with you more as the incident develops.
“We are trying to coordinate our men so that the incident will not escalate,” he said. Also, the Ondo State Government appealed ‘’for calm and peace over the conflicting pronouncements emanating from the Courts and INEC’’ on the gubernatorial candidates for the election. The Ondo State Information Commissioner, Mr Kayode Akinmade, who made the appeal in a statement, urged the people to keep calm and not resort to self- help. He said that that steps were being taken to ensure that there was no miscarriage of justice and the will of the people respected. Akinmade advised the people not to destroy life and property ‘’because any untoward reaction at this moment will only heighten the body polity’’. He said human blood was ‘’too precious to be sacrificed on the altar of politics and politicking’’. The commissioner added that the peace and tranquility which the state had enjoyed in the last seven and a half years should not be truncated. NAN recalls that INEC had announced Jimoh as the PDP candidate for the election with 27 others, who showed interest to run on other platforms. Jimoh and Jegede belong to different factions of PDP, one led by Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi and the other led by Alhaji Ali Modu Sherif, either of which claims to be the legitimate group. While the Markarfi group, the National Caretaker Committee of PDP, lays claim to its legitimacy on its appointment by the National Convention, the Sherif group insists that its powers devreive from a court judgment. NAN learnt that INEC took decision based on the judgment.