‘Only voters can disown Jimoh Ibrahim’
Sequel to the controversial emergence of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as governorship candidate of the factional Ali Modu Sheriff-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, some politicians loyal to him have argued that only the electorate can reject him as their candidate.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was absent during the exercise.This followed primary election conducted by the Sheriff faction in Ibadan on Monday, August 29, 2016, where Ibrahim emerged candidate. He was, however, disowned as an Accord Party member by the Ahmed Makarfi faction.
But Director of Media and Publicity of the Sheriff faction in the state, Mr. Yemi Akintomide, in a statement issued in Akure yesterday, affirmed that only the electorate have the exclusive right to disown a governorship candidate.
Akintomide also pointed out that the INEC has no constitution right, stressing that a Supreme Court judgment on the matter has limited the role of INEC to “mere observer” during party primaries.
He insisted that those who assumed the role of the court in disqualifying a party candidate to desist from the unlawful act, and stop deceiving the people, adding: “It is laughable for anybody to declare a democratic process of electing a party flagbearer that fulfilled all known norms and practices of the party’s electoral college as null and void simply because INEC official was absent to observe the primary.”
This was in reaction to a statement made available to newsmen by the State Publicity Secretary of the Makarfi faction, Mr. Banji Okunomo, who declared Mr. Eyitayo Jegede as the authentic PDP candidate in the state.
According to him: “Apart from the fact that the so-called primary election is illegal having been impeded by an Akure High Court, more than 99 per cent of those who participated in the scam were hired into Premier Hotels, Ibadan, venue of the Congress, from nearby hubs of hoodlums and touts in the town.”
Meanwhile, Jegede (SAN) has said that his government would give top priority to youth empowerment making them self-reliant and employers of labour.Speaking with newsmen in Akure yesterday, the governorship candidate said if he was elected governor of the state, youths would be made employers of labour instead of job hunters.
He added that his government would encourage youths to utilise opportunities to become self-employed and economically fit to accommodate others in their respective businesses.He said: “The time has come for us to make our youths realise their potentials that they can be useful for themselves and be responsible for the financial fortune of others if given the right environment to thrive.
“The present government in the state has done well in this regard, especially with regard to young farmers who have practically become self-reliant through various agro-business centres in Ore, Auga and Isuada, among others.”
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