President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, behind closed doors in the Presidential Villa in a move ostensibly to address the controversy trailing the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Recall that the two different factions in the party have presented different candidates for the election.
While the Ahmed Makarfi-led committee primary monitored by INEC threw up Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction whose primary was initially stopped by an Akure High Court, necessitating the primary being moved to Ibadan, Oyo State, also nominated Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim.
Addressing state house correspondents shortly after the meeting with Buhari, Mimiko who faulted INEC’s decision, warned of the potential danger if the situation is not adequately addressed, in order to avert the crisis that could degenerate in the state.
The governor explained that there was no justification for INEC’s decision just as he described Ibrahim’s declaration as crass injustice that must not be allowed to stand.
“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.
“I am shocked. In logic, in law, in politics, there is no basis for it whatsoever.
“The whole day from 5:00am, 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.
“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 10:00 am yesterday (Thursday), and we served INEC with the other one at the close of business around 3:00 pm. Only around 7:00 or 8:00 pm, we got to know that INEC, for no justifiable reason, had substituted the name of Jegede and replaced it with that of Ibrahim.”
He wondered about the justification for the electoral umpire’s decision, saying: “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 was in Ibadan.