Ondo PDP Factions Hold Parallel Assembly Primaries

The two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State held their separate House of Assembly primaries on Saturday despite the Abuja High Court Ruling nullifying the caretaker committee set up by the National Working Committee of the party.

The court had ruled that the caretaker committee should have nothing to do with issues of primaries and that the tenure of the current working committee should be allowed to run out.

It was gathered that INEC officials in the state stayed away from the primaries conducted by both factions due to the conflicting reports about the Friday judgement.

The Chairman of a faction, Ebenezer Alabi, and representatives of the Mimiko-led faction, the Attorney General and Justice Commissioner, Eyitayo Jegede, and the state Cooperative and Community Development Commissioner, Clement Faboyede, were seen at the INEC office in Akure to complain about the failure of the commission to witness their primaries.

But security operatives were present at the venue of the primaries of the factions, even as the exercises were peacefully conducted across the state.

While primaries were held in some constituencies, outright ratification of consensus candidates were done in many of the areas.

Speaking with newsmen at the Party Secretariat, Alabi said the primaries were conducted peacefully across the state.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party primaries for the House of Assembly were enmeshed in controversy, following the alleged cancellation of the exercise by the National Working Committee.

The Chairman of the PDP electoral panel for the House of Assembly, Mr. Akeem Animasaun, who was absent at the primaries, said the exercise had been cancelled.

But in reaction to the reported cancellation, the state chairman of the party, Mr. Adebayo Dayo, faulted the claim, saying he was not aware of such.

He said primaries were held across the state and 26 candidates that would be fielded for 26 seats in the House of Assembly had emerged.

Also, a member of the state committee that supervised the primaries, Mr. Muyiwa Bolaji, said he was not aware of the cancellation and that he would send his report to the national leaders of the party that appointed him.

Dayo said, “The NWC approved the primaries and sent the delegates list to me and the primaries went on peacefully.”

Until recently, the party structure was in the hands of party financier, Kashamu Buruji, but, several attempts were reportedly made to take over the structure by other groups including former Speaker of House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankoke.

On Friday, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja rejected an ex parte application filed by a suspended deputy chairman of PDP in the state, Mr. Sunday Soledolu, which sought to stop the party from holding the primaries for various elective offices which commenced on Saturday.

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