Ahead of the November 26 governorship election, the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has debunked the rumour that it has adopted a particular aspirant as its flag bearer for the polls.
The party maintained that it is yet to conduct its primary election to decide who will fly its flag.
In a statement by its publicity secretary, Banji Okunomo, on Sunday in Akure, the state capital, the PDP said the rumour is a figment of imagination and not emanating from the PDP secretariat.
There had been speculations that Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is nearing completion of his two terms of eight years in office, openly adopted an Akure indigene, who is the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as his successor.
Aspirants for the governorship ticket of the PDP include Chief Sola Ebiseni, Senator Remi Okurinboye, Gbenga Elegbeleye, Prince Nekan-Olateru Olagbegi, Bamiduro Dada, Dare Emiola, Dayo Fadahunsi, Adedayo Omolafe, Dare Bada, Debo Ajimuda, and Benson Amuwa.
The decision by the governor to purportedly adopt Jegede might not be unconnected with the insistence by the Deji of Akure, Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo that an indigene of the town must become the next governor of the state, irrespective of which party’s platform he contests.
The Deji, who noted that out of the five divisions that comprise Ondo State namely Owo, Okitipupa, Akoko, Ondo and Akure, only the latter has not produced a governor for the state since its creation in 1976, despite controlling 45 per cent of the state’s voting population.
But the PPD insisted that it will be guided by its constitution, not primordial sentiments, in picking its candidate for the forthcoming guber polls.
“The issue pertaining to picking the candidate who would be the flag bearer of the party in the forthcoming governorship election is purely a constitutional affair of the party.
“Provisions for the party’s primary are purely unambiguous in the constitution of the party. PDP believes strongly in internal democracy and as such issues of imposition of candidates on the party would not arise”, the statement said.
The party, therefore, assured all interested aspirants of a level-play ground for them in the primary election, saying “we believe so much in democratic appeals, fairness, equity and justice. Among other things, the party would consider issues of leadership prowess, popularity and acceptance of candidates to the electorate before such is picked as party flag bearer”.
“Our primary would be conducted at a date which would be fixed within the period which INEC allows by which time the flag bearer of the party would emerge”, it added.
Mr. Okunomo further stated that the party will not leave anybody in doubt as regards the rumour being peddled and to state equivocally that the party has no anointed candidate.
He also called on PDP supporters in the state to continue to blossom in the enviable sanity which it said has continued to exist within the party.