The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State has issued a disclaimer to aspirants obtaining their governorship nomination and expression of interest forms from the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction, saying they are doing so at their own risk.
The Sheriff faction and Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the PDP are both selling the forms to the aspirants ahead of the August 22 governorship primary, with each claiming to be the authentic leadership of the party.
Six aspirants have so far expressed their interest in seeking the governorship ticket on the platform of the PDP, among them former Justice Commissioner, Eyitayo Jegede; former Environment Commissioner, Sola Ebiseni; and former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Bamiduro Dada.
Three of them, until recently, served in Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s cabinet but had to resign to pursue their ambitions.
Other aspirants include business mogul, Jimoh Ibrahim; Niran Sule and Saka Lawal.
While Messrs. Jegede and Lawal obtained forms from the Makarfi caretaker committee, Messrs Ibrahim, Sule, Ebiseni, and Dada, obtained theirs from the Sheriff faction.
But the PDP secretariat in Akure, the state capital, on Friday, warned those picking the forms from the Sheriff faction that the same fate that befell those that toed the same path in Edo State, is awaiting them.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in a list of governorship and deputy governorship candidates it released earlier this week for the September 10 polls in Edo State, snubbed the winner of the Sheriff conducted primaries, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, opting instead for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was put forward by the Makarfi committee as the PDP candidate.
The Ondo PDP said it was gearing up for the primary election, discountenancing the obstacles being placed by the Sheriff faction.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Banji Okunomo, boasted that aspirants who took their forms from the Makarfi faction were sure to end up as the authentic participants in the primary election.
“What happened in Edo, where INEC recognised the Makarfi faction is also going to happen here”, Mr. Okunomo, said.
“We do not have factions in Ondo State PDP because there is only one executive committee elected without controversy in the state.
“Whoever has gone ahead to obtain forms from Sheriff is doing that at his own peril”.
He also noted that the delegates who would vote at the election were those chosen by the exercise conducted by the already established structure.