By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.
Governorship Aspirants on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Northern Senatorial District of Ondo state are protesting the decision of the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to anoint his Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede SAN, for the November 26, 2016 Governorship election.
The Leaders of the party and other stakeholders from the Northern Senatorial District of the state who took the decision at a meeting said the Governor has violated the zoning arrangement that had operated within the party.
It would be recalled that Dr. Mimiko had disclosed his intention to adopt Mr. Eyitayo at a political meeting which was also attended by the State and local government executive members of the party, that he had endorsed an aspirant from the central senatorial district as the PDP’s candidate.
While arguing that Jegede, an indigene of Akure, is also from the same Central Senatorial District with the incumbent governor, they urged Mimiko and other leaders of the party promoting the Central Senatorial District agenda to align with the rotational/zoning principle of the party.
In a communique issued and signed by the aspirants, Senator Remi Okunrinboye, Rt. Hon. Dr. Bakkita Bello, Bamiduro Dada, Prince Nekan Olateru-Olagbegi, Dare Emiola, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, Dayo Fadahunsi, Yekini Olanipekun, among others, they contested that there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached by the state leadership of the party.
They noted that the agreement was to rotate the picking of the party candidates among the North and the Central Senatorial District, adding that it was the turn of the North to produce the party’s candidate.
The MOU was signed by late Governor Olusegun Agagu, late Dr. Olaiya Oni, Saka Lawal, Otunba Fashawe, now in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Victor Olabimtan now in APC, Olusola Oke now in APC, Dr. Gbankinro among others.
The communique which was co–signed at the end of the meeting, reads, “this position of Mr. Governor is considered a miscalculation that will further put Ondo North Senatorial District at a serious political disadvantage, putting the state PDP at a loss and laying bad precedence in the state”.
“That all the undersigned leaders align their position with the rotational/zoning principle of our party. This is in accordance with the MOU reached by the state leadership of the party towards the October 20, 2012 election, that the governorship of the state be rotated amongst the three senatorial districts.
“Eventually, that referred election was won by Mimiko for a second term from the central, following a six year governorship of late Agagu from the southern senatorial district.
“Based on first resolution above, the leadership of the north senatorial district should immediately enter into workable agreement and alignment with the southern and central senatorial districts to ensure the goal of rotation is achieved for equity, fairness and justice in furtherance of peace and political stability of our state.
“It is further agreed that an appeal be made to the national and state leadership of our great party to concede the governorship slot of 2017-2021 to Ondo north senatorial district as demonstration of fairness, equity and justice that the state is known for and keeping to the MOU.
“Unless our position in three above is acceptable to the leadership of the party in the state, we in Ondo north will neither go into, nor participate in any primary election conducted that will involve any aspirant from the central senatorial district because it is not their turn now when their son is just rounding up and eight years of two tenure.
“We stand by the MOU reached by the leaders of our party in 2012 which was signed, by the leadership of the state PDP that Ondo North should produce the governor for 2017-2021. And the time is now!
“That the national and state leadership of the PDP should not forget in a hurry the consequences of imposition of candidates on the poor performance of the party in the 2015 Presidential, National and State elections”.
By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.