This is for History…
Following the unlawful and contrived removal of my name as the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 26 Election in Ondo State, the Supreme Court on TUESDAY, 22ND of November ordered the Appeal Court to deliver judgment in the Appeal before it.
The appeal challenged the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of The Federal High Court which ordered the substitution of my name by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a contestant.
On WEDNESDAY, 23RD November, 2016, the Court of Appeal in its Judgment described Justice Abang’s Judgment as a ‘fraud’ and subsequently upturned it.
About 9 pm, on WEDNESDAY 23RDNovember, 2016, INEC officially recognized me as the Flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party for the election scheduled to hold on 26thNov. 2016
On THURSDAY, 24th November 2016, I was accompanied by the State PDP Chairman, Clement Faboyede and hundreds of supporters to INEC Headquarters in Alagbaka, Akure demanding a postponement of the election knowing fully well that therewould be no ample time to reach out to supporters across the State as campaign closes 12 midnight same day. That request was turned down.
Our request that the election be postponed was premised on these grounds:-
1. The Voters Register for all the 3009 poling units in the State was not released either to myself or the authentic officials of the PDP as provided for by the Electoral Act.
2. My name was not displayed for thirty days before the date of the election as provided by section 34 of the Electoral Act, my name haven been previously removed and replaced on the 27th October 2016
3. The list and particulars of my party agents was not received by INEC within the prescribed period of 7 days before election.
Regrettably, INEC proceeded with the election, rebuffing our request and call for postponement that would have allowed fair play and level playing ground considering the fact that we had 24 hours only, to campaign.
Despite the above challenges and the refusal of INEC to postpone the election, the PDP was able to garner more than 150,000 votes with only 24 hours of campaign and thus placed second by INEC.
My gratitude to the National Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party under the Chairmanship of Senator Ahmed Markarfi, His Excellency Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, his Ekiti State Counterpart, His Excellency Ayodele Fayose, PDP Governors, Ex-PDP Governors who were always in court in their numbers, my Running Mate, John Ola Mafo Esq., the State PDP Chairman, Clement Faboyede and other leaders of the Party, Party Members, Supporters, well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy who were magnanimous in their support and solidarity.
I congratulate my learned brother Silk, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
We mince no word in saying that the outcome was not what we expected but we are proud to have won the hearts of the people.
Eyitayo Jegede (SAN)
Ondo State PDP Governorship Candidate.