THERE is disquiet in the Social Democratic Party in Ondo state over the recognition given to a factional governorship candidate of the party and his deputy by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Independent National Electoral Commission in the list and credentials of the candidates and their deputies uploaded on its website and published in its state office in Akure yesterday had the names of Fasua Peter Oyeleye as the party’s recognised governorship candidate and Ajayi Rachael Olufunmilayo as his deputy.
Two governorship candidates had emerged from both factions during their separate primaries conducted same day but at different locations in the state.
An educationalist, Fasua Peter, emerged as the candidate of a faction at the party’s secretariat in Akure while the other faction produced Alhaji Adekunle Saliu at a primary held at Motel Place in Ondo town which is about 45 kilometers away.
Fasua emerged after two other contestants, Mr Festus Owolola and Otunba Bamidele Oduwale, withdrew from the race while Saliu emerged through affirmative motion after two contestants Otunba Olorunfemi Adeniyi and Barrister Abiola Olawole announced their withdrawal from the race before the election.
The recognition of the Oyeleye faction further heightened the tension within the party across the state over weekend.
While supporters of the faction recognised by INEC threw party at the party secretariat in Akure, the other faction went into series of meetings to know their next line of action.
The leader of the faction not recognised by INEC and who is only member of the party in the House of Representatives, Hon Tajudeend Adefisoye met with leaders of his group to discuss the latest development in the party.
Adefisoye represents Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency in the National Assembly.
To douse members anxiety, Adefisoye in a statement his Senior Legislative Aide, Richard Adeyemi said ” in line with the policy of integrity feedback of Rep Tajudeen Adefisoye, it is important to update all the authentic delegates of SDP and the followers of Small Alhaji on the status of our gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Adekunle Saliu.
“We will like to bring to the notice of our people that for now, the name of our governorship candidate, Alhaji Adekunle Saliu is not on INEC list for the October 10, 2020 gubernatorial election in Ondo State. Although a case had already been filed in court to this effect and we are pretty upbeat of a positive outcome.
“We are all witnesses to how the name of Eyitayo Jegede,SAN was initially omitted from INEC in 2016 governorship election in Ondo State, but was eventually restored to the list few days to the election.
“Another case insight was the initial acceptance of the name Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu as the governorship candidate of PDP in Ogun State during 2019 election before the ruling of a court which mandated INEC to replace his name with that of Senator Buruji Kashamu.
” These and many more are instances that are giving us reinforced assurances that the name of Alhaji Adekunle Saliu will eventually be on the final list of INEC for the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State.
“We can emphatically state that the major plan of the political merchants to sell the governorship ticket of SDP to decampees that were waiting in the flanks to contest on the party’s platform, as usual, had already been frustrated. This in itself is one of our aims which we have already achieved.
“While Adefisoye is vigorously pursuing the court case to have his candidate’s name restored on INEC list, he is also seriously considering all available options opened to him at the same time.
” ln case the court case is not decided within the expected time frame, the next line of decision of Rep Adefisoye will be made known to the public in due course.
Meanwhile, the other faction has consistently alleged that the lawmaker was desperate to factionalise the party as an excuse to defect to the ruling All Progressive Congress.
Vanguard gathered that the member of the House of Representatives has severally met with leaders of the party on his plan to defect to the APC before the October 10 governorship election in the state.