The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State on Wednesday said it would not accept the outcome of a ‘parallel primary election’ conducted by a factional group of the party.
It added that it would be an ‘uphill task’ for a faction of the party to embark on a valid alternative primary election to choose the party’s candidate for the November governorship poll.
Banji Okunomo, the State Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, stated this in a press release issued to journalists and obtained by a SaharaReporters correspondent in Akure.
On Tuesday, the factional chairman of the party in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye, had issued a statement to notify members that the factional group would conduct a parallel primary election to elect its candidate by Monday.
The statement was widely advertised in the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper as sighted by our correspondent.
But in his statement, Mr. Okuomo said any faction of the party in the State intending to conduct a parallel primary election is going against the constitution of the umbrella party.
He added that the constitution of the party stipulated clearly the terms and conditions for the conduct of the primary election.
“It will be an uphill task for any factional group to organize another lawful, valid, and acceptable alternate PDP primary in Ondo State, as there awaits several hurdles for such a faction to cross, judging from the fact that the PDP constitution of 2012, as amended, remains a legal and binding document for all members of the PDP in Nigeria.
“Any group intending to replicate the PDP primary election must bear it in mind that Section 25(1) of the PDP constitution clearly stipulates the members of the party who constitute the State party Congress,” the statement reads.
The PDP spokesman argued that the Clement Faboyede-led faction holds the power to the leadership structure of the ruling party in Ondo State.
He added that the Faboyede-led State Executive Committee (SEC), with over 800 delegates of the party from the 203 political wards of the State, voted to elect the party’s main candidate, Eyitayo Jedege, at the primary election monitored by the electoral body.
Mr. Okuomo maintained that the factional PDP would not be allowed to replicate its already existing structure within the State going by a court injunction restraining the group.
“The court injunction restraining the claimants of the factional group from parading themselves or convoking any meeting or Congress described as PDP for the purpose of electing a factional governorship candidate has not been set aside.
“Therefore, it will be contemptuous and criminal for anybody to take law into his hands by attempting to act contrary,” he stated.
Mr. Okuomo further stated that the party was committed to a genuine post-primary reconciliation among aggrieved members who truly believe that the party will emerge victorious in the election.
It would be recalled that the Ondo State PDP has been polarized due to irreconcilable differences among members of the party.
A leadership struggle between Biyi Poroye and Clement Faboyede, each been claiming to be the ‘authentic’ chairmen of the PDP in Ondo State, exacerbated the division within the party.
Mr. Poroye’s group is sympathetic to the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP at the national level while Mr. Faboyede belongs to the Ahmed Makarfi camp.