SEVENTEEN governorship candidates across the political parties in Ondo state are contesting in the election scheduled for October 10 this year by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.
It gathered from the commission’s office in Akure, the state capital that 17 political parties have submitted the names of the candidates and their deputies for the poll.
The list and credentials of the 17 candidates was uploaded on the commission’s website and published in its state office in Akure. A spokesperson for the commission, Festus Okoye said “Seventeen out of the 18 registered political parties gave the commission the requisite statutory notice of their intention to conduct primaries and they conducted primaries for the purpose of nominating candidates for the governorship election,”
According to him “the decision is in compliance with section 31(3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). “By section 31 (5) & (6) of the Electoral Act, a person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given in the affidavit or any of the documents submitted by any of the candidates is false may file a suit in court seeking a declaration that such information is false.
“If the Court determines that the information is false, the Court shall issue an Order disqualifying the candidate from contesting the election.” The commission also urged the public to take an active part in the “vetting of the list and particulars of nominated candidates to enhance transparency”.
Meanwhile, the commission had unveiled the identity of the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party which had pitched the candidate Eyitayo Jegede against party leaders and other stakeholders in the state. Jegede had preferred his friend Ikengboju Gboluga who is presently a member of the House of Representatives but the leaders have insisted that he picked his deputy from his co-contestants in the governorship primary.
However, the name of Ikengboju Gboluga was missing in the provisional names of candidates and their deputies released by INEC. Instead of the name of Gboluja Senior Legislative Aide SLA, Olumide Ogunje appeared on the provisional list as Jegede running mate.
This development further confirmed the fear in the party that its governorship candidate had made up his mind on the choice of his deputy despite disquiet in the party. A leader of the party said that ” Jegede is playing tricks he decided to put the Senior Legislative Aide of the person we have kicked against his choice. ” The game is that when he finally decides to substitute the name, Ogunje wou
ld not prove difficult because he would just be replaced by his boss. Recall that Jegede had insisted that who become his deputy is his own prerogative to decide.
He pointed out that ” it’s the decision of the governor to pick his deputy and in doing this he must consult widely what’s going to be the value of such consideration. Jegede said he won’t want to pick a deputy who he “will start having problems with the very first day in office. He has till August 18 deadline given by INEC to substitute the name if he so desires.