The Peoples Democratic Party has restated its call for the postponement of the Ondo governorship election scheduled for Saturday, to enable it “screen and select agents for the exercise”.
The Court of Appeal, on Wednesday in Abuja, dropped the party’s candidate, Jimoh Ibrahim, and replaced him with Eyitayo Jegede, who was the flag bearer before being substitued.
Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the party’s national caretaker committee, described the judgment as a “massive step forward”, but argued that the party deserved “a little more time to select its agents in the interest of fair play”.
“Victory comes from God, however, a bit of extension of time will be fair, especially considering the fact that it is only now that the party will begin the process of selecting its agents,” Mr. Makarfi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Jos on Thursday.
Mr. Makarfi urged INEC to consider the party’s request in view of the protracted battle that had trailed the party’s candidacy.
Speaking in the same vein, Felix Hyat, chairman, Kaduna chapter of the PDP, suggested a two-week extension to allow time to select and submit names of agents.
“Agents at the election and collation centres are very crucial to fairness in any election.
“If INEC insists on conducting the election, the PDP will certainly be at a disadvantage from the polling units to the collation centres at the wards, local governments and the state levels,” he said.
Mr. Hyat commended the judiciary for restoring justice to Jegede and the PDP, and declared that the judgment had revived the party from “a near fatal situation”.
The former aviation minister called on Alhaji Modu Sheriff, former National Chairman of the party, to embrace the Makarfi group toward rebuildling the party.
“Sherriff has always vowed that he will not give up till the court rules. Now that the court has ruled, he should demonstrate party loyalty by linking up with others toward a cohesive opposition force,” he said.