Chris Steven, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faction belonging to the embattled former Chairman, Senator Ali Modi Sheriff has issued a threat that somebody would go to jail at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) if its candidate, Barriater Jimoh Ibrahim’s name is not published for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo state.
It was reported that INEC would on Thursday, publish the names of candidates qualify to fly their party’s flags.
Speaking with newsmen at a press conference, the factional National Secretary of PDP, Professor Wale Oladipo, said that while the reconciliation process in the party was still on, his faction would continue to push for its candidate, Barriater Ibrahim to contest the governorship election.
Oladipo called on the INEC to obey the court judgement in favour of Ibrahim’s candidature and urgently give him due recognition so as to do away with all distractions it has continued to generate.
He added that failure to do so will amount to contempt of the court which will result in imprisonment of the relevant official of INEC.
He said: “INEC is an umpire and creation of the law and must obey court judgement. The law has pronounced Jimoh as the candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming Ondo state election and INEC has no choice than to abide by the order.
“In the forthcoming election, we are urging INEC to be completely neutral; We will do anything within the ambit of the law not only to defend our party but our candidate Jimoh Ibrahim.”
He stated that if there was any reason INEC should not obey the order of court as it is related to Jimoh Ibrahim in the Ondo state governorship contest slated for November 26, it should explain so to the judge, adding that it was even easier for INEC to do so as it was a defendant in the suit.
“INEC ought to do the needful. If it fails, the court would invoke form 48 and 49 to punish the relevant officer and he would have himself to blame,” he said.
When asked whether the crisis in the party would not jeopardise the chances of the PDP, the National Secretary maintained that both the Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff factions were committed to the ongoing reconciliation, but maintained that the party will not sacrifice the rule of law on the altar of reconciliation.
He said: “It is better for any PDP candidate to emerge as winner in the Ondo State governorship election than to lose it to any other party. But we are not going to sacrifice the rule of law on the altar of reconciliation.”
Professor Oladipo, however lamented that the crisis in the party has assumed a national security issue, adding that PDP has to survive for democracy to endure in the country.