Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)‘s disputed chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, on Wednesday insisted that only his faction of the party could present a candidate for the upcoming governorship election in Edo.
He therefore called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obey an Abuja Federal High Court order, which reinstated him as National Chairman of the party.
Speaking when members of South-South Young Professionals for Good Governance visited him in Abuja, Sheriff said that PDP’s candidate for the election was Mathew Iduoreyekemwen.
Iduoriyekwemwen emerged from a primary election conducted by the faction few weeks after the one organised by party’s National Caretaker Committee had elected Osagie Ize-Iyamu as its candidate for the September 10 poll.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that INEC on Tuesday announced receipt and acceptance of Ize-Iyamu’s nomination as PDP candidate.
But Sheriff, who was represented at the visit by ousted National Vice Chairman (South-South), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, said that Iduoriyekwemwen remained PDP authentic candidate for the Edo election.
“We had a rumour that INEC has accepted a person other than our own candidate for PDP for Edo governorship election.
I hereby dispel this rumour and categorically say that INEC has not yet communicated to us on this matter; INEC is still considering all the judgments and orders.
As we speak today, the Federal High Court in Abuja specifically ordered INEC to accept Iduoreyekemwen’s candidature.
The Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, is not superior to that of Abuja.
As such, the Port Harcourt court cannot reverse the specific orders that INEC can only accept candidate for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections from the Sheriff-led authentic PDP,” Sheriff said.
Sheriff added that the Port Harcourt judgement was not specific about the party’s candidature for Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.
“We call on INEC to obey the specific orders of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which stated that the commission should accept only the candidate submitted by Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, and on that I stand. PDP is one and not two. There are no factions in PDP and I remain the chairman of the party,” he said.
Sheriff also called on the party supporters and loyalists to remain calm as efforts were ongoing to address the issue.
“We also encourage our candidate, Iduoriyekwemwen, to continue with his campaign vigorously to ensure that he wins the election,” he added.
Earlier, President of the youth group, Rexben Ebede, had said that the visit was to pledge their loyalty and support to Sheriff “who we believe has contributed immensely to the development of PDP”.
Ebede said that given Sheriff’s achievements and records, the youths believed that he was the only one capable to lead PDP to victory in the 2019 elections.
He also called on other youths in the country to give Sheriff necessary support that would enable him pilot the party to victory.