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– PDP chieftains have accused El-Rufai, Fayemi, Malami, Fashola of playing big roles in the replacement of Eyitayo Jegede as PDP candidate in Ondo
– One of the chieftain claims that El-Rufai leveraged on his long-term relationship with INEC National Commissioner Amina B. Zakari to ensure Jegede’s replacement
– Another chieftain the reason why Jegede was replaced with Ibrahim is to give the APC candidate Rotimi Akeredolu easy ride to power
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has been accused of playing a major role in the legal tussle that led to the replacement of Eyitayo Jegede as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard-bearer in the Ondo election.
This follows an allegation by concerned PDP chieftains that El-Rufai leveraged on his long-term relationship with an INEC National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina B. Zakari to ensure Jegede’s replacement, This Day reports.
According to the report, Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and his Power, Works and Housing counterpart, Babatunde Fashola also played key roles in the intrigue that led to the acceptance of a business mogul, Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP flagbearer in the state.
Speaking at yesterday, November 3, a PDP chieftain who chose to remain anonymous claimed that El-Rufai, Fayemi, Malami and Fashola connived with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Department of State Services (DSS) to replace Jegede as the PDP candidate.
The PDP chieftain also claimed that five lawyers working in the INEC categorically gave legal advice against hasty replacement of Jegede as the PDP flagbearer in the state, which fell on deaf ears due to El-Rufai working relationship with Zakari.
He said: “Why reject Jegede whose allegiance lies with the Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction and accept Ibrahim with the Ali Modu Sheriff faction? This was not the case in Edo. What has changed?”
He alleged that el-Rufai was “behind the travails of Jegede. He connived with Fayemi, Fashola, Malami and the National Legal Adviser of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire to wreck Jegede’s candidature. And the reason is to give the APC candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu easy ride to power.”
Another chieftain disclosed that the trio of el-Rufai, Fayemi and Malami mounted pressure on the DSS and INEC “to enforce court order that declared Ibrahim as the authentic candidate of the PDP while an application for stay of execution has been filed and the INEC has been put on notice.”
The chieftain disclosed that after the INEC lawyers advised against replacing Jegede with Ibrahim as the PDP candidate, El-Rufai leveraged on his relationship with Amina “to enforce the court order. Amina Zakari served under el-Rufai when he was the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.”
Originally, the chieftain explained that Amina Zakari was appointed a Special Assistant to the President and was subsequently deployed to FCT.
At FCT, Zakari served as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Social Development as well as Agriculture and Rural Development between 2004 and 2007.
The chieftain also alleged that it was El-Rufai who nominated her “for the INEC national commissionership slot during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. She is also a nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Another PDP chieftain expressed concern over the APC approach to power, noting that the game plan was to destroy the PDP, noting that the government in power “is APC. We cannot underrate what it can do to undermine us.”
After a meeting with the president last week, the chieftain noted that Buhari promised Ondo state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko that the AGF would call him on the enforcement of the court order.
Since the meeting was held, the chieftain said the AGF “has not called. Mimiko has not heard from the AGF. Obviously, it is a conspiracy to give easy ride to power to Akeredolu because El-Rufai is vying for presidency in 2019. That is the game plan. But we are ready for them. Ondo will not accept it.”
Following the emergence of Jimoh Ibrahim, the candidature of Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi faction has been nullified.
The faction had submitted Jegede’s name to INEC, but the commission said it picked Ibrahim based on a court order.
In the list released by INEC yesterday, 27 candidates have been cleared for the election.
Recall that a court order from an the Ondo state high court on Wednesday, October 26, restrained INEC from recognizing Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP pending the determination of the substantive suit before the court, but this was overruled by the High court.