Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo South senatorial district have reaffirmed their determination to ensure that the south senatorial district produces the governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election.
This is coming in spite of the information that the outgoing governor may have anointed a particular aspirant from his senatorial district (central) as the party’s governorship candidate ahead of the party’s primary coming up in August, a development which has sparked up serious resistance from the two other senatorial districts which believe that such intention does not reflect fairness, equity and justice, and natural rotational order that has been the unwritten law dictating the politics of Ondo State.
At the Stakeholders Meeting which held in Ore, Odigbo local government area of Ondo State, the various PDP leaders expressed the view that only the candidate from the Southern Senatorial District could hold sway at the governorship poll.
The Stakeholders Meeting which is the second in the series had no fewer than 2000 leaders of the PDP in the southern senatorial district in attendance.
The meeting which was convened at the instance of the senator representing Ondo South senatorial district in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Yele Omogunwa had the six local government areas making up the Southern Senatorial District (namely Okitipupa, Irele, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo and Odigbo) adequately represented.
Speaking with journalists, Omogunwa said the meeting was necessitated by the need to deliberate on the choice of who succeeds Governor Olusegun Mimiko in 2017.
He informed the gathering that the governor had called to notify him that he would like to hand over to a candidate selected from the Central senatorial district.
He stated that he explained to the governor that it would be necessary to inform his constituents whom he represents at the Senate before he could assure the governor of his support.
However, the leaders of the party unanimously agreed that it would not go back in its resolve to ensure that a candidate from the south is handed the ticket of the party.
“The essence of this meeting is about the forthcoming governorship election. We have a peculiar situation especially as regards the emergence of the PDP governorship candidate.
“However, it is important that we speak out our minds as regards the governorship election. We are all citizens of this State and as such, nobody can be harassed.
“It is important that we all go into the governorship election as one because it is only this way that the PDP can be victorious at the poll.
“The governor of the State and leader of the party invited me twice to inform me about his choice on who succeeds him and I know that we cannot say no because he is the leader of the party.
“But as much as we should support the candidate of the governor, we also have the right to fight for what we believe is the right cause”, he said.
He emphasised the need for everyone to be carried along in the preparations for the governorship election saying the involvement of the people cannot be negotiated
He called on all members of the PDP to support whoever emerges as the candidate of the party saying all would be better for it.
He cautioned against the use of vulgar and abusive language among party members saying members of the party must be civil in their conduct.
He appreciated the people of the southern senatorial district for their support all along appealing to them not to relent.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Sen. Omololu Meroyi noted that everyone must be seen as a stakeholder in the party.
He posited that the candidate of the party in the governorship election should not be such that would be foisted on the people without proper consultation.
Others who expressed a similar view to journalists included Hon. Kolade Akinjo, Hon. Mayowa Akinfolarin, Chief Eddy Olafeso, Dr. Lucas Gbakinro, Pastor Segun Ayerin and Hon. Akin Sowore.
Present at the meeting included Senator Yele Omogunwa, Hon. Kolade Akinjo (member representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency in the House of Representatives), Hon. Mayowa Akinfolarin (member representing Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo/Odigbo federal constituency in the House of Representatives), Dr. Eddy Olafeso, PDP National Vice Chairman (South-West) and Chairman Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Company (OSOPADEC), Pastor Wole Ogunyemi, Chief F. J. Williams, High Chief Akintemi.
Others included Commissioner for Agric, Pastor Segun Ayerin, Dr. Lucas Gbakinro (former State Chairman of Ondo State PDP), Hon. Otito Atikase, Hon. Oluwole Babalola, Hon. Soji Ayenuro, Hon. Abayomi Opeoluwa Abayomi, Hon. Idowu Ogunmade, Hon. Tadema Yemi, Prof. Akinyemiju and Chief Albert Akintoye, Hon. Bekekhimi Idiarhi, Hon. Sowore Akin. Gubernatorial Aspirants present at the meeting are Chief Olusola Ebiseni, Engr Oboli Ogunwa, Prince Adebanjo Edema.