ABEOKUTA – The People’s Democratic Party in Ogun State, Monday, elected the former governorship candidate of the Peoples Party of Nigeria in the 2011 election, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka as its standard bearer for next year’s poll.
The primary which was held at the party Secretariat, Kuto, Abeokuta was held in defiance of the party”s National Working Committee which reportedly cancelled the primaries following the confusion over the delegates list.
At the end of the governorship primary monitored by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the state PDP standard bearer scored 705 votes to defeat Jelili Kayode Amusan and Omoba Segun Adewale who scored 151 and zero votes, respectively. Over 900 delegates voted in the Ogun PDP governorship primary.
Isiaka emerged the Ogun PDP governorship candidate in a primary election which was boycotted by eight of the party’s aspirants vying for its ticket.
The eight aspirants who boycotted the Ogun PDP governorship primary include Asiwaju Tony Ojesina, Prince Yanju Lipede, Dr. Remilekun Bakare, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Ishola, Dr. Yomi Majekodunmi, Prof. David Bamgbose, Isiaq Akinlade, Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye and former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.
Also, both the former president Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-governor Gbenga Daniel whose names were mentioned were conspicuously absent at the governorship primary .
But, other party chieftans, including the Chairman, Organization and Mobilization Committee for the PDP in the South West, Prince Buruji Kashamu; the state PDP chairman Bayo Dayo ; former deputy governor, Salmot Badru; Chief Iyabo Apampa; Chief Tunde Osunrinde and Dr. Femi Majekdunmi as well as other party bigwigs.
The election was held under tight security provided by heavily armed anti-riot policemen, men of the State Security Service and operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Delegates were thoroughly frisked by stern-looking security agents who manned the gates to the PDP state secretariat venue of the primary which kicked off at about 2:25pm.
However , the PDP NWC had in a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh announced the cancellation of the Ogun governorship primary.
Metuh said that the Ogun PDP governorship primary had not been authorized by the party’s national headquarters, warning that the exercise which had been declared null and void would amount to a nullity.
The PDP national publicity secretary however added that a new date for the conduct of the Ogun PDP governorship primary would be announced later by the party national leadership.
In his opening remarks before voting commenced, Chairman of Ogun PDP, Chief Bayo Dayo assured that the primary election would produce a credible governorship candidate for the party in the state.
Bayo who told newsmen earlier that he was not aware of the directives of the PDP NWC cancelling the primary expressed confidence that the party’s standard bearer would defeat the incumbent Governor Ibikunle Amosun in the 2015 governorship election in the state.
“Today will mark the beginning of good things in the party. By 2015, we’ ll drive this APC government away. My ambition is to have PDP returned to power in 2015,” Bayo said.
One of the aspirants who participated in the governorship primary election, Amusan who stormed out before the announcement of the full results said that he had accepted the outcome.
He noted that the process was transparent.
In his remarks, after he was declared winner, the PDP governorship candidate said that his election as the party’s standard bearer for next year’s poll followed due process and was conducted in observance of the rule of law.