The leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has gone a notch higher as the two factions of the party have submitted two different names to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the governorship candidates for the Edo State election.
The two factions are led by the former Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, while Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, led the other.
According to the timetable released by INEC for the election scheduled to hold on September 10, Tuesday is the deadline for the submission of names for the governorship candidates of each political parties.
The Markafi-led committee submitted the name of its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, while Sheriff faction presented Matthew Iduoriyekwemwen as its candidate to INEC.
Speaking on the issue, the spokesperson for the national caretaker committee of the party, Dayo Adeyeye, said, “Well, we have met the standard as we have sent the name of our candidate and his running mate to the commission. We are not expecting the commission to deny them recognition. We have nothing to fear. We are already in the field.”
On his part, the Deputy National Chairman of the Sheriff group, Cairo Ojugboh, said, “We have submitted the name of our governorship candidate for the Edo election based on the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
“The commission ordered INEC not to accept the lists of our (PDP) governorship candidates for the election in Edo and Ondo states from any other body except from the Sheriff-led leadership of the party.
“It was Justice Okon Abang who said this while delivering ruling in an interlocutory application filed by two governorship aspirants on the platform of the PDP in Edo and Ondo states.
“So, we have abided by the ruling of his lordship and that’s all. Anyone who submits or attempts to submit any other name apart from the name we have submitted is in contempt of the court.”
However, INEC said that the PDP was not among the six political parties that submitted the name of its candidate.
The Deputy Director of the commission’s Publicity and Voter Education, Nick Dazang, said, “As of 4.52pm, the PDP was not among the political parties that had submitted their candidates. But the deadline is still tomorrow, which is Tuesday (today). For now, six political parties have submitted the names of their candidates.”