As the Ondo Governorship election draws ever closer, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the election, Jimoh Ibrahim is standing alone.
PDP Governors won’t even touch Ibrahim with a 10-foot pole.
These days, it’s easier to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the emergence of Ibrahim as the standard bearer for his party ahead of the November 26 vote, than to actually support him.
“All these plots by Buhari and his APC against the rights of Nigerians to freely elect their leaders will also fail”, blared Ayodele Fayose, the Governor of Ekiti State.
Fayose added: “Akure is burning now. So are some other towns in Ondo State. Thanks to Buhari and his INEC”.
Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, recently embarked on a trip to Abuja to have a one-on-one with Buhari. On the menu was Ibrahim’s emergence as PDP flagbearer.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting, Mimiko blasted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for going for Ibrahim instead of Eyitayo Jegede—the preferred candidate of Governors elected on the platform of the PDP.
In Mimiko’s book, INEC has just shown that it’s full of mischief and injustice with its latest action.
Mimiko also pointed at the latest violence in the State soon after INEC named Ibrahim, as a sign of things to come if Jegede’s name isn’t returned to the ballot.
However, Ibrahim has been fighting back as well. He’s calling everyone’s bluff.
The dodgy businessman said the protests and bonfires that greeted his emergence as PDP candidate were sponsored by Mimiko.
“President Buhari cannot stop the Court of Appeal from sitting; he cannot stop the Supreme Court from hearing the applications of the parties involved in this matter. So, Mimiko should learn from Buhari and abide by the decision of the court.
“Mimiko should wait till the Supreme Court finally makes a pronouncement on the matter. I know the matter will end up at the Supreme Court eventually. So, why is he not ready for the legal process to mature? Why is he running up and down?”
“Ondo people want me to ensure that Mimiko does not succeed himself. I have nothing to lose. I congratulate Ondo people for the victory I gained over Mimiko. I share their joy. I congratulate them that, at least, we were able to defeat Mimiko.
“They are already celebrating Mimiko’s defeat. I praise God for the victory.
“We are in the 21st century. Nobody can be deceived. Mimiko has castigated Buhari several times. So, why is he now going to the President? What does he want President Buhari to do?
“The President is law-abiding. He abided by the law to become the president. Mimiko should stop running to INEC, the presidency for help.”
It’s a dangerous game Ibrahim is playing and he risks alienating a chunk of PDP supporters if he continues to be combative, some PDP chieftains spoken to for this story told Pulse.
“Ibrahim can’t win an election all by himself. He can’t even win an election in Ondo without Mimiko, so what is he saying?”, posed one PDP chieftain in a fit of rage.
Another PDP chieftain told Pulse: “We are sure that the Supreme Court will return the ticket to Jegede. Mimiko should enjoy his little victory while it lasts”.
Within the PDP, party chieftains and Governors have been working behind the scenes to return Jegede to the ballot and undermine Mimiko.
Most have sworn they won’t support Ibrahim unless he becomes the only choice left.
For the PDP and its Governors, they may have to hold their noses and support Ibrahim if Jegede doesn’t return to the ballot.
But at the moment, there’s no love for Ibrahim in Akure and elsewhere in Ondo.
He has become PDP’s cross to carry.