A factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, has vowed to submit the name of Matthew Iduoriyekwemwen to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as PDP candidate for Edo governorship election.
Mr. Sheriff, made this known when he presented the party’s certificate of return to Mr. Iduoriyekwemwen ahead of the Sept. 10 election on Tuesday.
Mr. Sheriff made the pledge on the same day another faction of the party, led by Ahmed Makarfi, launched its campaign for the Edo elections, for another candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The event was attended by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel.
Mr. Sheriff said he would rely on the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to send his faction’s candidate’s name to INEC.
“It is clear that from Abuja High Court that INEC is obliged to accept the candidate we are to present.
“You know ideally, most of our officials have travelled for Sallah. We need to do this because the first working day we are going to submit our candidate’s form to INEC.
“I have to stay behind to do some of the things so as to ensure that the forms are submitted after the Sallah break,’’ Mr. Sheriff said.
Ahmed Gulak, the secretary of the committee that conducted the Sheriff-led PDP primaries in Edo, said 677 delegates were accredited for the primary, while 502 delegates voted.
Mr. Gulak said of the accredited 502 delegates, 481 voted for Mr. Iduoriyekwemwen, after his challenger stepped down.
Mr. Iduoriyekwemwen, who spoke after the primaries, promised to embark on grassroots campaign ahead of the election, and pledged to ensure that the PDP comes back stronger after the governorship election.
He named a former PDP woman leader in the state, Herberta Okonofua-Ayo, as his running mate and dismissed insinuation of being sponsored by the All Progressives Congress.
Justice Abang on Thursday, June 30, affirmed Mr. Sheriff as the PDP National Chairman.
Mr. Abang also ordered INEC to recognise Sheriff’s candidate for the election.
But, a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Monday held that the May 21 national convention that removed Mr. Sheriff and constituted the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee was duly constituted.
The court also declared that the dissolution of the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee by that convention was valid.
In the judgment, Justice Abdullahi Liman declared that the appointment of the caretaker committee to oversee the party’s affairs was legal and in line with the provisions of the PDP Constitution.
The Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker committee of the party had on June 20 elected Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as the party’s candidate for the Edo election. (NAN)