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#OndoDecides Will Buhari intervene in Ondo political crises?

Obinna Chukwuezie

Within 24 hours after the Indepent National Electoral Commision (INEC) released names of the candidates for the November Governorship elections in Ondo state, the Ondo state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko left Akure to Abuja to meet President Muhammadu Buhari at the President’s office.

communitystories.ng gathered that the list that was released by INEC did not go down well with Mimiko, as his prefered candidate, Jegede was substituted with Jimoh Ibrahim. After Mimiko’s meeting with Buhari, the visibly angry Mimiko told newsmen that Buhari assured him that he would look into the issue, which Mimiko suggested may lead to “conflagration”, if not reversed.

In simple terms, Mimiko wants one thing from Buhari:
He wants Buhari to ask INEC to subsitute Jimoh Ibrahim with Jegede whom he prefers or to veto the court decision which recognised Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP candidate.

Does the Buhari has power to do either?
“I do not think that Buhari will do either of the two, even if he has the powers. Buhari has no say in PDP internal matter and their choice of candidate, neither does he has power to veto court decision. Buhari will not want to get involved in the messy situation,” a source at the Presidency told our correspondent.

Mimiko belongs to PDP, the main opposition party in Nigeria, but he ran to Buhari who is in APC, the ruling party in Nigeria to intervene in PDP internal matter. If Mimiko as the leader of PDP in his state cannot resolve his party internal party crises, how does he expect that someone else will do that for him. Someone from from a rival party. The PDP views Mimiko’s action, as anti-party activity. If the PDP goes into the election at these state, their chances of victory is slim,” a source told our correspondent. The PDP at the national level has been deeply factionalised, one part is led by Makarfi who produced Jegede, and the other part is led by Sheriff which produced Jimoh Ibrahim, whom Mimiko detests.

“In the past, Buhari is not known to meddle with state elections. It is not likely that it has changed,” a political observer and analyst told our correspondent. Sometimes, his party lose, sometimes his party wins. Mimiko should have known that, so his rushing the president is ill-advised. It is even belated, when INEC has released final list of candidates and date for the election. Both Mimiko and Buhari, executive leaders has no power or authority to dictate to INEC or the Judiciary. INEC is an independent body, and they have acted within their statutory powers.

Buhari’s party also has their own problem, but he seem not to be disposed to getting involved in it, what gives Mimiko the confidence that Buhari will get involved in theirs? Is Mimiko an APC member indisguise? Instead of running to Buhari, Mimiko could simply run to the court. He can get justice from the court, not executive fiat, which he is possibly used to. If Mimiko feels that injustice has been done to him, he should seek redress in court because INEC decision was based on court decision. The executive backdoor negotiation cannot override the decision of a court, not even under president Buhari. The court is where the jurisdiction lies.

As predicted by Mimiko, Ondo state is witnessing pockets of conflagration. The law enforcement agencies are empowered to douse them. Probably, that is the best known “look into” he can get from Buhari, not what he is asking for.

 

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