The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has formally recognized Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Edo September 10 governorship election. Nick Dazang, INEC’s deputy director for voter education and publicity, disclosed this in an interview with NAN on Tuesday, July 12 in Abuja. Dazang said the decision to accept Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, led by Ahmed Makarfi, was informed by the court’s decision on the matter. He said:
“The commission collected the nomination from Makarfi-led faction because he has a court judgment that says INEC should accept his candidate. Secondly, you will recall that it is only his own faction of PDP primary that the commission monitored”.
The PDP has been rocked by an internal crisis, with two factions laying claim to the party’s national leadership. A faction led by Ali Modu Sheriff had submitted the name of Matthew Iduoriyekwemwen as its candidate for the September 10 elections, after the Makarfi led faction had submitted Ize-Iyamu’s name.
The Makarfi’s group, supported by all organs of the party, including the governors’ forum and the Board of Trustees (BOT), conducted its primary on June 20 in Benin and elected Ize-Iyamu as candidate. While on June 29, at another primary that was not supervised by INEC, Sheriff’s faction picked Iduoriyekwemwen as the party’s candidate.
A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Monday, July 4 held that the May 21 national convention that removed Sheriff as chairman and constituted the National Caretaker Committee was duly constituted. On Saturday, May 21, the leadership of the PDP sacked Sheriff and other members of the National Executive Committee at its national convention which held in Port Harcourt.
The convention saw the approval of a seven-man national caretaker committee headed by Makarfi. 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 PDP Constitution.