The drama in the Ogun State over who will succeed Governor Ibikunle Amosun took a new twist on Thursday, following an alliance between two political parties in the state.
This comes as a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Ladi Adebutu, declares his support for the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Adekunle Akinlade.
The agreement was reached at a closed-door meeting between some factional leaders of the PDP and leaders of the APM in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The PDP factional chairman, Mr Sikirulai Ogundele, told reporters after the meeting that they have adopted the APM candidate for Saturday’s governorship election while their supporters have been directed to follow suit.
He commended the leadership quality of the APM candidate, stressing that Akinlade remains the best candidate for the job.
Both Akinlade and Adebutu are members of the House of Representatives, representing Egbado South/Ipokia and Ikenne/Shagamu/Remo North federal constituencies respectively.
The APM candidate, who has Governor Amosun’s backing, defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) following Dapo Abiodun’s emergence as the ruling party’s candidate.
On his part, Adebutu decided to endorse Akinlade’s governorship bid after he lost the PDP ticket to Senator Buruji Kashamu, despite having the support of the party’s national leadership.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognised Senator Kashamu following a series of legal battles over who can conduct primary elections in the state.
In the latest judgement on the matter, a Federal High Court in Abeokuta dismissed Adebutu’s suit challenging the nomination of Kashamu as the PDP governorship candidate.
Justice Abubakar Shittu, in his ruling on Wednesday, held that the case was statute-barred, having been caught up with the Forth Alteration.
He ruled that the cause of action arose on April 12, 2018, whereas the suit was filed in December 2018.
The judge had thereafter prohibited the plaintiffs in the suit from re-litigating the issue of who has the power to conduct primary elections of the PDP in Ogun State and submit the list of candidates.