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Ondo protest

The capital city of Ondo State, Akure is near boiling point this morning as residents took to the street to protest the removal of the name of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Eyitayo Jegede SAN from the final list of INEC.

As at the time of filing this report, major highways in the capital city and other parts of the state have been blocked by protesters burning tires.

Activities in the capital city is also at lull as residents stay indoors for fear that the protest might soon turn awry. It was reliably gathered that plans by Jimoh Ibrahim to visit the state today have been shelved for fear of not being welcomed.

The police are on the way to nip in the bud the protests that erupted in Akure, Ondo State this morning over INEC’s decision to exclude Eyitayo Jegede on the ballot in the 26 November election in the state. INEC, citing the rule of law picked Jimoh Ibrahim instead as candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

The protesters were rooting for Eyitayo Jegede, who belongs to the Makarfi faction of the party. Ibrahim ran under the platform of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the party. The list of governorship candidates published by INEC Thursday was the final list of governorship candidates and included 27 other candidates.

As bonfires were made in some parts of the city and roads blocked, the Police Command gave an assurance to residents of Akure of their safety. The command’s spokesman, ASP Femi Joseph, told newsmen that the police were committed to the protection of the lives and property. Joseph enjoined the people to keep calm as normalcy would soon be restored, adding that the command had dispatched officer and men to the scene of protests on Oba Adesida Road.

“We are aware and our men are on their way to the scene, I will speak with you more later as the incident develops. “We are trying to coordinate our men so that the incident will not escalate,” he said.

Passengers had to alight from taxis and buses due to burnt tyres and debris on roads in Akure. Eyitayo Jegede, also urged his supporters to remain calm, saying he is exploring legal options on his candidacy. Jegede, in a press statement issued in Akure by his spokesperson, Mr Fasua Kayode, said he had gone to the Court of Appeal to upturn the decision.

He expressed optimism that justice would be done in the end, and urged his supporters to remain calm and steadfast in the struggle. Jegede assured that he would not, for any reason, jettison the mandate freely given to him by the generality of PDP members in the state. “Eyitayo Jegede, your son and brother, has not in any way abdicated the general consent given to him by the law-abiding members of the PDP to seek election into the office of the Governor.

“Like I have always said, I am guided by the Almighty and the shared vision to transform this state to a land of wealth and prosperity. “You remain my priority as we, in faith, match on to the Promised Land,” he stated.

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