Two governorship candidates – Ladi Adebutu and Segun Sowunmi – have emerged from the parallel primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State.
The two factions held primaries at different locations in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Wednesday.
Sowunmi, who was spokesman of the PDP presidential candidate in 2019, Atiku Abubakar; Adebutu, former Rep member and an ex-banker, Jimi Lawal, and Abodunrin Abimbola, are the four aspirants battling for the PDP ticket.
Sowunmi, at a primaries held at secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abeokuta, the State capital, polled 554 votes to defeat his closest rival, Lawal who scored 30 votes, while Adebutu polled 15 votes.
The chairman of the electoral committee, Abayomi Daniel announced Sowunmi the winner of the election after the votes were counted.
According to Daniel, a total number of 778 delegates were accredited, 702 votes were casted while three votes were And few hours later, parallel governorship primaries of the party spearheaded the state exco, loyal to Adebutu, commenced at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).
Adebutu and Lawal were the only aspirants present at the venue.
The parallel primaries which began around 4:45pm on a calm note later turned violent following a clash over two delegates’ list submitted.
The PDP electoral panel, headed by Prof Akase Sorkaa, had allegedly brought a list from the PDP headquarters in Abuja, while Lawal submitted another one at the venue.
Lawal, who was Special Adviser to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and his supporters insisted that the two lists were not the same.
This led to a shouting march, pushing and shoving among the supporters, bringing the exercise to a halt.
One of the aides of Lawal, Austin Oniyokor who some documents claiming to have been certified by the INEC, insisted that the exercise must not take place unless the said document is adopted.
The drama which lasted for over 30 minutes saw security operatives helpless while INEC officials temporarily relocated from the hall.
“This exercise cannot be conducted with fake list. These are INEC generated documents. These are your certified documents,” Oniyokor shouted whole addressing INEC officials.
However, the state chairman of the party, Hon. Sikirulai Ogundele, called for calm among the warring factions to allow the primary hold peacefully.
He insisted that, the delegates list being adopted was brought from national headquarters of the party by the electoral committee.
The secretary of the party, Sunday Solarin, alleged that the drama was a ploy by some elements to disrupt the exercise.
The situation became worse as another group allegedly “imported” political thugs to venue, hurling missiles at the delegates at entrance of the hall.
Our correspondent reports that the environment was tensed as security agents called for a reinforcement with soldiers who later came, shooting sporadically into the air, and dispersed the thugs.
Sanity later returned to the venue after about two hours of crisis and delay.
When the accreditation began around 7:10pm, Lawal, his aides and supporters walked out of the venue.
In the end, Adebutu was announced winner having polled 714 votes out of the 715 vote cast.