Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State on Monday met in Akure on the crisis rocking the party and blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Federal Government for the disquiet.
The leaders also warned that with the current situation, a repeat of the violent political crisis in the state in 1983 was imminent.
Mr. Mimiko had issued a similar warning after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
They described the substitution of the governorship candidate of the party in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, Eyitayo Jegede, with the name of Jimoh Ibrahim, as an invitation to anarchy.
The PDP leaders who spoke during a press conference rejected the choice of Mr. Ibrahim as the candidate of the party. They said he emerged through the backdoor and benefitted from the unholy alliance between INEC and the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
Speaking on behalf of the leaders, a former Ambassador to Greece, Olu Agbi, argued that Mr. Jegede emerged through a legitimate primary election and represents the will of the people of Ondo State, and dropping him for Mr. Ibrahim spelled trouble for the state.
“We see this as a deliberate attempt to destroy the peace, tranquillity and progress that we have been enjoying in this state in last seven years because Ondo state has been very peaceful and we have witnessed a lot of progress in the state and we don’t want this peace to be truncated,” he said.
“We want to sound a note of warning to the federal government led by APC not to allow history to repeat itself. There is no way we can run away from our experience in 1983.
“People who suffered in 1983 are still suffering today, many houses that were burnt have not been built and I think the society must take cognizance of this.
“In a society where there’s no justice, rule of law, and order, there can never be peace and stability.
“The first law of survival as a country is justice, fairness, equity and this should be taken to consideration by our leaders, that once this injustice is addressed, there will be no crisis and chaos in this land.”
Mr. Agbi criticized the judiciary for perpetrating injustice and forcing Jimoh Ibrahim on the party, averring that it was the prerogative of the political parties to nominate and elect candidates.
“Generally, it is the prerogative of political parties to nominate their gubernatorial candidate,” Mr. Agbi said.
“We therefore appeal to the federal government to save Ondo State from imminent crisis by ensuring that the will of the people is respected and protected.
“Once this is done, we are sure that there will be guaranteed peace in the land.”
INEC had substituted Mr. Jegede with Mr. Ibrahim based on the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja. Both men belong to different factions of the PDP.