The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum on Monday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call his party, the All Progressives Congress, to order.
The forum also said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had allowed itself to be manipulated by the APC and should also be cautioned.
“We call on Mr. President to caution his party, APC and INEC to be fair in this coming election scheduled for November 26.”
The demand came in a statement signed by the forum’s secretary, Patrick Okon, on Monday.
Mr. Okon said the development in Ondo State will not be tolerated by governors of the PDP, Nigeria’s major opposition party.
“We are aware of the plan of APC to get Ondo state by all means, including listing the assistance of INEC,” the governors said in the statement. “We are warning that we will not fold our arms to watch this impunity and daytime robbery. INEC is an umpire and should play its role very well so that the electorates will have confidence in it.”
The PDP’s campaign in Ondo suffered a setback last week after INEC dropped a candidate of the party’s main faction and substituted him for the candidate of a faction loyal to a former governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff.
Eyitayo Jegede was widely presumed the PDP candidate for the November election before INEC announced that businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, was the authentic candidate.
The decision followed a court order by Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court who ruled that Mr. Sheriff-led faction was the authentic PDP structure, consequently paving the way for Mr. Ibrahim.
The Ondo State Governor, Segun Mimiko, met with Mr. Buhari in the State House on last Friday, urging Mr. Buhari to intervene lest the state descended into crisis.
“This action of INEC is potentially dangerous,” Mr. Mimiko said shortly after meeting with the president.
The PDP governors in their statement on Monday urged INEC to consider the backlash and institutional damage its action could cause.
“From the way things are going, the people are already losing confidence in the commission. INEC should stick to its electoral mandate and should not subvert the law of the land.”