Otunba Segun Showunmi, a governorship hopeful on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun , has stated that he was confidence his name would be on the ballot as the party’s flagbearer for the 2023 general election.
It would be recalled that Showunmi, Jimi Lawal and Ladi Adebutu were the three aspirants battling for the PDP’s governorship ticket, a development which had resulted into series of litigations pending before the courts.
In September, a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, nullified the PDP primaries which produced Adebutu as the governorship candidate.
The presiding judge, Justice O. O. Oguntoyibo, called for a rerun of the primaries within 14 days.
When the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) released lists of candidates cleared for next year’s election, PDP had no candidate. The INEC explained that the omission was in compliance with the court order.
On Thursday, Showunmi at a stakeholders’ meeting he held in Abeokuta with PDP members, said he had studied the merits and technicalities of all the cases in court, insisting that he remains the party’s candidate.
He said most of the cases would soon be decided on by final judgements.
“Let me state it very clearly, I have looked at all the cases. I have studied the technicalities of those cases and I tell you absolutely that, I, Otunba Olusegun Showunmi, I am the candidate for governorship of PDP in Ogun State,” he told the cheering crowd.
He added “In most of the judgements, you will hear ‘Jimi Lawal and Adebutu’ or ‘Adebutu and Jimi Lawal’. You have not heard much about my name in those judgement. But I will let you know that before they realized what they were doing we were already ahead of them in the court.”
The former spokesman to PDP presidential candidate in 2019 also spoke of his meeting with Adebutu, saying it was part of efforts to find a common ground to resolve the lingering crisis.
He described the meeting as a “tough and difficult” decision for him.
Showunmi hinted that he had also planned a meeting with Jimi Lawal, his “unilateral decision” on the controversial “rerun primaries” made him pull back.
“Now, some of those cases have been decided at the court of appeal, the Jimi Lawal cases. He did many cases. You know if you love a political party and you make a case against them, that one case is enough. When you say you love a party and you have ten cases, it means your intention is to keep us perpetually in court and obviously we will be wasting our money paying lawyers. But I understand that is his own way of doing things.
“But I am very sure that in the next couple of days some of those cases will come into judgement, no postponement, it is judgement. And I feel worst case scenario when they resolve the matter, they will now come and meet the real issue,” he said.
Showunmi told his supporters to “to be very calm and steadfast,” while aspirants should continue their grassroots mobilization ahead of the election.
He warned them to avoid a repeat of what played out in 2019 when the party got judgment late, which affected the outcome of the election.
Speaking on the presidential election, Showunmi expressed confidence that Ogun PDP would work in unison to support the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar, despite the internal wrangling.