The Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, like the Biblical prodigal son, says he has found the light and has gone back to where he belongs, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), from the Labour Party.
The only governor that the Labour Party was able to produce, who decamped to the ruling party together with all the members of the state House of Assembly, representatives from Ondo State in the National Assembly, and his supporters,was received back to the PDP fold by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Senate President, David Mark, Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus and top party men at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, thus ending months of speculations and armtwisting involving the PDP and the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC.
Mimiko left the PDP about 8 years ago and his going back to the party he once accused of lacking internal democracy is seen as a betrayal to the South-West and the APC and their attempt to wrest power from the PDP come 2015.
He even promised to do everything possible to make sure President Goodluck Jonathan is re-elected in 2015.
Unfortunately at some point in the party’s history, that room for democracy got greatly conscripted. Thus, some eight years ago, when we had need to run for office and the space for internal democracy within PDP had considerably shrank, we chose to leave, but then, not to align with the then emergent opposition party in the land, the ACN.
Rather, we chose to move away from both and pick up Labour Party, a party that was quite mrfodest in its aspirations for national elective offices and completely unknown in Ondo State where we wanted to run for office.
Today, just barely one year into our second term in office, it is obvious that we do not have any office to run for either now or in 2015.
Yet, we feel compelled to join hands with the tendency that is aboard today in the PDP, led by a President that is as focused as he is patriotic, a team that has demonstrated so much promise in its commitment to democracy without which the challenges facing our nation cannot be overcome.
And as someone who is positioned today by providence to speak for the people of Ondo State and our collaborators and admirers across the nation, I do not have any doubt whatsoever in my mind that the interest of our people in Ondo State, the South West Zone and that of Nigeria too, will be better served in the PDP in the evolving political configuration in our nation.
Our immediate target is to help the process of getting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan elected. We hope to be part of a process of creating, especially in the South West, a solid and robust platform of involvement in the election of the President, governors and legislators and post election governance structure which will help to engender rapid socio-economic development.
It is in the light of the foregoing that I, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, following extensive consultations across the land, today formally announce the decision of members of National Assembly from the LP in Ondo State, members of the LP in the Ondo State House of Assembly, members of the State Executive Council and indeed all those who share our aspirations, to join the PDP.
This decision arose after a period of consultation with major stakeholders in Ondo State, which include the aforementioned as well as traditional and religious leaders, market men and women, artisans, trade unions and community as well as party leaders.
And considering that it was under this same PDP that I was privileged to serve, first as Secretary to the Government of Ondo State and later as Minister of Housing and Urban Development from July 2005 – December 2006, this is for us a homecoming of sort.