by Segun Odeleye
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, has now come full circle following his decamping from the Labour Party to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Mimiko served as minister in the federal cabinet of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, but decamped to the Labour Party, when he was denied the opportunity to fly the flag of the PDP in the Ondo governorship election.
After he was adjudged to have lost the governorship race in 2007 against the PDP’s Olusegun Agagu, Mimiko went to court and was backed strongly by the then-Action Congress of Nigeria. It was believed then that the ACN supported and sponsored Mimiko’s legal battles with the agreement that if he emerges victorious, he will decamp to the party. The governor however refused to join the party and turned out to be the nemesis of the ACN (and later APC) in the South West zone.
Today in Abuja, Mimiko declared, after months of speculations that he was returning to the PDP.
Mimiko led two members of the National Assembly from the state, all the 26 members of the state House of Assembly, all members of the State Executive Council and his supporters to the PDP.
His formal decamping took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, at an event presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
“I, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, following extensive consultations across the land, today finally announce the decision of members of the National Assembly from the LP in Ondo State, members of the LP in the 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,” Mimiko said.
Those present at the event were the President of the Senate, David Mark; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, leaders of the PDP from the South-West, amongst others.
He said his decision to return to the PDP arose after a period of consultation with major stakeholders in the state, including traditional and religious leaders, market men and women, artisans, trade unions and community as well as party leaders.
He declared that his priority right now was to ensure that Pres. Jonathan is reelected next year. Mimiko is a second term governor.
Senate president David Mark welcomed Mimiko back to the PDP from his “self-exile.” He said it was the desire and wish of the party leadership that the governor reconciles everybody within the party.