By Rose Onda
Former governor of Ondo state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, hours after meeting with four of the governors, led by its chairman of governors forum and Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
Mimiko defection to the PDP is coming the third time after leaving the party in 2019 to form the Labour Party LP which later changed to Zenith Labour Party ZLP.
The visit of the four governors Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde; Rivers, Nyesom Wike and Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu is coming less than 24 hours to the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party.
A statement issued after over three hours meeting with the ZLP leaders and supporters at Mimiko’ s Ondo country home, the party state chairman, Hon Joseph Akinlaja said that “stakeholders of the party from across the 18 Local Government areas of Ondo State have resolved to join the Peoples Democratic Party PDP after a meeting held at the residence of the party’s national leader, Dr Olusegun Mimiko in Ondo on Wednesday.
Akinlaja said that ” the meeting which has Dr Olusegun Mimiko, former deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, his running mate, Gboye Adegbenro, former speaker, Jumoke Akindele, the state chairman of the party, Hon Joseph Akinlaja among other leaders in attendance resolved after deliberations to pitch their tent with the Peoples Democratic Party to rescue the country from the misrule of the APC and set her on a path of peace and progress for the benefit of all.
“The meeting followed an earlier visit by four PDP governors led by chairman of their forum, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State. Okezie Ikpeazu, Nyesom Wike and Seyi Makinde had told the press after their meeting with Mimiko that they are in Ondo to invite Mimiko and his teeming supporters in the ZLP to the PDP.
“The stakeholders meeting was called to discuss the meeting with the PDP governors and intimate members with the outcomes of series of interactions with PDP leaders on the invitation extended to him
“Mimiko told the stakeholders that the ZLP in being invited to join the PDP to rescue the country from the brink of insecurity.
“Stakeholders appraised developments across the nation and agreed that the PDP is the most viable platform to work with to be able to work towards winning future elections in the State and in the country as a whole.
“Mimiko had earlier told members that leaders of the PDP have shown demonstrable commitment to fully integrate all willing joiners from the ZLP and accord them full membership rights in what promises to be a win for PDP members and Nigerians alike.
“After detailed deliberations by leaders across Local Government Areas, Hon Akinlaja, the State Chairman, asked that a motion moved for members of the ZLP in Ondo State to join the PDP be put to vote to which all present voted yes by popular acclamation.
Earlier, after about an hour closed door meeting with Mimiko, governor Tambuwal said “we are here in the beautiful of Ondo Town, in Ondo state the home of our leader, and brother, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo state to re-invite him back to his family, his political family, PDP and work towards rescuing Nigeria.
“I am here with the governor of Abia, Rivers and Oyo. We had a very robust engagement with mimiko and very optimistic to hear something very positive from him soonest.
“The message is simple, let’s come back to reposition the PDP and rescue the country. The urgency of the matter is now.”
“We are rebuilding the political platform, the PDP, we are repositioning it towards ensuring that PDP is back to power in 2023”.
Also addressing newsmen, Dr Mimiko said that the visit by the PDP governors ” is one of the many engagements to woo him back to the party.
“This is one of the series of interactions we have had over the last few months. They have come to tell us why we should join forces with them in the PDP and the efforts they are making in repositioning the party.”
Mimiko promised to make known his position on the visit of the PDP governors after meeting leaders of the Zenith Labour Party yesterday evening.
According to him ” We have listened to them and going to have our stakeholders meeting and ultimately it’s the people, the stakeholders that will decide. We will give them information and they will take a decision.”
Addressing ZLP supporters after the closed door meeting, Governor Wike urged them to support Mimiko to return to the PDP.
Wike said that “We are here because we know the importance of Iroko. We need everybody in the country to work together to rescue the country. It is everybody’s business to rescue this country. Tell him to join us so that we can move the country forward.”
Also, governors Tambuwal, Makinde and Ikpeazu said that the business of rescuing Nigeria from the misrule of the APC is that of Nigerians like Mimiko.
Present to receive the four governors include Mimiko wife, Olukemi, former deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, three members of the Ondo state house of assembly, Rasheed Elegbeleye, Tomide Akinribido, Festus Akingbaso, former speaker, Jumoke Akindele, former chief Judge, Olaseinde Kumuyi and deputy governorship Candidate of ZLP in the 2020 election, Gboye Adegbenro and state chairman of the PDP, Fatai Adams, his predecessor, Clement Faboyede, Ondo ZLP Chairman, Joseph Akinlaja among other leaders of the ZLP.