Monday, 25 August 2014

MIMIKO: PDP chieftains differ over defection

Akure LEADERS of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State are divided over purported 60/40 agreement reached in favour of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State with the national leaders of PDP without the input of the state chapter, paving way for Mimikos defection to the party.

Segun Mimiko, Ondo State governor
This came as All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state said the defection was a minus to PDP.
Several meetings have been held by PDP members and more still ongoing at the time of this report in the state since the weekend defection became public.
Political appointees in the former Labour Party, LP, administration have however started crossing to PDP in their constituencies following a directive by the governor, who also asked them to pass the message of defection down to the grassroots.
Many of the LP members, who left the PDP in 2009 still have their PDP registration cards.
However, some chieftains of party told Vanguard in confidence that the governor failed to carry them along at the state level.
They lamented that the governor preferred to talk with the leaders in Abuja instead of those in the state, wondering how it would be easy for him to sail through. According to them, they read about the defection on pages of newspapers.
Some of them claimed the governor started phoning them just this weekend for a meeting.
However, other leaders who have sympathy for the governor welcomed him to party, saying the more, the merrier.
It was gathered that leaders complaining are disturbed that as the governor, he automatically becomes the leader of the party in the state, expressing fears that many of them who had criticised him (Mimiko) when he was in LP, may victimise them now that he has taken control of the party.
But the Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Chief Wale Ozogoro, said LP members were welcomed into the biggest party in Africa.
Ozogoro, who said although the party had not been formally notified at the state level, noted that there is free entry and exit in political parties in the country and nobody has the right to block Mimikos entrance into the party.
However, he declared that the new defectors would be trained on PDPs philosophy based on the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said by the time the party is officially informed, we will meet with the party elders caucus and with the incoming members and we will give them a rousing welcome.
Some leaders of the PDP in the state led by Professor Olu Agbi and Chief Segun Adegoke, said the defection of Mimiko into the PDP justified their support for his second term election.
Agbi and Adegoke said by the time the two parties merged, the next election would be a free ride for the party and its candidates.
Meanwhile, the state APC in its reaction to the development said the defection of the Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko to the PDP did not come as a surprise to us. Mimiko has been hobnobbing with the PDP at the national level for a very long time, even though he had no good relationship with the state chapter.
A statement by its Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya in Akure said that Dr Olusegun Mimiko is joining or has joined PDP will not help the party win any election, but to help President Goodluck Jonathan win the PDP presidential primaries.
To us in Ondo APC, our doors are opened for credible individuals that are still in the Labour Party, especially the House of Assembly members to join. Our doors are also opened to the serving commissioners and also PDP members that would not be comfortable with Mimiko joining the PDP because of his political antecedents. They are all welcomed to join our great party to realise their dreams. To us all animals are equal.
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