• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Trouble looms in Ondo PDP over Mimiko’s defection


But the development appears to have engendered strife and ill-feeling in the rank and file of the PDP in the Sunshine state.

Mimiko, who is on the last lap of his two-term tenure in office, led other members of his executive, members of the LP in the national and state legislature and other chieftains of the party to the seat of power in Abuja for the formal declaration. He was handed the PDP flag by Namadi Sambo, vice president, signifying that the governor now assumes the authentic leadership of the umbrella party in the state.

It was this empowerment, as it were, that may have riled the leadership of PDP in the state as well as some other foot soldiers, who are expressing fears that Mimiko may  ‘invade’ the party he abandoned some years ago with his cronies from LP to ride roughshod over those who had built the party over the years.

Reacting exclusively to the cross-carpeting and the insinuations in some quarters that the executive in place would be dissolved to accommodate Mimiko’s interest, Ebenezer Alabi, Ondo PDP chairman, said: “We came as a result of election held on March 17, 2012. And by that mandate, we are to serve for four years. So, coming on board and some people will just sit down and cut short our tenure, we believe it’s illegal. And that is why I promised that if it should happen, it will not go unchallenged. And exactly today (Thursday), we heard it that there is this bundle which they have negotiated with him (Mimiko) and that they are ceding some executive positions in the party, including the state chairmanship position, to him. Like I said, we believe this is very wrong. It is an affront on us.

“We have a constitutional right here and we have opted to defend our constitutional interest. And that was why we have filed a suit in Abuja, rejecting any dissolution of the executive. It has not been done and going to court now based on what we have will show that the state executive will not tolerate a situation where their tenure will be cut short because somebody is joining the party.”

By the same token, a member of PDP who craved anonymity told BDSUNDAY that what the national secretariat of the party and Mimiko have done amounted to desperation.

“What our party leadership in Abuja and Governor Mimiko have done is pure act of desperation. Here is a man who dumped the party to pursue his own interest somewhere else. He was the minister of Housing on PDP platform and with the money he made, he aspired to the governorship position under LP and won. Now, there are people who had ensured that the party did not die all these years; all of a sudden, Mimiko has been handed the flag to be the leader of those who had toiled over the years to keep PDP alive in Ondo. I am not sure if the leadership of the party in the state was sufficiently consulted before the event. Such a move sends negative signal, and I am sure there will be some repercussions,” the party chieftain said.