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2019: Mimiko drops presidential ambition, becomes Senatorial candidate

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A former Governor of Ondo State and Presidential candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Olusegun Mimiko has dropped his bid to contest for president in  the 2019 election.

Mimiko had emerged the presidential candidate of the ZLP and had his name published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He announced his withdrawal from the race on Thursday while meeting with the party faithful from the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo state and some national leaders of the party, in his country home Ondo.

Mimiko said at the meeting that he would now be running as the candidate of the ZLP for Ondo Central Senatorial district in next year’s election.

According to him, he said the decision was to further build the party in the state.

READ ALSO: Ondo 2020: Mimiko is my main enemy – Akeredolu

The former governor who briefed the meeting on developments in the polity said; ” I have  been inundated with calls from across the state and country on my presidential aspiration and rumours of a senatorial bid, got overwhelming calls to jettison the presidential race as it has been narrowed to a race between Atiku and Buhari.

“I took the decision in the ultimate interest of our party, the Zenith Labour Party, Ondo state and the country.”

Mimiko is however yet to disclose the presidential candidate his party will be supporting in the 2019 presidential poll.

Meanwhile, the Senatorial Candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) for Ondo Central Senatorial district, Gboye Adegbenro has withdrew from the race for the former governor.

Adegbenro , a former commissioner for works in the  state who is  the current senatorial candidate of the party said the decision to back out was in the best Interest of the party and the state at large.

In a statement personally signed by him ,he said the candidacy of Dr. Mimiko would boost the chance of the party in next year’s election.

Adegbenro commended the efforts of his supporters in the district , promising to work for the victory of the party during the elections.

He said: “It has become imperative that I bring to a close my aspiration to represent Ondo Central Senatorial District at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at this critical juncture.

“Having consulted far and wide with my family, business associates, followers and constituents, it has become important to bow out before the full race commences in the interest of our great party, the Zenith Labour Party and our dear state.

“More than the above, I am convinced that the candidacy of our leader, the former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, will better serve the interest of the district now and the overall goal of the south west.

“I am eternally grateful to my constituents, followers and party leaders who have been with us all through the processes that culminated into taking this decision and renew my commitment and unalloyed dedication to the Zenith Labour Party.

“I remain a firm believer and supporter of my brother and leader, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who invited me into partisan politics and who has always provided selfless leadership.”

According to the timetable of the 2019 elections released by INEC , substitution of list of candidates by political parties will elapse on Sunday 18th November 2018.

YOMI AYELESO, Akure