Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo state seems to be at a cross road after resigning from the Peoples’ democratic Party (PDP), as the party on whose back he rode to power after abandoning the People’s Democratic Party in 2007, to become the governor of Ondo state, the Labour Party, has shut its door to him.
Mimiko competed in the gubernatorial elections on April 14, 2007, against the incumbent Olusegun Agagu. The Independent Electoral Commission INEC, departing from the norm, announced election results in Abuja, the federal capital, declaring the incumbent the winner. Mimiko contested this decision at the election tribunal and was adjudged winner at the tribunal and the Court of Appeal on February 23, 2009.
The Appeal Court, liked the court of first instance, cited massive irregularities in the 2007 election, and ordered that Agagu be replaced by Mimiko as governor. Mimiko then became the first and only member of the Labour Party to win gubernatorial office in Nigeria.
Mimiko contested and won re-election on October 20, 2012, for a second term, making him the first governor in Ondo State to win a second term election. Mimiko stood in that election as the Labour Party candidate for Nigeria’s Ondo State and polled the highest votes.
In 2014, midway into his second term, Mimiko abandoned the Labour Party, returning to its old party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, a move many of his supporters in LP described as cheap betrayal.
Both the candidates of the PDP and Labour Party eventually lost the state to the All Progressives Congress’s candidate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu in the 2016 governorship election.
The politician has again dumped the PDP, and the LP where he had defected from, says he should forsake any thought of returning to its fold.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Mike Omotosho, LP national chairman, said the party is not interested in having Mimiko under its umbrella.
“We urge politicians like the former governor of Ondo state to stay clear of the new Labour Party because we are aware of their gimmicks to lure the Labour Party in the direction of other political parties with the hope of rehabilitating their dwindling political relevance,” he said.
Omotosho accused Mimiko of abandoning the party a few days to its national convention in October 2014, saying that “such a treachery and betrayal of a party that gave the former governor succour in the darkest hour of his political career especially as manifest in his two-term victory on the ticket of Labour Party is to say the least, cheap and callous”.
He said the labour movement, in alliance with its civil society partners, is poised to fully reclaim the LP and restore it as a model political institution “that does not only epitomize the values of the working class family but also capable of contesting for power with members of a failed political class, with whom the former governor dines and wines.