A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State said on Sunday that the party had set up a nine-member committee to liaise with its national leadership to persuade and ensure that Governor Olusegun Mimiko defected to the party.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported Mr. Mimiko’s plans to join the PDP after Labour Party leaders he briefed on the plan raised their objections.
Although his aides admitted the meetings took place, Mr. Mimiko, a member of the Labour Party, later claimed he had no plans to join the PDP.
However, on Sunday, Gbenga Elegbeleye, a PDP leader in Ondo addressed journalists at Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State on the outcome of the meeting of the Ondo North Senatorial District of the party.
According to Mr. Elegbeleye, who is the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, NSC, membership of the committee includes representatives from the three senatorial districts of the state.
He disclosed names of the committee members to include Ebenezer Alabi, the state party Chairman, and Kingsley Kuku, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs,.
He said Tokunbo Kayode, former Minister of Defence; a former senator, Bode Olajumoke; and Olusola Oke, governorship candidate of the party in the 2012 gubernatorial election in the state, are also members of the committee.
Other members are Eddy Olafeso, former Ondo State Commissioner for Information; Denis Alonge, the Deputy National Youth Leader, and Mr. Elegbeleye.
Mr. Elegbeleye said the party’s relationship with Mr. Mimiko and his people would start immediately after he had declared formally for the PDP.
He expressed the hope that the governor’s declaration would come after the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the Labour Party which would hold this week.
The NSC director-general expressed optimism that the defection of Mr. Mimiko and his political machinery to the PDP would be a blessing and advantage to the party.
“Once the governor and his team move to the PDP, it will make things easier for the PDP because elections in recent time in the state has always been between the LP and the PDP.
“The focus now is on the 2015 national, state assemblies and presidential elections but my main concern is the presidential election because of my loyalty to the president.
“I am quite confident that President Goodluck Jonathan will win the election in the entire South West and other parts of the country due to the structure on ground,” Mr. Elegbeleye said.
He said the presidential election was different from other elections and the issue of regionalism would have no place.