Ondo Governorship: Mimiko turns to President Jonathan for help

The political permutations for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo state has taken a new dimension as incumbent Governor, Olusegun Mimiko , has approached President Goodluck Jonathan for assistance,  sources within the presidency and the state government have told PREMIUM TIMES.

Though Mr. Mimiko is a member of the Labour Party on whose platform he was elected, a source close to the governor said the growing influence of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria is causing the former federal minister intense political migraine.

Jittery that the ACN, which has grown remarkably and has continued to swallow decampees from both the LP and the PDP, was on a ruthless mission to dethrone him, Mr. Mimiko has scampered to Abuja for help.

Usually reliable Aso Rock sources said the governor had reached out to the president, asking for help as the ACN troop,  led by an increasingly ruthless former Governor Bola Tinubu, advance toward Akure, the Ondo State capital, for a massive political assault on Mr. Mimiko.

“I can confirm to you that Mimiko sought the President’s help for his reelection,” said a presidency source who sought anonymity because he had no permission to discuss the matter with journalists. “He is very concerned at the way the ACN is charging at him and he believes he needed a stronger force to stop the party.”

Seeking Jonathan’s help

Seeking the President’s help may not be unconnected with the support Mr. Jonathan enjoyed from the Ondo governor prior to the 2011 Presidential election, our sources explained

Mr. Mimiko, though a member of a different party, actively campaigned for the election of the President. His support ensured that Mr. Jonathan garnered 79 per cent of the votes cast in the state during the Presidential election.

A source explained that Mr. Mimiko sees this as payback time by the President.

“Governor Mimiko believes he can secure Mr. Jonathan’s support for the election; either to return to the PDP or ask the PDP in the state (Ondo) to support him for the election,” he said.

Mr. Mimiko could not be reached to comment for this story. His spokesperson, Eni Akinsola, did not answer or return calls to his mobile telephone. He also did not respond to text messages sent to him by our reporter.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Mr. Jonathan is well disposed to helping Mr. Mimiko.

How that will be done has however not been decided. Those briefed on the matter say the president might appeal to the Ondo State chapter of the PDP not to field a candidate for the election.

An alternative would be for the party to field a weak candidate for the election, and then discreetly instruct party leaders to work for the governor’s re-election. Strong candidates with ambition to run, we are told, would be summoned to the presidential villa and then promised federal appointments.

Our sources say Mr. Mimiko has offered to return to the PDP after the election and then begin the process of rebuilding it into a formidable platform it once was in the state.

Mr. Jonathan’s reason for wanting to lend a helping hand, we are told, is not entirely altruistic. It has to do with self-survival. He is mulling a second term in 2015, and to shore up his electoral fortune, it is important that the ACN is not allowed to have control over the entire South-West region.

Ondo is currently the only state not in the grip of the ACN.

“You know the ACN already controls five of the south west states. Ondo is the only one remaining. President Jonathan does not trust the ACN enough to know what direction they’ll go in the 2015 elections, so it’s in his best interest that Ondo remains away from their grip,” our source said. 

No way for Mimiko in PDP

Contrary to some reports, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Mr. Mimiko would not be returning to the Peoples Democratic Party, his former party, before the next governorship election. 

The reasons for this, according to sources familiar with the matter, is the level of bitterness and enmity between the governor and top members of the PDP in his state.

Mr. Mimiko’s decision to quit the PDP prior to the 2007 elections was as a result of the fall-out he had with the then PDP governor of the state, Olusegun Agagu. Since emerging governor however, Mr. Mimiko had rendered the PDP increasingly irrelevant in the state. Mr. Agagu could not win a senatorial election under the PDP in the 2011 elections as the labour party candidate defeated him.

Ayodele Fadaka, the Director of Publicity of the PDP in the state believes that Mr. Mimiko would not have an easy ride into the PDP.

“There are pending disciplinary issues against him (Mr. Mimiko) in the PDP. If he chooses to come in today, it might not be impossible he will be made to answer the issues,” he said

“What is the sense in him coming into the party today only for him to be expelled tomorrow for gross indiscipline,” the PDP spokesman asked rhetorically while explaining that neither the national leadership of the party nor the President could foist Mr. Mimiko on the Ondo state PDP.

The Ondo election

Following the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission that the governorship election in Ondo state would be held on October 20, the major political parties have been involved in intense campaigns with various aspirants emerging.

While the PDP, which Mr. Mimiko defeated to emerge governor, remains a  factor in the political equation of the state, the major challenge to the governor’s re-election bid appears to be the ACN.

The ACN which controls five of the six states in the South West region of the country already has trained its sight on capturing the state, mobilizing its six governors and national leaders for the all-important assignment.

Over 10 aspirants have emerged as aspirants on the party’s platform, many of them decampees from the Labour party.

These include Ajayi Boroface, a serving senator; Olu Agunloye, a former Defense minister; and Olaiya Oni, former chairman of the LP in the state.  

With the ACN increasingly growing in strength in the state, Mr. Mimiko may be taking his best action by seeking the support of President Jonathan, our sources said.

However the PDP in his state appear determined to scuttle his ambition.

“He cannot just stroll over to the PDP, I can assure you of that,” Mr. Fadaka said.


 

 


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  • Sule

    This is indeed a needless fight between Governor Mimiko and ACN except for his own personal ego. He should have known that Ondo state cannot be separated politically from the rest of South-West Nigeria. Jonathan or no Jonathan, his days as a governor are numbered.He can go and take a political appointment in Jonathan’s cabinet after his defeat.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    THe newsman who wrote this piece of gabbage and junk of journalism junk, script,must be halucinating about ACN fake political strenght in Ondo state,with thggery displayed last month by ACN thugs.sourced from Ibadan,Abeokuta,Oshogbo and Ekiti States who launched unexpected attacks against Labour Party members but were repulsed by the people of Ondo State.

    I was at home till february,2012 and went round Akure,Owo Ondom,Okitipupa and Ikare,Akoko and heard what the people at the grassroot told me.

    Ondo State people especially,at the grassroot want the present massive developmental projects of Labour Party led by governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko, to continue atleast, for another four years as they do not wish to take any risk with ACN-Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu’s autocratic imposition of candidates especially, for the governorship elelction coming up, in october 2012 in the state.

    Also Ondo State people would be disapointed, if Ashiwaju Tinubu thugs and elelction rigging machines and bribery of INEC are allowed to succeed at installing ACN candidate as governor because,Ashiwaju Tinubu would extend his corruption practice of going round ACN control states in the West especially,
    Ogun,Osun,Oyo and Ekiti states to collect N2 billion naira from each state governor of ACN states.Funds meant for developmental projects in education like extension of Mega Schools,mother and child hospital,farming to own-employment provision,roads rehabilitation/construction,N22,000 minimum wage payment,employments and training, provision for our youths, would be looted by ACN corrupt leadership.

    ACN and PDP are axis of looters and elelction riggers and manipulation,including contract invaltion,looting,embezzlement and thieving of our commonwealths, by ACN hungry looking members
    who are not happy with the exclusive focus of Ondo State Federal monthly allocations and internally,generated taxes and revenues.For continuity of massive infrastrucutral developmet in Ondo State,vote for retension of the transparent,visionary,honest,and developmental loving governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko to avoid turning Ondo State to Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu-ACN empire.Let Ondo State staright out of empirical looting and embezzlement of public resources,by ACN leadership.

    Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan,
    Writes From Canada..

  • Leen4life

    Well Mimikos currently in Addis Ababa and not in Abuja

  • Kokawole Awosan should shut up about his venom on the person of Asiwaju Tinubu. Where was Awosan when Mimiko won the gubernatorial election and was robbed of his victory? Was it not Tinubu who fought tooth and nail to help him recover his mandate? And now you can stupidly claim that Tinubu will extend his autocratic tedency to Ondo state. Human memory is very short and I wonder if you have any at all. Hate him or love him, Tinubu is the liberator of Yorubaland from the devilish clutch of Obasanjo and his co-travellers in the PDP.
    If you are one of a paid campaign managers of Mimiko, make your stand known.and do your job honorably and honestly. Do not try to bring the person of Tinubu into disrepute. Ask you principal(Mimiko), and he will tell you how much Tinubu did for him to recover his stolen mandate.

  • Oladimeji_alonge

    This piece looks like an agbeleko analysis. The reporter ought to have related with aides of the governor on media if what is needed is a response. This said, we need to be frank about the ‘ACN” onslaught which at best is nothing but newspaper politics. The people of Ondo State will decide who will govern them. That is the essence of it all. The era of District Overseer of any kind is over.

  • B Sadiq

    Whoever concoted these lies thinks all Nigerians are idiots, we are not that forgetful as we can still recall what transpired 5 years ago during the last election in Ondo State.

    As build up to the Election, Dr. Mimiko was a minion but has grassroot support, his supporters agitated for primaries in PDP b
    ut the powers that be said No!

    As an appointee of President Obasanjo, his principal a brutal ex-General roared and dare him to keep mute.

    In the ACN, things were fast turning out, as usual with the party, their popular and winning aspirant, Dr. Tunji Ajayi, a well known Lawyer and Human Rights activists was rigged out for one Prince Ademola Adegoroye, events however revealed that Gov. Agagu and PDP sponsored Adegoroye to run in ACN.

    When Mimiko eventually declared interest to contest against his leaders, hell was let loose, he was called names, President Obasanjo came to Akure with all his presidential effects to declared that EFCC must arrest Mimiko.

    But at the end of it all Dr. Mimiko won overwhelmingly but a fake result was announced in Abuja instead of Akure, his mandate was however restored by the Court.

    Now the issue is, in the last guber election Akure, Mimiko fought against brutal powers and principalities he won despite the facts that he was then a fingerlings, ACN fully mobilised against him and he thriumph, as a Governor now with the numerous testimonies of his orange revolution he will win without comphromising?

    Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not a god and should stop behaving as one, is he one of the judge that sat on Mimiko’s petitio?, if he is such powerful why cant he reenacted the same feat in Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Akwa Ibom, Adamawa etc.

    Mimiko’s victory then is reflection of the peoples will as can be seen in Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti. Same will be reenacted as Mimiko is working for the people unlike AcN that has turned to a ”one chance bus” where deceptions and anti-people policies is the order of the day.

    Mimiko re-election will once again be the testimony that power belong to the people.

    Bamidele Sadiq
    Special Assistant (Media) to
    Dr. Kayode Ajulo