The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ondo State has insisted that former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, may join the party.
The SDP’s statement comes despite aides to Mr. Mimiko saying he has no plan to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The chairman of the SDP in the state, Korode Duyile, while speaking on Orange FM programme on Monday, said Mr. Mimiko would be welcomed to the SDP fold.
Mr. Mimiko’s rumoured defection to SDP made the rounds in the media last week, resulting in rebuttals from both the PDP and his spokesman, Kayode Akinmade.
The former governor was reported to be on the verge of jumping out of the PDP and joining Jerry Gana, Godsday Orubebe and others in the SDP ahead of the 2019 elections.
Before his tenure ended in February last year, Mr. Mimiko was the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
Mr. Akinmade who was commissioner for information under Mr. Mimiko, had denied the report, saying his boss remained a member of the PDP.
The spokesman for the PDP in the state, Ayo Fadaka, also said Mr. Mimiko was not leaving the party.
However, Mr. Duyile, when asked to speak on Mr. Mimiko’s reported move to the party, declined giving a specific answer.
“I won’t say yes or no. The truth is that there is a forum of middle belt, South-south, South-east and South-west . We call it Southern and Middle Belt forum where we meet. It has been on for quite some time,” he said.
“Governor Mimiko is a member and we have been meeting since he left governorship seat. That group is considering to use the SDP to get their political agenda right.
“So, to that extent he is a member of that group. The group is yet to formally adopt SDP but members of the group are vocal.
“The leadership of SDP are also leaders of the group. In politics there’s free entry and free exit. You can’t bar someone from entering your party more so, an ex governor.
“So we don’t drive away anybody here. He is welcome.”