Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Labour Party (LP) today, on whose platform he contested and ‘won’ the 2007 and 2012 governorship elections of the state has given the reasons for his defection. Speaking in Abuja on Thursday, the governor said that he took the decision in the interest of democracy, stating that the Jonathanled administration has been able to improve the plight of the citizenry.
“It is evident to all who care to look well enough that our country is today at a critical historical juncture.“Challenges that in regular climes and under normal circumstances should have been corporately addressed for the good of the land are now being further deepened and tossed up as elements in political brinkmanship. Our fault lines as a nation are being further cemented on the altar of partisan bickering. Yet, the nation goes on hurting; and our democratic institutions go on cranking under undue pressure,” he noted.“Even so, I am so very well persuaded that if we manage to remain on this democratic governance track, warts and all, Nigeria has a good chance of living above its present challenges. It may indeed be on to creating an enduring and responsive system, to which the interest of our people, especially the weak and the disadvantaged, would be the singular concern.“This is why, for me, perhaps the most critical task before us as a people today is to ensure the survival of our extant democracy project. It is in this broad context that we situate our current engagement in the Nigerian political firmament. It is also this that has made support to the emergent Goodluck Jonathan tendency in this same firmament quite imperative.“It is on record that soon after he became president, Dr. Jonathan made a public commitment to ensure that elections in our country become and remain free and fair. Of course, it is trite to aver that without a credible electoral process, Nigeria’s, and indeed, any country’s programme of democratization remains but a mere mirage.”He went on to say that the current administration has performed creditably and also drew up support for it especially from the southwest geopolitical zone. He made it clear that before joining the PDP he made the needed consultations with the major stakeholders in the state who gave him their support.“Permit me to state that we have always supported the Jonathan Presidential project. In 2011, even from our LP platform, we endorsed, worked for and voted massively for him. This did not prevent us for working for LP candidates where it fielded candidates and in subsequent polls,” he said.“Our support for the president will, in the light of the above, not jeopardise the legitimate electoral aspirations of our teeming supporters and associates.“Our immediate target is to help the process of getting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan elected. We hope to be part of a process of creating, especially in the southwest, a solid and robust platform of involvement in the election of the president, governors and legislators and post election governance structure which will help to engender rapid socioeconomic development.“It is in the light of the foregoing that I, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, following extensive consultations across the land, today formally announce the decision of members of National Assembly from the LP in Ondo State, members of the LP in the Ondo State House of Assembly, members of the State Executive Council and indeed all those who share our aspirations, to join the PDP.“This decision arose after a period of consultation with major stakeholders in Ondo State, which include the aforementioned as well as traditional and religious leaders, market men and women, artisans, trade unions and community as well as party leaders.“I must confess that it surely was tempting and perhaps more fulfilling to continue as a national leader in our smaller, calmer and quite promising ocean represented by the Labour Party. But this decision to return to the PDP, we have taken in the overall interest of our people and our nation, and its democracy which for those who are perceptive enough to notice, is now mortally endangered by a constellation of forces which must be confronted.”Mimiko’s defection is the latest blow to LP, whose national chairman, Dan Nwanyanwu, bowed out on September 10