Mimiko lobbies APC ahead of 2019 elections

Mimiko lobbies APC ahead of 2019 elections

By Yemi Esho, Abuja

Fondly called Iroko by his admirers, not much has been heard about him since he served out his two-term tenure as governor of Ondo State. Call him a cat with nine lives and you will not be wrong. He has fought many battles and won. He has seen it all in politics but there are concerns about his perceived silence in the political circle since he ceased to be governor of his state and handed over rein of power to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Olusegun Abdulrahaman Mimiko has transverse Nigeria political space like a colossus. He started the Fourth Republic political journey as an Alliance for Democracy (AD) stalwart, and ended as a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyalist, AljazirahNigeria recalls.

While his loyalists are expecting him to come out on his next line of actions, AljazirahNigeria gathered that Mimiko is keeping his cards very close to his chest. He is reported to be making deft move and consulting widely as report has it that he is considering moving to the Nigerian Senate which has recently become retirement chamber for former governors.

It is however not clear on which party platform Mimiko wants to realize his ambition having suspected to be one of the brains behind the newly formed party, the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA). He was the last chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and he has always queue behind the Ahmed Makarfi group.

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court validating Makarfi as the authentic leader of the PDP could be a soothing balm for Mimiko’s political career.

The APDA, AljazirahNigeria learnt on good authority, was formed to provide a headway for some members of the PDP who were anticipating that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff would win at the apex court. Whatever will happen to APDA now that the PDP has come under one umbrella remained to be seen.

Unconfirmed reports also have it that Mimiko may consider pitching his tent with the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), having allegedly delivered the state for the incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

AljazirahNigeria recall that while Akeredolu polled 224,842 votes, Eyitayo Jegede and Olusola Oke of the PDP and AD scored 150,380 and 126,889 votes respectively. Mimiko’s support for Akeredolu was not unconnected with the frustration encountered by his anointed candidate, Jegede, who had to battle the Sheriff’s faction of the PDP on one hand and the court case instituted against him on the other hand. It was however too late to rally round for Jegede when he was cleared by the court two days to the election, he has politically lost out to the APC.

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However, Mimiko’s senatorial ambition may likely be jeopardized in the ruling party as he had not been having the best of time with APC since leaving office.

He has been alleged to have left a total debt of N180 billion for the incumbent government besides the eight months of unpaid salaries and allowances to aggrieved workers.

The APC publicity secretary in the state, Abayomi Adesanya, accused Mimiko of plunging the state to financial woes. Adesanya accused Mimiko of securing loans which the administration is still coming to terms with.

Mimiko will also have his former deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, who he unceremoniously sent packing from office to battle with. AljazirahNigeria gathered that Olanusi who will stop at nothing to sink his former boss had instituted cases against Mimiko with the Economic and Financial Crime (EFCC).

The former deputy governor had written a series of petitions to the anti-graft agency to nail Mimiko. One of such petitions was the whooping N113million the state allegedly spent during the 2014 national conference organized by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Investigations also reveals that a group named Movement for Good Governance (MGG) had also petitioned the EFCC to investigate outrageous workers wage bill incurred by Mimiko in the twilight of his tenure. The wage bill was the Achille’s heel that nailed Mimiko’s coffin during the election. The workers transferred their anger on his candidate by voting massively for Akeredolu.

Prince Orimisan Adelokiki, the spokesman for MGG said their findings clearly showed discrepancies in Ondo state wage bill between N4billion and N 7billion for two consecutive months.

However, a reliable source who spoke with AljazirahNigeria in absolute confidence said the former governor is not deterred by the antics of those he referred to as agent of evil.

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He said, “Governor Mimiko as you know is a man well loved by the people. You remember the Iroko factor of 2007 which he used to defeat the PDP in Ondo State. He literarily brought the Labour Party to Ondo State and the rest is history. You may not like his face but there is no gainsaying in the fact that Mimiko attracted and brought monumental development to Ondo State in his eight years as governor especially in education, health, rural development and others numerous to mention. Our leader will make his intention known at the appropriate time, he is a master strategist, he is weighing his next line of action and you will be informed when the times comes.”

Mimiko is however left with options to seek his ambition in APDA, the PDP or the APC. But the coast will get clearer in 2018 when the campaign to 2019 general elections will be in full swing.

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