By Our Correspondent
Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo State has yesterday signed and collected the membership card of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, barely 24 hours after dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, his move to return to LP was earlier opposed by Mike Omotosho, national chairman of the party.
Omotosho said the party was not interested in having Mimiko, accusing him of betrayal and leaving the party at a time of distress.
“We urge politicians like the former governor of Ondo State to stay clear of the new Labour Party, because we are aware of their gimmicks to lure the Labour Party in the direction of other political parties with the hope of rehabilitating their dwindling political relevance,” he had said.
A former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has explained why he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the Labour Party, LP.
The former governor, who spoke to reporters after obtaining the LP card at his ward in Ondo town, said his decision to return to LP was borne out of the need to “catalyze a greater focus on the ideological content of the Nigerian political firmament.”
He said, “We have come with the conviction, consequent upon several years of practical involvement in the nation’s political process, that the need for ideologically focused political engagement is now more pressing than ever before.
“Virtually all the existing political parties in Nigeria today belong to the right of the centre, ensconced as it were in a neo-liberal mental construct, the name or mantra they choose to enrobe themselves in notwithstanding.
“This is evident not in terms of the pretentious claims they make to ideological purity, but in the way and manner, they have used power; including the extent to which they have mainstreamed the interest and welfare of the weak and poor in our society.
“This ideological fluidity, within which the nation’s extant democracy has evolved since 1999, deserves now to be fully interrogated, with a view to engendering a transition to a more ideologically defined system of engagement.
“We have come to the conclusion that these are the missing links in our political process, which have tended to make an all-comers game of it, and one in which the interest of the mass of the people has been greatly marginalized in several of our governance spaces, since 1999.
“The decision was also not borne out of any disagreement with LP, either ideologically or operationally. It was simply a decision that we needed to take in the higher interest of our country.
“We particularly had in focus the agenda of restructuring, which frontier the then president had extended a bit by convoking the National Conference. We thus felt compelled to work with his party, hoping that his victory in the 2015 election, would translate the vision of restructuring the Nigerian federation into reality “We thought helping to elect a presidential candidate that had demonstrated this commitment to the restructuring of the country was well worth the risk associated with our having to step out of our LP platform onto PDP, on which the former president was running.
“Even now, restructuring remains for us the critical plank without which the much-needed stability and functionality of our country cannot be procured.”