Barely 24 hours after Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State dumped the Labour Party, LP, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, reports say some members of the PDP in the state gathered at the party’s secretariat on Oyemekun Road in Akure to protest the defection of the governor.
According to Sahara Reporters, the protesters, who came from 18 local government areas of the state, chanted songs and castigated the PDP’s state executive officials for welcoming the governor back to the party.
Before joining the LP, Mimiko abandoned the PDP in 2006 after accusing the party of lacking “internal democracy”.
It was gathered that some of the aggrieved protesters described the Mimiko’s return to the PDP as an “infection,” comparing it to the “Ebola virus disease.”
Aggrieved PDP members being addressed by party leaders in Akure.
According to the protesters, the governor’s defection to the PDP would further deepen the crisis that was already besetting the party in the state since the governor’s plan to defect became public.
The PDP protesters stated that they would not allow Mimiko to hijack the leadership of their party.
Some of the protesters said they were angered that the leadership of the party in Abuja had not consulted them before welcoming Mimiko.
The protesters opined that they were aggrieved that their party immediately welcomed Governor Mimiko without probing his past.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko
“I can’t imagine that these leaders of our party would allow Mimiko into our fold again. He is just an Ebola Virus that would further destroy us. If [former Governor Olusegun] Agagu were alive, would [Mimiko} have decamped today?” an angry member asked.
Another protester said, “We don’t want him because I don’t know why someone who called himself a governor would go to Abuja and declare his defection. It is uncommon and we must resist it.”
Commenting on the protest, the deputy chairman of PDP in Ondo State, Fatai Adams, said the party was not ready to collapse the structures to accommodate Governor Mimiko.
Adams said that although the party officially received the governor into its fold in Abuja, it would not agree for him to hijack the structure.
He said: “The [members of the] State Working Committee have met in Abuja and resolved that there is need for us to protect the structure of the party at the state, local government and the ward levels.
We have filed a motion of injunction at the Federal Capital Territory High Court to protect the structure of the party because we are not ready to dismantle the structure of the party at this very crucial moment.
“Our primaries are less than a month and a lot of aspirants have shown intention to contest for various positions under this umbrella. We are fully prepared to protect the interests of all members who have worked assiduously and committed a lot of resources.”
The state deputy chairman continued: “We are not ready to surrender the structure of our great party to anybody. We were elected.”
It would be recalled that Governor Mimiko formally decamped to the PDP at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, 2 October, 2014 at an event presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
It was reported that Mimiko led two members of the National Assembly from Ondo state, all the 26 members of the state House of Assembly, all members of the State Executive Council and his supporters to the PDP.