Ondo 2020: PDP Seeks Mimiko’s Support, Lures Him With VP Slot

Olusegun Mimiko

Ahead of the gov­ernorship elec­tion in Ondo State, there are pressures on Olusegun Mimiko, a former gover­nor of the state, to sup­port the Peoples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) to win the election with a reward of being a possible run­ning mate to the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential elec­tion, VAM has learnt.

Mimiko, who is the National Leader of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), has come under in­tense pressure from both camps for support and the planned springboard is the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Oc­tober 10, 2020.

The sudden resurrection of political activities of ZLP in Ondo State ahead of the governorship election is highly connected with Mimiko’s 2023 vice presi­dential ambition.

A chieftain of ZLP, who spoke in confidence, said Mimiko’s acceptance of the Ondo State deputy gov­ernor, Agboola Ajayi, as the candidate of the party “is to prove to Nigerians that he (Mimiko) is still a big factor in the politics of the South West”.

He added: “Mimiko is keen in winning the gov­ernorship election for ZLP. It’s not just all about the party candidate but his am­bition to be vice president in 2023.

“You will remember that the Labour Party that ousted late Olusegun Agagu from power was launched three months to the election in 2007, the great Iroko (Mimiko) still has the magic. He still en­joys street credibility and that is why he is craving for Ajayi to win.

“If Mimiko supports Jegede, the PDP’s candi­date, and he defeats Ak­eredolu, the incumbent governor, it will be as­sumed that his influence played a huge role in it and his ratings will soar, espe­cially with the 2023 election around the corner.

“If Ajayi wins the gover­norship ticket under ZLP, both of them will return to the PDP and Mimiko might use that to bargain for the PDP vice presidential tick­et which is believed will be zoned to the South-West with a northern presiden­tial candidate.

A source close to the embattled deputy governor, Ajayi, confided in DAILY INDEPENDENT that the major problem facing his principal was the pres­sure coming from Atiku and the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde.

It was gathered, that Atiku had sent an emissary in the Oyo governor to plead with Mimiko to support the PDP’s governorship candi­date, Eyitayo Jegede, for a smooth sail at the contest.

According to the source, not only did Makinde as­sure Mimiko of Jegede’s respect, he indeed deliv­ered Atiku’s message to the former governor that the former vice president was poised to pick him as running mate if he worked for Jegede’s success at the poll.

It was unclear what the ZLP leader told the Oyo State governor. However, it was gathered that Mim­iko’s allies in the ZLP have given some impossible tasks to the deputy gover­nor, Ajayi, to fulfil ahead of his unveiling by the NEC of the party as governorship candidate.

While reacting, Mim­iko’s media aide, Eni Akinsola, said there was no truth in the report.

“No truth in such a per­mutation. We are in ZLP to win, full stop,” he said.

Mimiko was reported to have told Ajayi that he must be willing to complete some of his abandoned policies and also pick his deputy governorship can­didate from his camp.

An associate of Ajayi said he would formally join the ZLP on Thursday. (Daily Independent)


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