Muftau Adediran Former Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State on Thursday formally retraced his steps back into the Labour Party (LP) at a rally held in Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government area of the state
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mimiko had on Wednesday resigned his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party via a letter submitted at the party’s secretariat in Akure.
He had earlier dumped the LP for the PDP in 2014 in spite of the fact that he won his two terms governorship on the party’s platform.
NAN reports that no sooner had Mimiko entered the Oba Adesanoye Civic Centre, venue of the rally, than shouts of “incoming president” and “Presido” rented the air.
Also, political associates, loyalists and kinsmen of the former governor at the rally pleaded with him to contest presidential the election under the platform of the LP, assuring him of their total support.
However, Mimiko did not declare whether or not he will contest any post in the 2019 election.
In his speech entitled “Ideological platform for incisive political engagement: the Labour Party experience in Ondo State and beyond,” Mimiko reiterated his determination to serve the people at any level.
He said that his decision to return to the LP was personal and borne out of his ideological belief in an egalitarian and just society.
“I most humbly announce to Nigerians today my decision to quit the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and return to Labour Party (LP), my true political family.
“I have taken this decision out of the conviction on the need to catalyze a greater focus on the ideological content of the Nigerian political firmament.
“Recall that I was of the LP, and had won my two gubernatorial elections on the platform of the party prior my decision to move over to the PDP in 2014.
“The implication of this is that there was practically no personal gain in focus for us in moving over to PDP as at that date.
“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,” he said.
He said that he 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,” he added.
The former governor said that his several years of practical involvement in the nation’s political process had made him to realise the need for ideologically focused political engagement.
According to him, 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 en-robe themselves in notwithstanding.
He said that this was 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 the 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.
“This will at once allow for a nuanced examination of the context and content of governance, provide the Nigerian people with real alternatives, and help the electorate in making informed decisions as to which individual or platform to invest with power; and how to hold such to account at all times.
“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 beengreatly marginalized in several of our governance spaces, since 1999.
“Labour Party and its few ideological soul mates, among the legion of parties in the country today, provide the requisite platform for this type of deep ideological introspection.
“It is for the foregoing reasons that I and Nigerians across the country, and in the diaspora, who admire what we represent, as demonstrated in our varied accomplishments in government, have elected to have us return to LP.
“This is a decision we consider as correct, reasonable, and patriotic. With this, we are no more restrained from offering to the Nigerian people a pristine, truly ideologically driven, well-thought-out, and historically valid alternative for re-positioning our country.,” he added.