There are indications that Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko has perfected plans to defect to the All Progressive Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Checks reveal that Mimiko is looking for a soft landing hence the purpose of his visit to the president.
Mimiko had spent one week at the nation’s capital prior to the release of the final list of governorship candidates by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday night.
Jegede, who was Mimiko’s attorney general had emerged as the candidate of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led faction of the PDP while Ibrahim was elected at a parallel primary in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. Both were engaged in multiple legal tussles until Thursday when an Abuja Federal High Court judge, Justice Okon Abang decided Jegede’s fate. INEC published Ibrahim’s name a few hours later.
A source close to the governor confided in our correspondent that the governor had sought audience with President Buhari instead of an earlier arrangement he had had with the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for ‘peculiar reasons’.
”We were actually discussing with the candidate but you know this is an intricate issue that we need to encourage him to seek audience directly with the president instead of Akeredolu for some peculiar reasons that have to do with trust and mutual respect.
”This is politics, we have decided to make the president understand that his party needs us to defeat the AD candidate who is heavily funded from Lagos. But how, when, that is the issue. Certain things have to be tabled for discussions and commitments extracted, but in a matter of days, events will unfold as to where exactly. They may not like it, but that is the truth. We have held very fruitful discussions with the president and we are confident that he understood our position”, he said
However, speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting with the President, Mimiko expressed reservations over the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible election in the state.
The governor based his assertions on the announcement yesterday by the electoral body that Jimoh Ibrahim is the authentic candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the state.
According to him, the action of INEC is potentially dangerous as it can cause a breach of peace in the state.
Mimiko said the president has promised to look into it and that if there is any injustice, he assured that it will be rectified.
He said:Under INEC guidelines, the time for substitution of candidates has even elapsed. This action potentially can cause a breach of peace. In ondo state in the last seven and half years, we have done everything possible to put good governance on the table. We see this action as potentially dangerous.
It can cause conflagration in the state and that is why as the chief security officer of the state, I have come to alert Mr Presidnt of the potential danger of this injustice so that we can nip it in the bud.
On protest in the state, the governor said he has been on phone with stakeholders to ensure they keep the peace in the state.
“I have assured them that this injustice will not stay. We will continue to explore all avenues to make inec see reasons why this impunity must not stand.
Asked if he still has confidence in inec to conduct credible election, he said”If INEC finds it difficult to obey court order, a credible election starts with a process like this.