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Familiar foes line up against Mimiko’s second term

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Familiar foes line up against Mimiko’s second term

Post  Admin on Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:36 am

The second term ambition of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State is facing stiff opposition even before the medical doctor turned politician declares his intention to seek a re-election.

Leading the pack of opposition is Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who has been mandated by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to launch and coordinate a rescue team that will shop for a candidate for the party for the governorship election in Ondo State.

The Aregbesola team was also mandated to launch massive media campaign against the administration of the Labour Party (LP) and highlight the misdeeds of Mimiko and his government.

The ACN team will also harmonise the different elements from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties with ACN in the state to form a movement strong enough to dislodge Mimiko in the November 2012 election. His current tenure ends on February 23, 2013. Already, some prominent indigenes of the state have started gathering arsenals of political war to send Mimiko and his Labor Party from Government House, Akure.

As at the last count, six prominent indigenes of the state had indicated interest to lead the battle under the platform ACN, a party believed to have strong political structure not only in the state, but in all the states of the South West.

Among top contenders for the Alagbaka Government House job are former Inspector-General of Police and Oyin-Akoko born lawyer, Sunday Ehindero; former Interior Minister who recently defected to ACN where he contested and lost the bid to represent Ondo North Senatorial District, Olu Agunloye and former Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning during the six-year reign of former Governor Olusegun Agagu, Omotayo Alasoadura.

Others are the state Chairman of ACN and daughter of Adekunle Ajasin, the first civilian governor of old Ondo State, Jumoke Anifowose; former Commissioner for Finance in the Labor Party led administration who was sacked from the cabinet by Mimiko last year, Wale Akinterinwa; and former Managing Director of defunct Omega Bank, Jamiu Ekungba. Agunloye and Ekungba have already formed strong campaign caucuses within the ACN

The ACN taskforce team met with Aregbesola in Osogbo penultimate week to kick-start and strategise on how to get a credible candidate with intimidating credentials and popularity that would be acceptable to all parties and groups.

Aregbesola was said to have fitted into the job by virtue of his leadership position in ACN. He is also said to have broad knowledge of Ondo, especially the lengthy Akokoland in the north senatorial district of the state where he grew up and had his early education. The district is billed to produce the next governor going by the unwritten rotational policy in the state.

Following the recent disagreement between Mimiko and acclaimed leader of ACN and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, the party has vowed to add Ondo to the its political basket in the South West.

Mimiko has not come out in the open to announce that that he will seek re-election in 2012 but there are strong indications from his political camp pointing in that direction as a group within the camp, Iroko 2013 Platform, is already campaigning for him.

At the inaugural meeting of the ACN team in Osogbo, Aregbesola reportedly called on opposition parties to come together and form a common front to defeat Mimiko. According to a source at the meeting, the governor addressed the gathering in fluent Akoko dialect and exhibited his deep knowledge of the area and it people, calling them his kinsmen. The source said Aregbesola did not hide his party’s displeasure at Mimiko and his Labour Party (LP) administration in Ondo State. Aregbesola also ruled out any possible reunion between Tinubu and Mimiko in the near future when he was asked about the possibility of reconciliation.

The crisis that is currently rocking the PDP is reported to have been aggravated by the ambition of Alasoadura, whose group announced the suspension of former governor Agagu and sacked the state executive committee led by Omotayo Dairo. A source close to the revealed that the action of the Alasoadura fraction was part of plans to destabilise and make it weak as the state moves toward the 2012 governorship election.

This crisis has really slowed the PDP down as opposition machinery against the Mimiko-led Labour Party which snatched the administration of the state from Agagu on February 23, 2009 through a Court of Appeal verdict.

It would be recalled that the intense lobby of the duo of Agagu and immediate past Minister of Defence, Adetokunbo Kayode, for a slot in President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet (FEC), had polarised the Ondo chapter of the party degenerated into court action. While the former minister was said to be allegedly sponsoring a parallel executive led by former Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Prof Olu Agbi, the other group made of the state executive members led by Omotayo Dairo is solidly behind Agagu.

Both factions however lost in the battle of supremacy has Jonathan picked Omobola Johnson, daughter of Ondo high chief and industrialist, Bayo Akinnola, for her reputation as a technocrat, not as a politician or member of the state caucus of PDP.

ACN, unlike PDP, boasts of giving Mimiko more sleepless nights. The government penultimate Wednesday accused the party of being behind the 12-day strike embarked upon by public sector workers in the state and also trying to make the state ungovernable through sponsoring of people to cause unnecessary crisis.

Former Commissioner for Information, Ranti Akerele, who pointed accusing fingers at ACN, urged the people of the state to discountenance what he described as campaign of calumny against the LP government. He said what happened between workers and the state government on the minimum wage “is a family affairs and not to be politicised by any individual or political party”.

Addressing journalists in Akure, Akerele said information at his disposal showed that the ACN was behind the series of protests by some residents of the state capital. The press conference was sequel to the protest by some residents of Ahule, Leo and Oke-Ogba areas of Akure who protested regular power outage in the areas.

The protesters who barricaded the popular Oyemekun/Oba Adesida road, prevented free flow of vehicle for several hours. A similar protest was carried out by residents of Ijoka.

“It is crystal clear that the ACN are hell bent to destabilise a performing government. ACN has again introduced criminality into the Ondo State politics by sponsoring people to protest against electricity that is under the control of Power Holding Nigeria Company (PHCN),” Akerele said.

But a statement issued by the ACN’s Director of Publicity and Media in the state, Barrister Gbenga Akinmoyo, wondered why the government was blaming it for the protest when the over 600 aides and advisers appointed by the governor have exhausted all options in providing good governance. He noted that in such situation when government failed to provide basic amenities for its people the next thing for the people is to revolt.

Part of the statement reads: “When government is not providing good governance the people revolt in all strata of society. Students, pensioners, workers, transporters and market women all protested. It is pitiful that the government will deposit blame at the doorstep of the opposition.

“In an advanced society, this is the time that a vote of no confidence will be passed against the government. Massive exodus is taking place in LP and the destination is CAN. To turn round and call these people the mastermind of the turbulence facing this clueless government is irresponsible and politically immature”.

Akinmoyo added that ACN was the party that enshrined peaceful co-existence and enhance democracy for justice.

But, Akerele insisted that ACN was responsible for the series of protest, adding, “Ondo State has been witnessing great peace for sometimes now. Peoples should be vigilant, security conscious and shine their eyes; ACN wants to heat up the polity. The party sponsored a programme on Adaba FM to incite people during the workers’ industrial action and when people turned into criminality that is no politics. Lawlessness will not be allowed in Ondo State. Before Mimiko’s administration came on board violence was the order of the day, but since its inception, peace has been reigning supreme, we will not allow ACN to bring violence back into the state”.

Aside counter accusations on violence across the state the ACN and LP have been having rough battles and disagreements over developmental projects Mimiko says he has given the people since he came to power over two years ago.


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