Why I left PDP for LP ―Mimiko
FORMER governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, on Thursday formally dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rejoin the Labour Party (LP).
Speaking after obtaining the LP card at his ward in Ondo town, Mimiko said his decision to return to LP was borne out of the conviction on the need to catalyse a greater focus on the ideological content of the Nigerian political firmament.”
The former governor also hinged his defection to LP on the need to create a more egalitarian society with a leftist ideology which will support social change and create concern for those who are disadvantaged, relative to some others in the society.
Mimiko noted that “We have come with the conviction, consequent upon several years of practical involvement in the nation’s political process, that the need for ideologically focused political engagement is now more pressing than ever before.
“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 enrobe themselves in notwithstanding.
“This is 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 our 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.”
According to him, the LP leftist and would provide the Nigerian people with real alternatives and also help the electorate in making informed decisions as to which individual or platform to invest with power.
“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 been greatly marginalized in several of our governance spaces, since 1999.
Mimiko who said the LP has been a veritable platform for him before dumping the party in 2014 but disclosed that his movement to PDP was not for personal gain but for the interest of the nation and Nigeria people.
He said “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.
We 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.”
“We thought helping to elect a presidential candidate that had demonstrated this commitment to the restructuring of the country was well worth the risk associated with our having to step out of our LP platform onto PDP, on which the former president was running.
“Even now, restructuring remains for us the critical plank without which the much-needed stability and functionality of our country cannot be procured.”
Speaking earlier, the National Chairman of LP, Alhaji Abdukadir Abdusalam, said the return of Mimiko and his support would bring more life and prospect into the party.
He disclosed that the former governor has been able to display governance at its best with many people-oriented projects in it and executed by his administration in the state.
He said “I feel highly delighted to preside over the return to Labour Party of His Excellency Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the immediate past Governor of Ondo State and all his followers.
“The Labour Party is elated that a social democrat like Dr Mimiko, who through his sterling performances as governor mainstreamed pro-people and pro-poor people policies, programmes and projects, is returning to add value to the party. I assure you of our support and commitment at all times.”
“His people-oriented programmes in health, education, housing, rural development, urban renewal, youth and women empowerment attest to the value inherent in his return to the party. In him, we have an example of what power could be used to achieve on the side of the people.”