PDP governorship aspirants and some leaders from the state northern senatorial district yesterday rejected the alleged plan of Mimiko to pick the party’s candidate from the central senatorial district.
The aggrieved aspirants and stakeholders alleged that Mimiko earlier discussed the issue at a political forum, which was also attended by the PDP state and local government executive members.
The governor reportedly told the party stakeholders at the meeting that he had endorsed an aspirant from the central senatorial district.
Jegede, an indigene of Akure, is from the same central senatorial district with the incumbent governor.
The aspirants urged Mimiko and other party leaders promoting the central senatorial district agenda to align with the rotational/zoning principle of the party.
A communique issued and signed by the aspirants, Senator Remi Okunrinboye, Dr. Bakkita Bello, Bamiduro Dada, Prince Nekan Olateru-Olagbegi, Dare Emiola, Gbenga Elegbeleye, Dayo Fadahunsi, Yekini Olanipekun and others, showed there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached by the state leadership of the party.
They noted that the agreement was to rotate candidates between the north and the central districts, adding that it was the turn of the north to produce the party’s candidate.
The MOU was signed by the late Governor Olusegun Agagu, the late Dr. Olaiya Oni, Saka Lawal, Otunba Oyewole Fashawe, now in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Victor Olabimtan, now in APC, Olusola Oke, now in APC, and Dr. Gbankinro, among others.
The communique reads: “Consequent upon the development in our party in Ondo State, where Governor Mimiko at a meeting with the state and local government official and delegates declared his endorsement of an aspirant from the central senatorial district as the PDP candidate for the November 26, 2016 election.
“This position of Mr. Governor is considered a miscalculation that will further put Ondo North Senatorial District at a serious political disadvantage, putting the state PDP at a loss and laying a bad precedence in the state.
“That all the undersigned leaders align their position with the rotational/zoning principle of our party. This is in accordance with the MOU reached by the state leadership of the party towards the October 20, 2012 election, that the governorship of the state be rotated among the three senatorial districts.
“Eventually, that referred election was won by Mimiko for a second term from the central, following a six-year governorship of the late Agagu from the southern senatorial district.
“We stand by the MOU reached by the leaders of our party in 2012, which was signed by the leadership of the state PDP that Ondo North should produce the governor for 2017-2021. And the time is now!
“That the national and state leadership of the PDP should not forget in a hurry the consequences of imposition of candidates on the poor performance of the party in the 2015 presidential, national and state elections.”
The party’s youths from North and South senatorial districts have vowed to frustrate the idea.
The youth, under the aegis of North/South Senatorial Youth Campaigners (NSSYC), in a statement signed by their leader, Mr. Dele Ayeni, accused PDP leadership of working against the party’s progress.
They alleged that the leaders were working for a faction of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to deliver the state to the opposition.
The youths insisted that the PDP must conduct party primaries to pick a candidate instead of imposition.
The group said Mimiko was planning to present a weakling to the electorate so that the PDP would be easily defeated in the election.
But Mimiko, at a political function, said the primary would be transparent and that he would allow the party delegates to choose their candidate.