- Ex-governor: I won’t contest against Bode George
Some governors and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently mooting the idea of backing the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, as the next chairman of the party, New Telegraph can authoritatively report.
It was gathered that the governors mooted the idea of Mimiko owing to the personality, loyalty and experience of the former PDP Governors’ Forum chairman to move the party forward. PDP has zoned national chairmanship to the South-West. No date yet for the party’s convention to elect its officials, but the non-elective convention has been scheduled for August 12. Mimiko’s eight-year tenure as governor ended on February 24, 2017.
“I can tell you that Mimiko is on the card as the PDP chairman. Many of the PDP governors are in support of his choice because they see him as one of them. He is experienced and has influence across, that is why they are settling for him. But whether he has agreed to the overtures is what I don’t know yet,” a highly placed source in the party said.
Speaking with New Telegraph on the development, a political associate of the former governor confirmed that appeals have been coming from the top echelon of the party that he (Mimiko) should contest for the national chairmanship of the PDP.
“I can tell you that governors and leaders of the party have zeroed in on Mimiko as the next chairman of the party because of wide acceptance, maturity and experience. A lot of people have been coming to meet him, even state party chairmen. Over eight governors of the PDP are currently disposed to his choice.
“But the truth is that I don’t think he has really given it any serious thought because he told everyone of us that he is currently on political sabbatical. However, if he eventually decides to show interest, I believe it will also depend on the type of people already in the contest.
“If someone like Bode George is contesting, I can assure you that Mimiko will not be part of that contest because he has so much respect for Baba George. He can’t engage Baba like Jimi Agbaje did the last time.
He is a man with a conscience and I can assure you that it will be a no-go area for him. I hope you can still remember how Bode George stood by him when former President Olusegun Obasanjo was against him. Even at the last governorship tussle, he stood by him.
So, I don’t think he can enter the same ring with such a man,” Mimiko’s associate said. Meanwhile, the South- West PDP chairman, Eddy Olafeso, said the party in the zone has not been informed of such aspiration, stating that Mimiko is a respected party leader in South-West.
“You can ask the former governor himself that question, it is not to my knowledge that he is running, but he is our leader and he is respected. At the appointed time, if he is interested, he will let us know,” he said. Efforts to speak with Mimiko proved abortive as calls made to his phone lines were not answered.