The Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, may dump his party, Labour Party for the Peoples Democratic Party.
A source in the Presidency on Friday told our correspondent that negotiation was in advanced stage with the governor to ensure a seamless defection to the ruling party before the 2015 elections.
Mimiko, who is the only governor elected on the platform of the Labour Party, is serving his second term in office.
Mimiko is a known political ally of the PDP and a staunch supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan. He was a member of the PDP before he defected to the LP in 2006 to contest for the governorship election in Ondo State.
His planned defection was said to be part of the efforts by the ruling party to capture Ondo State in 2015.
An Ondo State Government House source, who asked not to be named, confirmed that though Mimiko remained a member of the LP, there had been intense pressure from the ruling party to welcome him to its fold.
According to him, the PDP has doubled its efforts to ensure that the governor defects to the ruling party. He said, “We can’t deny intense pressure on Governor Mimiko to join the PDP but he must consult before making such a decision. But for now, no decision has been taken.
“The governor is still in the LP. However, considering his support for Jonathan, some people are of the opinion that voters may not be able to distinguish between PDP and LP in the 2015 elections.”
The PDP Chairman in Osun State, Gani Olaoluwa, had earlier said that Mimiko had concluded arrangements to dump the LP for the PDP.
He said, “Arrangements have been concluded with Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State to defect from the LP to the PDP.
“The PDP is gaining and we are attracting heavyweight politicians to the party. Former Kano State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, has defected to the PDP and you can see that we are winning and that is just the beginning.”
Also, the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Abdullahi Jalo, has described the planned defection of the governor as “one of the fruits of the reconciliatory efforts embarked upon by the party chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.”
Jalo said, “It is cheery news because we are expecting not only Governor Mimiko, but all other genuinely progressive governors to join us in the task of nation-building.
“We will welcome themwith open arms, just as our doors will remain open to all Nigerians who are willing to join the winning party.”
When contacted Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said that the governor remained a member of LP.
“As of today, the governor is still a member of LP. He has not defected to PDP,” he said.