PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur
The crisis rocking the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) worsened Monday as the Professor Olu Agbi faction of the party publicly endorsed the candidature of the incumbent governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko for second term in office at the expense of its own candidate, Chief Olusola Oke.
At a press conference addressed in Akure, the state capital, the leaders of the faction pronounced the expulsion of some eminent members of the party in retaliation for the Sunday expulsion of some members of the faction.
Those expelled are the former Governor, Dr Olusegun Agagu, the party’s chairman, Mr Ebenezer Alabi, Dr Tayo Dairo, Mr Olabisi Johnson, the former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Victor Olabimtan and Chief Sanya Orungbemi.
Agbi said the decision to expel the people was due to their anti-party activities, alleging that they had been relating with ACN for pecuniary gains.
The press conference was attended by the three-term senator for Ondo Central, Gbenga Ogunniya, the former Special Adviser to Agagu on Political Affairs, Chief Segun Adegoke and Solomon Oladunni.
Others are the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for 2007 election, Hon Ademola Adegoroye, the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice under Agagu’s administration, Mr Yemi Alao, former Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon Kunle Agunbiade, a former House of Representatives member, Dr Tayo Fawehinmi and the factional chairman, Dr Akin Olowokere.
Reacting, the Special Adviser to Chief Olusola Oke on Media and Publicity, Mr Kunle Adebayo, alleged that the conveners of the conference only justified the N50 million that they collected from Mimiko.
Adebayo noted that there was no faction in the party and that the party is committed to the candidature of Oke based on his integrity and experience.
Agbi, who traced the crisis that had bedeviled the party particularly after the last year’s National Assembly election, said the decision to endorse Mimiko was because he has done well in the state going by the transformation that had taken place in major towns and communities.
The factional leader said Mimiko was actually a PDP member, experienced political player, who has held various portfolios twice as commissioner, the Secretary to the State Government and the Minister of Housing and Urban Development that produced for Nigeria the first ever internationally acclaimed National Building Code that has become a reference point for public and private building construction in the country.
Another reason for endorsing Mimiko, Agbi said, was that Mimiko was the only opposition governor that publicly declared and campaigned for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 election stating that Jonathan received the highest number of votes scored in the entire South-west states in Ondo State.