By James Sowole in Akure
The presidential candidate of the Zenith Labour Party and a two-term governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Thursday announced his withdrawal from the 2019 presidential race.
Mimiko subsequently said he had yielded to several calls asking him to contest the Ondo Central Senatorial District election.
Mimiko announced his withdrawal from the race while meeting with the party faithful from the 18 local government areas of Ondo State and some national leaders of the party in Ondo city.
The withdrawal of Mimiko from the presidential race coincides with the Ondo Central Senatorial District candidate of the Zenith Labour Party Gboye Adegbenro’s withdrawal from the race.
Adegbenro, in a statement he personally signed, said he shelved his ambition after due consultation with stakeholders of the party.
Mimiko, who briefed the meeting on developments in the polity, said he has been inundated with calls from across the state and country on his presidential aspiration and rumours of a senatorial bid.
He said he got overwhelming calls to jettison the presidential race as it has been narrowed to a race between Atiku and Buhari.
He disclosed that many calls asked him to go for the senatorial race to help build the party and sustain it.
“I took the decision in the ultimate interest of our party, the Zenith Labour Party, Ondo State and the country,” he said.
Adegbenro said he had consulted widely before he dropped his senatorial ambition.
“Having consulted far and wide with my family, business associates, followers and constituents, it has become important to bow out before the full race commences in the interest of our great party, the Zenith Labour Party, and our dear state.
“More than the above, I am convinced that the candidacy of our leader, the former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, will better serve the interest of the district now and the overall goal of the South-west.
“I remain a firm believer and supporter of my brother and leader, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, who invited me into partisan politics and who has always provided selfless leadership,” Adegbenro said.