… LP faction disowns ex-Gov.
Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
Former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has declared his intention to contest for the office of the President on the platform of the Labour Party in the 2019 general elections. Mimiko listed issues of security, restructuring and youth empowerment as the priority of his administration if elected president.
This is as the faction of the party has disowned the aspiration of the former governor while also calling on the security agencies to arrest the Abdulsalam Abubarkar led leadership for alleged fraudulent extortion from political aspirants.
Former governor who reeled out his achievement in eight years as the governor of Ondo state said “It is time to all march out and recall our past, take charge of the present, and launch out into greatness, as one inclusive, cohesive family. It is within the foregoing context that I situate myself. It is the reason why I find it so compelling to humbly declare today, my decision to seek election into the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019.”
Before contesting as Governor of Ondo State in 2007, Mimiko had served as a Minister under the Obasanjo administration, Secretary to Ondo State Government and a two time Commissioner for Health in Ondo State.
In his declaration speech, he highlighted some of his major achievements in health, education, agriculture and security as Ondo Governor, which earned his government laurels across the world.
Mimiko, who insists on restructuring Nigeria said, “I once again, hereby commit wholeheartedly to leading the process of restructuring Nigeria. I say this not as a cliché. Rather, this is a commitment that derives from a deep conviction that there is really not much we, as a people, can do even in the best of times, to place our country on the global cutting edge of development, for as long as it remains shackled and ensnared by a centralized governance structure that is the 1999 Constitution. It is indeed only in the context of a restructured system that the hope for a strong, stable and functional Nigeria lies.
“As governor of Ondo State for eight years, I saw first hand what limitations the federating units are confronted with, in the unitary system of government that we operate, which we wrongfully refer to as federalism. From security administration, through taxation, to investment in infrastructure, many of the things taken for granted in several federal climes, the basis of their vitality, are denied under our 1999 Constitution (as amended).” He added.
“This makes it practically impossible for state governments to be anything other than pitiable adjuncts of an overbearing central government. It is from the anvil of such practical experience that my commitment to Restructuring was further sharpened. It is noteworthy that the redeeming cry now is, restructure and safe the nation!”
In his reaction to the declaration, National Chairman, Labour Party, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdusalam said Nigeria can restore its glory and reclaim its greatness if Mimiko is given the opportunity to lead Nigeria.He expressed his confidence in the ability and passion of the Presidential hopeful to set new narratives for the country.
Abdulsalam said until Nigeria was able to provide basic amenities for the people, and take care of its population, the country cannot be called the giant of Africa.
Meanwhile, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Ebere Ifendu in a joint press conference with the Nigeria Labour Congress President, Abdul Wabba claimed that an arrangement was on to announce Dr. Mimiko as the party’s presidential candidate without the consent of the entire party structure.
They said “the party hereby disowns and rejects Olusegun Mimiko as its presidential candidate, since neither the National Executive Council nor the National Convention is notified as provide in the party’s constitution.”
They also warned all intending aspirants and candidates willing to contest elections under the party to desist from dealing with Abdulsalam Abubarkar led Leadership on electoral masters.
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