Former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has picked up a membership card of the Labour Party (LP) on Thursday, June 14, 2018, just a day after he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to a report by TheCable, the former governor was presented with the card by the party's Ondo State chapter as he sealed his return to the party despite opposition from its national chairman, Mike Omotoso. Despite the party's stance on his return, Mimiko received his membership card to the cheers of his supporters.
While addressing the party and his supporters at the Civic Centre in Ondo on Thursday, Mimiko said he returned because of the need to "catalyse a greater focus on the ideological content of the Nigerian political firmament", something he claims the PDP lacks.
He said, "LP, and its few ideological soulmates among the legion of parties in the country today, provide the requisite platform for this type of deep ideological introspection.
"Without doubt, this social democratic mantra, which LP and its soulmates represent, remains the best possible outlet for leading Nigeria into a new era of progressive governance.
"We have also come with the conviction, consequent upon several years of practical involvement in the nation’s political process, that the need for ideologically focused political engagement is now more pressing than ever before.
"Virtually all the existing political parties in Nigeria today belong to the right of the centre, ensconced as it were in a neo-liberal mental construct, the name or mantra they choose to enrobe themselves in, notwithstanding.
"This is evident not in terms of the pretentious claims they make to ideological purity, but in the way and manner they have used power; including the extent to which they have mainstreamed the interest and welfare of the weak and poor in our society.
"This ideological fluidity, within which the nation's extant democracy has evolved since 1999, deserves now to be fully interrogated, with a view to engendering a transition to a more ideologically defined system of engagement.
"This will at once allow for a nuanced examination of the context and content of governance, provide the Nigerian people with real alternatives, and help the electorate in making informed decisions as to which individual or platform to invest with power; and how to hold such to account at all times."
Why Mimiko quit the PDP
Mimiko had written a letter of resignation to the PDP on Wednesday, June 13, noting that he was leaving for personal reasons.
He wrote, "I hereby with utmost humility inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the PDP with effect from today, June 13, 2018 for some well thought-out personal reasons.
"It was an honour working with the many prominent Nigerians with whom I shared the PDP platform for the entire period I was in there as a member. Accept please the assurance of my very high regards."
LP chairman rejects Mimiko's return
Omotoso told Mimiko that his return to the party will be resisted because he's only trying to use the party to salvage his political image.
In a statement titled, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy - Nigerian Workers Reject Plans by Olusegun Mimiko To Return to Labour Party", Omotosho said the party will not forget Mimiko's previous betrayal.
He said, "Nigerians would recall that Dr Mimiko abandoned the Labour Party for the People's Democratic Party a few days to Labour Party's October 2014 National Convention.
"Such a treachery and betrayal of a party that gave the former governor succour in the darkest hour of his political career especially as manifest in his two term victory on the ticket of Labour Party is to say the least, cheap and callous.
"It also revealed paucity of knowledge of the philosophy of the Labour Party as a peoples' rooted party and dearth of class consciousness on his part.
"We urge all workers and indeed genuine lovers of popular democracy to ignore the political theatrics of people like the former Governor of Ondo State. He has shown Nigerian workers that he cannot be trusted.
"The Labour Party is no longer a transit bus to strange political destinations particularly under the subterfuge of people like him."
Mimiko was elected Ondo governor in 2009 and 2013 on the platform of the Labour Party before he dumped it for the PDP in 2014. He had initially been a member of the PDP after he defected there from the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2003 before joining LP in 2006.