By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
While speaking on his decision for leaving the People’s Democratic Party, Mimiko said he took the decision out of the conviction on the need to catalyze a greater focus on the ideological content of the Nigerian political firmament.
It would be recalled that Mimiko won his two gubernatorial elections on the platform of the Labour Party prior on his decision to move over to the PDP in 2014.
At the event which was held at the Ondo Civic Centre, Ondo town, Mimiko posited that the decision could be consider as correct, reasonable and patriotic.
His words, “LP, and its few ideological soul mates 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 soul mates 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.
“We have come to the conclusion that these are the missing links in our political process, which have tended to make an all comers game of it, and one in which the interest of the mass of the people has been greatly marginalized in several of our governance spaces, since 1999. To be sure, our thought here is not a mere theoretical exposition. It is one that is consequent upon years of active participation in the political process, at the local, state, and federal levels, since the early 1980s, and especially these past two decades.
“We would begin to sharpen the ideological divide in Nigerian politics, with a view to mainstreaming the welfare and interest of the mass of our people.
Speaking in the same vein, the Labour Party National Chairman, Abdukadir Abdusalam said he felled delighted to welcome back Mimiko and his followers ahead of the general elections.
His words, “I feel highly delighted to preside over the return to Labour Party of His Excellency Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the immediate past Governor of Ondo State and all his followers.
“His people oriented programmes in health, education, housing, rural development, urban renewal, youth and women empowerment attest to the value inherent in his return to the party.
“In him, we have an example of what power could be used to achieve on the side of the people.
“Therefore our hope and confidence is rekindled by his return to the party today to be part of the renaissance of the party and Nigeria.
“Today is indeed not a day for long speeches. We are here to welcome Dr. Mimiko to our party. By his history and achievements, he qualified preeminently to be a member of our great party.
“The Labour Party is elated that that a social democrat like Dr. Mimiko, who through his sterling performances as governor mainstreamed pro-people and pro-poor people policies, programmes and projects, is returning to add value to the party. I assure you of our support and commitment at all times.”