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Ondo 2016: Mimiko May Decamp to APC any moment

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Leading candidates in the tussle for Ondo State governorship have intensified horse trading and power-sharing to shore up support for their aspirations, 10 days to the electoral contest.

THISDAY gathered that due to the bad blood and acrimony that trailed the emergence of the governorship candidates of the main parties — the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — the contest has become characterised by high level intrigues.

Aggrieved incumbent governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, is reported to be holding talks with the candidate of the APC, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.

 Mimiko and his preferred choice, Prof. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), have been having a running legal battle with businessman Jimoh Ibrahim over the ticket of the PDP. Mimiko has reportedly told the PDP supporters not to join the Alliance for Democracy (AD) if the legal fireworks did not favour Jegede before the November 26 governorship election.

It was learnt that in order to firm up the arrangement, Mimiko held a preliminary meeting with the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum and Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Tuesday.

The meeting, which had the APC candidate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in attendance, took place at the Akure Airport.

A source close to the Ondo State governor told THISDAY that although no firm commitment was reached, Mimiko assured the duo of Okorocha and Akeredolu that if after the court processes Jegede did not fly, he would deploy his forces to back the APC candidate.

Said a Mimiko source: “It is true they met but not as people are speculating that Mr. Governor has already committed himself to the Akeredolu project. We are still confident we will win the mandate back. But if at the end of the day because of lack of time it happens that Jegede cannot fly, we have been told what to do.

“The governor and even those of us supporting Jegede believe that it is an insult for Tinubu to come from Lagos and install Iroko’s successor. It is an aberration we will fight, so rather than allow that, Iroko will be the one to swing support for Akeredolu to win because Ondo State belongs to us.”

On the other hand, the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, is said to be rooting for Chief Olusola Oke, the candidate of the AD, following the edging out of his preferred candidate in the party primary, Chief Segun Abraham.

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