by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
The defection of Ondo state Governor, Olusegun Mimiko from the Labour Party to the PDP has thrown the party into confusion. Mimiko was until his defection the sole governor under the Labour party.
The Party had scheduled its National convention for October 11 to be hosted by Mimiko in Akure, the Ondo State capital before the Governor announced his long awaited defection.
Despite calls by some members of the party for the rescheduling of the convention, the leadership of the party has insisted that the convention must go on.
A group, Labour Party Restoration Group, LPRG, in a statement on Sunday, asked members of the party to disregard any invitation to attend the Akure NEC meeting.
PremiumTimes reports that the statement read, “Disregard any SMS inviting you to Akure for NWC, NEC and national convention.
“A PDP governor cannot host LP convention. LP is not (an) extension of PDP. If Mimiko loves LP so much, why did he decamp?’
The group also asked the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to provide the party with another venue for the convention.
However, National Chairman of the party, Dan Nwanyanwu, told Channels Television that the party would go ahead with the convention in Akure despite Mimiko’s defection.
“That (changing the venue) is the sole responsibility of NEC. Last month, it took a decision to hold the convention in Akure. Some people argue that since Mimiko has left the party should move the convention. The convention will hold in Akure. Dan Nwanyanwu cannot change it,” he said.
“From my point of view, the decision of Mimiko to move is entirely his. He is not in disagreement with the party or the leadership of the party. We had a warm relationship and we have to respect his decision.
“I speak for myself in this regard. In a few days’ time, we will have our convention and I will leave as the national chairman. So I do not want to make a binding statement for a party whose leadership I will soon relinquish. We respect his decision. He did not quarrel with us and we did not quarrel with him.”
He also waved off the insinuation that Mimiko’s defection has left the party’s structure in shambles.
“The party will look at the issue holistically at the convention. Labour Party is still strong in Ondo and in other states,” the national chairman said.
“That is not the end of the road. We formed the party in 2004 and we made one governor. We can make more governors. Let us not speak as if it is the end of the road.
“One of the rules of this game is that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You don’t win all the time. APC lost Ekiti; APC win in Osun. Things can change. You don’t speak as if you must win all the time.”