Mimiko Declares His Intention To Contest The 2019 Presidential Election
A former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the Labour Party.
Mimiko made his intention known at an event at the national headquarters of the Abdulsalam Abdulkadir-led LP, in Abuja, on Thursday.
But the Nigeria Labour Congress opposed his candidature, saying it could not allow Mimiko to contest on the platform of the LP.
Mimiko, while declaring his presidential ambition, said if he eventually got elected, he would restructure Nigeria and give priority to security and youth empowerment.
In an address entitled “Because We Care”, Mimiko said, “There comes a moment in the life of a nation when every patriot must stand up to be counted. At such a moment, no person worthy of a place in history can afford to remain ensconced in their comfort zone.
“When the totality of our being and the very essence of our humanity are in violation, patriots must advance to recapture the present; and commit to re-defining the future. For our country, Nigeria, the moment is now.”
“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.”
Mimiko served as a minister under the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration before serving for eight years as governor. He said his record of achievements in public life over the years stood him in good stead to give Nigeria the kind of leadership it deserved to take its pride of place within the comity of nations.
The medical doctor turned politician said his record of achievements, especially in the area of healthcare delivery with the Abiye Safe Motherhood Programme, became a global reference point which attracted laurels at home and abroad.
Mimiko said, “I am running because, like many Nigerians, I am sick and tired of seeing our country become the butt of jokes everywhere you travel to around the world. I am running because I know we can do better, and we will do better.
“I know this because anywhere Nigerians find themselves, no matter the situation, we always rise above adversity. We don’t just survive, we thrive. It is high time we replicated in our country, that indomitable spirit of Nigerians, that spirit of accomplishment, which has made stars of individual Nigerians all over the world. The only way to do this is by electing capable hands. It is by electing a great president that can drive this national vehicle to greatness.”
On restructuring, Mimiko 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 centralised 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.”
He maintained that Nigeria would function better when it was restructured because every part of the country would develop at its own pace and every Nigerian will enjoy a true sense of belonging.
The presidential aspirant said the wanton killings across the nation which had reduced the value of Nigerian lives should not be allowed to become the norm.
He expressed sadness that Nigerians had almost completely lost their sense of outrage over the taking of human lives. He lamented that the growing spate of ritual killings, kidnapping-related killings, unprecedentedly violent robberies, and sundry activities of emergent street gangs needed to stop for the nation to truly develop.
In his address before presenting Mimiko with his forms, the LP National Chairman, Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkadir, described the aspirant as a Nigerian who had the passion to take Nigeria out of the woods.
He said, “This is a man who has the best interest of Nigerians at heart and he has chosen the right party, a party which has an ideology which has the entire family as its focus.”
Mimiko’s declaration received a bipartisan support across the country, and had in attendance leaders of several political parties, including Chief Peter Ameh, who doubles as the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council and Chairman, Progressive Peoples Alliance; Chairman of National Conscience Party, Tanko Yunusa; the Chairman of Alliance of Social Democrats, and Dr Emeka Okengwu, among others.
The NLC rejected the presidential declaration by Mimiko, stating that he could not contest on the platform of the Labour Party.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, the NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, and the LP National Publicity Secretary, Mrs Ebere Ifendu, said it was not possible for Mimiko to actualise his presidential ambition under their party.
“It is not possible for Mimiko to run under the Labour Party and we want to say no to that as Mimiko has no business as a member of Labour Party.
“The party was registered by the NLC and the Trade Union Congress, market women associations and students. We registered the party and the certificate of the party is with the NLC General- Secretary.
“Therefore, bringing money to buy the party or the structure will not work; we do not share the same ideology with him. It is a party with a difference. Therefore, I want to call on Minimko once again to make sure he hands off the party,” Wabba stated.
The NLC also disowned the LP Chairman, stressing that he could not continue as the leader of the party.
Ifendu warned Nigerians and political aspirants to disregard the purported party convention slated for September 13 in Abuja.
She said, “It has become necessary for the leadership of the Labour Party to draw the attention of the general public to the fraudulent collection of Expression of Interest and Nomination Form fees from innocent and unsuspecting political aspirants.
“That is for those who desire to contest various elective positions under the Labour Party through Abdulsalam, the former national chairman of the party.”
Ifendu noted that Abdulsalam was removed as party chairman at the special national convention of the party held on October 3, 2017.