The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has deployed some carrot approach to woo former Ondo Governor Segun Mimiko to supports its governorship candidate Eyitayo Jegede in the October 10 poll.
Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde has visited Mimiko at his Ondo residence twice in the last one month to pressure him to dump the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) and support the PDP.
Sources said Mimiko was offered to run as possible vice presidential candidate with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar or Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal come 2023.
Mimiko is National Leader of ZLP and his support for any political party is seen as a plus for Jegede.
The source said the tag of third force on ZLP in Ondo State is highly connected with Mimiko’s 2023 vice presidential ambition.
A chieftain of ZLP, who spoke in confidence, said Mimiko’s acceptance of Ondo Deputy Governor Hon Agboola Ajayi as candidate of the party was to prove to Nigerians he is still a big factor in the politics of the South West.
“Mimiko is keen in winning the governorship election for ZLP. It’s not just all about the party candidate but our Oga’s ambition to be vice president in 2023.
“You will remember that Labour Party that ousted late Olusegun Agagu from power was launched three months to the election in 2007, the great Iroko still has the magic.
“He still enjoys street credibility and that is why he is craving for Ajayi to win so that they can both switch to PDP for the Iroko to be running mate.
“But the problem now is who does he support as presidential candidate? Tambuwal or Atiku? That is a major problem and it has really polarised the entire party I mean the PDP because the two camps want him as running mate in 2023.
“He wants to prove he is still a factor in politics and winning the election for his party will boost his chances of clinching PDP running mate ticket,” he said
Another source hinted that Makinde assured Mimiko he would pick the running mate if he works for Jegede’s success at the poll.
Ajayi is expected to join the ZLP on Tuesday but the issue of his running mate remains unresolved.
Mimiko is said to be rooting for an aboriginal ZLP member and a Muslim while Ajayi is said to have secretly settled for immediate Commissioner for works and Infrastructure, Alhaji Abdusalam Olawale Taofeek.