Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; his Anambra counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi; and a former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rashidti Ladoja, may soon defect to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Competent sources at the national headquarters of the party said on Friday that the party had concluded arrangements to have these men in its fold.
Mimiko was a member of the PDP before he defected to the Labour Party in 2006 to contest the governorship election in his state.
He had wanted to contest the election under the umbrella of the PDP but then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo insisted that Dr. Olusegun Agagu would run for a second term.
The insistence of Obasanjo made Mimiko to resign his ministerial position and defect to the LP.
Though the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Agagu as the winner of the election, the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin later reversed the decision and proclaimed Mimiko the authentic winner.
Mimiko, who also defeated other governorship candidates, including that of the PDP, Chief Olusola Oke and that of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in the 2012 governorship election, will be sworn in on Sunday to begin his second term in office.
A member of the National Working Committee of the PDP, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, said discussions had been concluded with Mimiko on his return to the party.
Mimiko, he said, would be made the leader of the ruling party in the South-West, with the mandate to reconcile aggrieved members of party in the zone.
Not only that, he said the governor, who after defection, would be the only governor of the PDP in the entire six states in the zone, will also be saddled with the responsibility of mobilising for the party in the zone.
The source said, “Mimiko is coming to the PDP. That is certain. Though we have not agreed on any date for his official defection, I can tell you authoritatively that we have concluded agreements on this.
“His coming would also help us in the South-West because of the coming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. We need to win at least one of the two states.
“Mimiko is going to be the leader of the party in the zone, because right now, the party is in disarray due to a lot of factions and court cases arising from the zonal congress of the party, which was nullified by the court.”
The plan to have Mimiko back in the PDP was said to have been hatched by Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Senator Bode Olajumoke.
The two men were said to have convinced President Goodluck Jonathan on the need for Mimiko to return to the party.
If he returns, he may do so with members of the LP in both the National Assembly and the Ondo State House of Assembly.
However, Mimiko and Obi said they had no plans to dump their respective platforms for the PDP.
Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, said, “There is no iota of truth in the story. It was planted by the opposition to discredit our inauguration.
“We are focused on our inauguration and we will not give in to any form of distraction from anybody or group seeking cheap political relevance.”
Chief Press Secretary to the Anambra governor, Mr. Mike Udah, said, “Governor Obi is sitting pretty in APGA. He is comfortable in the party.
“If he was moving out of APGA, he would not have taken steps to defend APGA, as he has been doing since he returned from his foreign trip, and ensuring that the party’s National Working Committee is reconstituted.”