THE October 10 governorship election in Ondo State is panning out as a test of might between former Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and current Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
Sources said in Akure that the Mimiko and Makinde are interested in deputising former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 presidential election.
A top People’s Democratic Party, PDP chieftain in the state told Vanguard that the race for the 2023 presidential election has started as Atiku said to eyeing the South-West for his running mate.
This is coming as the governor of Ondo state Rotimi Akeredolu, last weekend, initiated a subtle campaign for the Yoruba ethnic nationality to produce the president in 2023.
Akeredolu mobilised traditional rulers in the state for a meeting with the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during his visit to the state.
Akeredolu, at the meeting, said the outcome of the election would determine the chances of the South-West in the 2023 presidency.
“The October 10 election in Ondo State is not about Akeredolu but about the future of Ondo State and the entire Yoruba nation because whatever the outcome will be shall determine our seriousness in the quest for the 2023 presidency, “ Akeredolu said.
A national officer of the opposition PDP, told Vanguard that the “Ondo election will be an opportunity for Mimiko to prove his political worth to Atiku. It is going to be a test of might between Mimiko and Makinde, who is sponsoring Jegede.”
Speaking in confidence, he pointed out that “ barring any last-minute change in plans, Mimiko, who is currently the national leader of Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, has concluded arrangements to join PDP alongside the ZLP governorship candidate, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, who is also the Deputy Governor of Ondo state after the October 10 governorship election in Ondo
On his part, Makinde, who “is leaving nothing to chance ha commenced a major mobilisation drive across the South West using the October 10 election as the litmus test for the 2023 presidential election.
“The issue of where the ticket goes in 2023 is already a foregone matter. We monitored the visit of the APC national leader to Akure to commission a project and we were informed he held a meeting with Ondo Monarchs shortly after the commissioning.
“It is not anything to worry about because we know it was more than a meeting to canvass votes for Akeredolu; it’s a subtle campaign that has just been triggered by the Tinubu camp for 2023.
“What our intelligence reveals to us is that the October 10, election is beyond Agboola Ajayi and ZLP but about the political survival of Mimiko.
“ Mimiko is keenly determined to score more votes than the PDP in the election; but honestly, it is not possible for us to dump our man, Jegede for Ajayi, that is where the problem lies.
“You know Mimiko is a master political strategist. He knew the game of Makinde when he approached him to forgive and support Jegede.
“He knew the plan was to put him in the pocket in order to brighten the chances of Makinde of becoming Atiku’s running mate in 2023.
“Assuming Mimiko accepted to support Jegede, the success of that victory will be claimed by many Ajayi’s success will enable Mimiko to tell the world that he is still a political champion in the state and the South-West
The party leader added that “ Ondo election will be an opportunity for Mimiko to prove his political worth to Atiku. It’s is going to be a test of might between Mimiko and Makinde, who is sponsoring Jegede.”
Aides to Mimiko said the October election is their major concern now and not the 2023 Presidential election.