Maverick businessman, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, has returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the sole aim of seeking the party's ticket to contest the 2016 November governorship election in Ondo State, a source disclosed to SaharaReporters.
According to the source, Mr. Ibrahim has concluded plans to launch his campaign, beginning with moves to take control of party structures in all the wards in the State.
The source added that Mr. Ibrahim has started consulting with aggrieved members of the party, pleading with them to team up with him to restore the party's glory.
“These are original members. They were in the party when Governor Segun Mimiko came from the Labour Party to seize the PDP structure. They are aggrieved because they consider themselves original owners of the party,” the source explained.
Another impeccable source hinted that Mr. Ibrahim has also begun discussions with the embattled factional PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, over plans to take the party structure from Mr. Mimiko.
The source said a major plank of the strategy agreed at a meeting held in Abuja is to use members of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), of which Mr. Ibrahim and Mr. Sheriff were members. Mr. Ibrahim, SaharaReporters also learnt, is trying to woo members of the Accord Party (AP). He was said to have met with some national leaders of the party in Akure last month.
The PDP in the State has been in crisis over the Mimiko's support for Eyitayo Jegede, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, who resigned to contest the governorship.
SaharaReporters can authoritatively report that Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has been anointed as successor, but that development is a cause of widespread disaffection.
“How can Mimiko, who is from the Central Senatorial District, still want to install Jegede, who is also from the same district, as his successor? This is not acceptable.
“Mimiko purposely picked Jegede because he knows he would cover-up all his atrocities, but we will not accept that,” an aggrieved party member said.
The duo of Sola Ebeseni and Bamiduro Dada, both commissioners under Mimko and seeking the governorship ticket of the party, recently resigned from the cabinet on account of Mr. Mimiko's support for Jegede.
Mr. Banji Okunomo, the PDP spokesman in the state, told sources close to SaharaReporters that the party is willing to conduct a primary election in August to choose its candidate.