By Dayo Johnson, Akure
What was until recently a tough turf battle for the country’s leading two political parties in Ondo Central Senatorial District has been complicated with the entry of a third equally political force.
The immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Segun Mimiko after peeping at an ambitious presidential contest has withdrawn himself to the Ondo Senate contest. Before his entry last week the race was a tough contest between two senators, the All Progressive Congress, APC’s Senator Tayo Alasoadura who is the incumbent and Senator Patrick Akinyelure who represented the senatorial district between 2011 and 2015. Akinyelure is contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a party which has potentials of benefiting from the incendiary crisis in the APC in the state.
Mimiko has now stepped into the contest on the platform of the Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
Mimiko’s decision has in no small way changed the narrative in the senatorial district as his coming has sent jitters down the spine of the two mainstream party candidates and their supporters.
Several meetings have been held by the campaign committees of the two candidates of both the APC and the PDP within and outside the state.
Aides of the candidates, however, assure that the contest will be fierce with the coming on board of the former governor.
Alasoadura was a two term commissioner under the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu administration. He was elected on the platform of the PDP before he subsequently defected to the APC.
Mimiko who has the grip of both Ondo East and West Local Government Areas is expected to have an edge in the two councils aside cornering some number of votes in other council areas which include Akure North and South, lfedore/ldanre.
Akinyelure who is from ldanre will have a good outing there and would do well in lfedore.
Alasoadura who is from Akure North, however, has some issues arising from discontent during the last ward, council and state congresses by party members in his constituency.
Recall Dr. Mimiko last week dropped his presidential ambition and opted to test his popularity in the Senate.
Many believe that it will be disastrous for him if he fails to win the election having failed to project his successor on the platform of his former party, the PDP.
Mimiko had said that he withdrew from the 2019 Presidential race following calls from across the state and country “to jettison the presidential race as it has been narrowed to a race between Atiku and Buhari.
He said that he was “asked to go for the senatorial race to help build the Party and sustain it.
“I took the decision in the ultimate interest of our party, the Zenith Labour Party, Ondo state and the country.” he declared.