12th June, 2011
It was another major blow to the fast depleting rank and file of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State as its first chairman in the state who equally served as the Stateâ€™s chairman of the State Water Corporation in the immediate past administration of Dr Olusegun Agagu, Col. Babatunde Awodeyi (retd) and the state commissioner for health in the same administration, Dr Kehinde Adedeji at the weekend dumped the PDP for Labour Party.
The two PDP bigwigs, including Captain Kosoko Adeyosoye and thousands of their supporters defected to Labour Party at a colourful ceremony held at Ifon, the headquarters of Ose local government area of the state, saying that with the development, the death knell of PDP has been sounded in the state.
In the last two and a half years, notable leaders of the PDP had dumped the party for the LP citing lack of cohesion, internal democracy in the PDP as well as the rapid development of the state by the incumbent administration of Dr Olusegun Mimiko.
Col.Â Awodeyi, it would be remembered, was at the forefront of the battle to enthrone Dr Olusegun Agagu for a second term in office and was at the head of Agagu`s tactical committee during the twenty-two and-a-half months battle at the Election Petition Tribunal where the incumbent, Dr Olusegun Mimiko took his case to wrest power from Agagu whom he alleged stole his mandate through massive rigging.
Awodeyi`s tall credentials as a retired Army tactician were in high demand then.But in his speech during his official decamping on Saturday, Awodeyi noted that their defection to Labour Party was mainly to join the moving train in a bid to jointly contribute to the success of the party in the coming elections. He assured Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who was on hand to personally receive him and others into the LP, of the partyâ€™s victory, saying that there would not be any threat from any opposing force in the state.
Awodeyi assured that their coming into the Labour Party was not to displace anybody but purely to work with Governor Mimiko, who he described as a true democrat with a genuine intention to transform the socio-economic landscape of the state.
Specifically, he itemised several developmental projects all over the state and the concerted efforts of Dr Mimiko at taking Ondo State out of the woods and make it a truly developed state as some of the reasons that made him and his supporters to come to the LP.
He was also full of kind words for the governor for not using his position as governor to hound opposition in the state, saying that his stance was that of what a true statesman ought to be.
Also in his speech, Dr Kehinde Adedeji attributed his willingness to join the party to the Caring Heart policy of Dr Mimikoâ€™s administration, his visionary leadership quality, which according to him had attracted numerous chieftains of opposition parties in the state to Labour Party within a short period.
He said this was evident in the overwhelming victories of the LP in series of elections in the state between 2009 and now.
Receiving the new members into Labour Party, an elated Mimiko, who was joined by the national Deputy Chairman of the Party, Dr Joseph Akinlaja, assured them of ample opportunities in the party.
He, however, urged them to work conscientiously and tirelessly for the success and stability of the party.
The governor, who congratulated the new entrants on their choice of political party, described Labour Party as a party of the masses with the vision and mission to protect and promote their interest at all times.Â â€œLabour Party is to make people happy; the things we are doing in Labour Party are people-oriented, they are things that will make our people happy, they are things that will give our people confidence in governance.
Politics is not for unscrupulous people, it is not for selfish people and if this mentality that politics is an all-comers affair does not change, good people will not come into politics and we will not have the desired development.â€œUntil good people come up into politics, there can never be appreciable development. God has created us to live good lives. That was why He endowed us with abundant resources. When we talk of progressive politics, Labour Party isÂ at the forefront; we are investing in the present and future, some people have wondered and they have continued to say all sorts of things: that whyÂ are we building mega schools and so on and so forth. But what we see they cannot see; our intention is to develop the society while their intention is to develop their pockets.”Our intention is to put in place facilities in our schools that we can all boast of.
There is nothing that human mind can conceive that we cannot achieve. I foresee that in the nearest future, Ondo State students will be globally competitive,â€ he said.