by Kolapo Olapoju
Ondo state is back in the news over the 11th hour defection of Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s deputy, Ali Olanusi.
Olanusi defected from the Labour Party to the All Progressives Congress about 48 hours before the governorship elections of April 11.
Mimiko had earlier left the LP in October 2014 when he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, alongside his commissioners.
However, the deputy governor was left out of the mass defection, and as a result, he waited for a crucial moment to also jump ship, this time, to the APC.
Ever since, a quiet and slowly building storm has been brewing between himself and Mimiko.
In a new interview with Punch Newspapers, Olanusi questions Mimiko’s right to be upset with his defection, owing to the fact that he blazed the trail in the defection-department.
Below is an excerpt from the interview, where the deputy governor explained the rationale behind his action.
“When Mimiko wanted to defect to PDP, I was here in Akure. He had been in Abuja for two weeks at the time. Early in the morning around 4am, the governor called me and asked where I was, I told him I was on my bed, he said alright and that he just wanted to hear from me. About three hours later, that should be around 7 or 8am, the Chief of Staff called me.”
“I asked where he was calling from and he said he was in Lokoja. I asked what was happening, he said he thought the governor had sent for me, that he was on his way to Abuja to go and defect to PDP. Defect? That was what I wanted to do since last year. February last year, I wanted to return to the PDP, Mimiko pleaded with me that I should not.”
“I stayed back. He went there, he defected with his commissioners. I only heard of it in the news. When he came back, I thought he would give reasons why he did not consult me but he did not say anything or mention it at all. I called him and complained to him. I told him what he did wasn’t right. I asked him why he would go to Abuja to defect to PDP without letting me know.”
“One of the party officials even said I was not a member of PDP because when Mimiko defected with his commissioners, I was not there. It dawned on me that this action was not by mistake; it was deliberate. He said I was no more useful or relevant. I gave him 48 hours. After all the maltreatment he had given me, I said alright, I defected to APC since he did not even want me in PDP. He defected from LP to PDP while I defected to the APC. I don’t know why he is annoyed.”