How Obasanjo threatened me not to contest for governor – Mimiko

Outgoing Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko has denied betraying National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and two former governors of Ondo State, the late Adebayo Adefarati and the late Olusegun Agagu.

He said this in his yet-to-be presented book ‘Mimiko’s Odyssey: A Biographer of Revelations’ which was obtained by Punch.

Mimiko also narrated how he was threatened by former President Olusegun Obasanjo threatened him not to resign from his cabinet.

He said Obasanjo wanted to stop him from running for governor and competing with Olusegun Agagu.

According to him, Obasanjo promised to ensure that the next President will retain him as a minister.

He also added that some close associates to Agagu begged him not to contest.

Mimiko named Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Mr. Akin Osuntokun as some of those who tried to persuade him.

The governor said he also left the Peoples Democratic Party and settled with Labour Party even though he had no financial backing.

He said, “You don’t know the situation I was in then. Look, you don’t know Obasanjo. I worked with him. In history, go and check it out. There are not too many people who were able to resign from Obasanjo’s government.

“In fact, you can’t do it. Sir, you can’t just do it. I did not only resign, when I came to the Federal Executive Council after resignation, everybody thought they were seeing a ghost.

“Obasanjo hounded me out of Abuja, virtually. We came out with a new party.

“Anybody that gave N1m then, you can’t imagine how we would celebrate him or her. Four months to election, we were raising money in hundreds of thousands: N100,000; N50,000; N20,000

“I still remember one architect, who sent us a cheque for N1m; we celebrated it. I did not have N1m when I decided to run and challenge Agagu. I did not have N1m anywhere.

“You may not believe it; that is the gospel truth. You get what I am talking about? I was ready to lose. I didn’t care. the people wanted me. I could feel it. I just could touch it. Ask from anybody who served in the cabinet then.

“Yayale Ahmed was Head of Service, Ufot Ekaette was the SGF, General Mohammed was there, Nweke Junior was there. Even people who were not in government: Ask from Akin Osuntokun; ask from Femi Fani-Kayode. They were begging me not to go, saying, ‘Baba threatened you publicly and you still want to go?’ They begged me.

“Baba called me. He said, ‘I will change your ministry, I will hand you over to the incoming President. Can’t you understand?’ I said, ‘Thank you, Baba. It is a privilege but I am going’. He said, ‘You dare not’. I said, ‘I am going’. He said, ‘Okay. Try me’. Do you understand the circumstance?”

He said even though Tinubu would have given him the ticket to run for Ondo State governor, he decided not to approach him.

“That time, I did not run to Tinubu. They were the two power brokers (Obasanjo and Tinubu) then. The natural thing to do was to go and hide behind these people. Tinubu would give me the ticket and give me money to run and I would be more immune from Baba’s bullets. I didn’t go to him; I stood on my own,” he said.

Mimiko said he instead formed the Labour party.

Mimiko added, “Four months to the election – four months, December 14, 2006 – was when we inaugurated the Labour Party in Ondo State and election was April 2007. Four months and we formed a new party. We set up the structure, set up candidates.

“We won all elections and we were going with our bare knuckles. I didn’t go to Tinubu then. “

He also denied claims made by Tinubu that he donated millions for his election petition tribunal case.

Mimiko added, “I did not take any money from Tinubu. He offered technical and logistic assistance, which I appreciated and which I have had occasions to reciprocate in the course of similar litigation in which he had interest when I was opportune to do so.

“It is not even important now but it was also a fact that the result of the forensic expert was not part of the evidence that the judges relied upon to give me judgment.”

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