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Last month, there were insinuations that Mimiko planned to dump the ZLP for the ruling APC.

There were reports that he held series of meetings in Abuja with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

He was also reported to have he met with Buni and two other APC governors.

The meetings were reportedly held to prepare the ground for his defection to the ruling party.

A top chieftain of the Ondo APC explained the situation thus: “Part of the reasons the APC leadership wanted Mimiko to join the party is because they feel Akeredolu is opposing the Federal Government on some national issues. From the look of things, our man (Aketi) appears not to be on same page with the authorities at Aso Rock Villa, owing to his recent stance on certain national issues.

So, we are working hard to ensure that the former governor joins us because we cannot afford to toy with any state in the Southwest.”

But, Mimiko, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, John Paul Akinduro, denied the defection plot and described it as “fake news”. He said his major concern was to fashion out a workable solution for the current situation in the country, especially through the plank of restructuring.

The statement said: “Dr. Mimiko has been in Abuja in the past one week or so to attend some events, including the meeting of some NGOs with ethnic-nationality leaders, all hinged on heartfelt concern for the deepening insecurity in the land and how to fashion out workable solutions, especially through the plank of restructuring.

He, within the days of his stay in Abuja, actively participated in the programme tagged ‘Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Transition Inter-Ethnic Peace Dialogue,’ held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, and the 71st Birthday Celebration and Book Presentation of his party stalwart and friend, Honourable Iranola Joseph Akinlaja, held at the ShehuYar’Adua Centre, on Tuesday, June 1.

“It is noteworthy that at Hon Akinlaja’s book presentation, Dr Mimiko harped on the theme of security, by advising the president on the centrality of the security challenge to his legacy.

He also had many informal meetings with Nigerians across the ethnic, religious and political divide, on the need to find lasting, just and fair solutions to the orgy of violence and bloodletting across the country.

“Nowhere was any mention made or discussion held on any possible defection to any party.

Dr. Mimiko remains in the Zenith Labour Party and his hope has been a collaboration of left-leaning political groups to offer a real ideologically driven alternative in the nation’s political process.”

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