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Lagos 2023: Will PDP get it right this time?

Lagos 2023: Will PDP get it right this time?
March 31
20:05 2022

BY VICTOR ORIOLA

As the race for 2023 governorship election in Lagos state draws nearer, the city is upbeat about the activities of politicians, especially in the People’s Democratic Party which has been in the limbo since 1999, winning a paltry size of the votes at every election circle and making occasional progress and then relapsing almost immediately.

But recently, the tempo seems to have changed with the entry of the Lead Visioner of the Lagos4Lagos Movement, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, fondly called Jandor into the PDP fold. His entry came like a bang. His defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the PDP seems to have changed the tempo. This was after series of meetings with PDP Chieftains. From the Chairman of DAAR Communication, Chief Alegho Dokpesi to former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and many others. Even the APC at the centre made frantic efforts to stop Jandor from joining the PDP because of his huge followership. Yayaha Bello, Kogi Executive Governor was asked to prevail on Jandor not to leave the APC. He’s seen as a promising politician whose exit from the APC may cause a serious implosion.

At every turn, Jandor followers are everywhere, dominating the Lagos political landscape. Even, Jandor has said repeatedly that he’s in the race to win. Though, not desperate to be governor, he has steadily and confidently declared that he will beat the APC blue-black if he emerges as the flag bearer of the PDP.

He has transversed all 245 wards in the state and the local governments to canvass for support and the results, going by the attendance and the critical stakeholders’ acceptance of his aspiration, shows he indeed remains the Aspirant to beat. Even his former party, the APC, fully aware of the support he enjoys at the grassroots has had to select his kinsman, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi from the same ward in Ojo Local Government as a counter force to lead the state executives council of APC.

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Born in Mushin, Jandor knew from the onset that taking power from the party that has been in power for 23 years will not be a tea party. He therefore came prepared. He has also begun the process of reconciliation of warring factions within the PDP in order to present a common front.

Other Aspirants who have only recently also shown interest in the race are former chairman of the party, Mr. Deji Doherty and former governorship candidate, Dr. Ade Dosunmu. The duo have also picked their expression of interest and nomination forms. It is not clear if the 2019 governorship candidate of the party, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and Wale Gomez, a new entrant will join the race now that the PDP has extended the deadline for obtaining the expression of interest and nomination forms.

Of the duo that have purchased nomination form after Jandor, Dr. Ade Dosunmu ran in 2011 and polled 300,000 votes as against Babatunde Raji Fashola’s 1.5m votes; he repeated same in 2015 as PDP candidate against Oluremi Tinubu and lost in his central senatorial district. Since then, he hasn’t been seen galvanizing party members or involved in any party activities until very recently, expectedly to contest the party’s ticket for the Gubernatorial election in 2023.

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On his part, Hon. Deji Doherty, a foundation member of the PDP who has been running for the party ticket at every election year, also ran in 2019 and lost to Jimi Agbaje. He’s the immediate chairman of PDP in Lagos State who was said not to have visited a single Local Government as the party Chairman. Both of them see Jandor as a threat, thereby campaigning against him picking the party ticket. For Dr. Ade Dosumu, he has been seen going about telling delegates not to vote for Jandor as he believes Jandor will use and dump them when he wins, while Deji Doherty’s position has been that Jandor will take them back to Chief Bode George when he wins. Interestingly, the singular apparent common denominator from both opposing camps is the assertion that Jandor is the only aspirant who can win, albeit their personal fears of him taking them back to Chief Bode George or dumping them when he wins. One then wonders, how a Jandor who dared the godfather of his previous party, fought, and imploded his strongholds and moved footsoldiers enmasse into the PDP will win and then execute these unfounded fears.

These appear to be the case of giving a dog a bad name just to hang it. The assertions from the opposing Aspirants can’t hold water, especially for a party that has never been in government in Lagos before. It makes more sense to first win the election and then if need be, fight over going to Chief Bode Geoge and the rest, than to lose again and continue to fight over nothing for another four years. Shouldn’t these veteran politicians realise that what is at stake is bigger than any individual bias or needs; and that it is a feat that can only be achieved by pooling all tendencies together against the big monster in the state?

One factor that seems to be in favour of Jandor is his approach to party politics; which is bottom up. He is from Ojo Local Government which has been one of the strongholds of the PDP In the state. Again, he was born and bred in Mushin, another strong factor that will work in his favour if given the PDP ticket. Besides, the Lagos West, where he hails from has the largest voting population in the state. For a candidate to win the governorship in Lagos, he must win convincingly from the Lagos West which has about 65 to 67 percent of the voting population in the state.

From Ojo to Amuwo -Odofin, Oshodi-Isolo, Alimosho and Ajeromi-Ifelodun, PDP has always had a good showing and with the Lagos4Lagos Movement strengthening the PDP, it may be a roller coaster for the PDP for the first time since 1999. Even Jandor has done a critical analysis of the voting pattern that PDP has always been getting between 35 to 37 percent at every election circle, and with Lagos4Lagos now in PDP, getting to Alausa in 2023 may not be so difficult.

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Whoever gets the PDP ticket determines the chances of the party in 2023 election in Lagos State, and one can only hope that the party delegates who decide who gets the ticket will consider being in government as against cheap blackmail and gang up against a promising aspirant by presenting a candidate that can send the APC packing in 2023 and break the jinx for the first time.

So will the PDP get it right this time?



Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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