Jimi Agbaje is fast becoming a perennial contender for political office in Nigeria, yet he has never tasted victory.
Since emerging on the political scene in 2005, Agbaje has criss-crossed several political parties in search of an opportunity to contest for an elective position and to fulfill his ambition of public service.
Thus far, his story has been that of near misses and repeated failures in spite of his pedigree as an upstanding individual who has the potential to be a good administrator.
After failing twice to win the Lagos governorship election, Agbaje has again returned to contest for another political post.
2007 GOVERNORSHIP CONTEST
In 2007, Agbaje left the platform of the Action Congress (AC) to join the Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) after it became apparent that he could not fulfill his ambition of contesting for governor of Lagos state in the Bola Tinubu-led party.
In spite of an active and vibrant governorship campaign, Agbaje lost to the election to Babatunda Fashola, who was re-elected four years later.
Though defeated, the founder of Jaykay Pharmacy promised to return and vie again for political office.
SECOND STAB AT LAGOS GUBER SEAT
Undeterred and willing to serve, Agbaje in 2014, again expressed his desire to contest the Lagos State gubernatorial election, but this time, under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This was after he had left DPA in 2011 following the de-registration of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Agbaje, who was even more popular in 2014, beat Musiliu Obanikoro to the PDP ticket.
But history would repeat itself, as he lost to the candidate of the Bola Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress, Akinwumi Ambode.
PDP CHAIRMANSHIP CONTEST
On Monday, August 8, the south-west caucus of the PDP zoned the chairmanship slot of the party to Lagos and Ogun states.
The development was relayed after the conclusion of a meeting at Government House, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo state.
This decision paved the way for Agbaje to throw his hat in the ring and join the fray of contestants for PDP chairmanship position.
A few days later, he picked the nomination forms for the position and informed journalists that he’s the best candidate to lead the PDP, owing to his lack of affiliation to any faction.
“We accept that mistakes were made in the past in the PDP, especially with our internal democracy. So we have to go back to the position of the founding fathers of our party on internal democracy,” he told journalists.
“And that means that we have go back to our constitution. That is very important. We have to be more all inclusive as we have been thus far. It is about bringing people nearer rather than sending them far away from the party. Everybody must feel to be part of this party.
“What I bring to the table is that I am not a member of any faction or any tendencies. I am in a position to talk to everybody, to ensure that if you love the PDP, it is time to come back to the zone.
“I will appeal to those who feel very strongly to join us because Nigeria cannot make the progress it deserves without a viable opposition and that PDP is going to provide that opposition as an alternative government and in a responsible manner.”
Agbaje faces stiff opposition from fellow contenders and seasoned politicians such as Gbenga Daniel, former Ogun state governor and Olabode George, former vice-chairman of the party in the south-west.
It begs the question; will it finally be Agbaje’s time to win and show how good a politician he can be OR will he lose again and continue his sojourn in the wilderness of Nigerian politics?