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 a frantic efforts to stop Jandor from joining the PDP because of his huge followers. 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 , 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.
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 in 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’s 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 the obtaining of expression of interest and nomination forms.
Dr. Ade Dosunmu ran in 2011 and polled 300,000 votes as against 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 involve in any party activities until very recently, expectedly to contest the party’s ticket for the Gubernatorial election in 2023.
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 any local Government as the party Chairman. Both of them see Jandor as a threat, thereby campaigning against him, picking the ticket. For Dr. Ade Dosumu,he goes about telling delegates not to vote for JANDOR as he believes Jandor will use dump them when he wins, while that of Deji Doherty has been that Jandor will take them back to chief Bode George when he wins. The good thing here’s that both of them agreed and believe that Jandor is the only Aspirant who can win, but for the fear of him taking them back to chief Bode George or dumping them. One then wonders, how a Jandor who fought Tinubu to a standstill to the point of imploding his political party the APC, and move same to the PDP, despite Tinubu’s influence,Power and Money will now succumb to chief Bode George. This is appearing a case of giving a dog a bad name so as to hang it. The Ade Dosumu excuse of tellling the party delegates not to vote for Jandor because he’s going to use and dump them can’t hold water for a party which has never been in government before,is it not okay for them to first win election, and fight over something,than to lose again and continue to fight over nothing for another 4years.
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’s 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 have good showing there and with 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 difficult.
Who 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 win the APC in 2023 and break the jinx for the first time.