By Ayodele Kumolu-Johnson
If the Lagos state governorship election holds today, one governorship aspirant that has registered his presence in the subconscious of the populace is the Lead Visioner of the Lagos4Lagos Movement, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, popularly known as JANDOR.
Jandor spoke loud and clear through his teeming supporters when he joined the People’s Democratic Party at a well attended rally in January at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, that the era of politics of imposition or ‘Baba Sope’ in the state is gone for good .
The attendance at the rally speaks volumes of his character and disposition as nearly all the PDP governors in Nigeria led by Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and the National working committee members led by former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu were on ground to receive him and his supporters.
The vigor at which he goes about his governorship project and the acceptability is phenomenal. Those who are hitherto lukewarm to his aspiration initially seem to have embraced him wholeheartedly..
Like a determined politician, he knew what is at stake and what it would take to achieve it. And unlike those who will dust their campaign programs few months to election, he came prepared.
The new kid on the block has said at different fora that the Lagos Project started well over six years ago when it dawned on him to join likeminds to take back Lagos from those who held it by the jugular.
In the month of March alone, Jandor has visited 10 out of the 20 local governments in a fun fair manner, integrating his structure into the PDP, thereby giving the party a new lease of life, a development that would rub off positively on all other Aspirants who want to run for House of Assembly and other elective offices in the next few months.
At every nook and cranny of the state that prides itself as Centre of Excellence, Jandor’s insignia and presence are everywhere.
Jandor’s message is clear. Apart from the total neglect of the Badagry Division, where he hails from, in terms of critical infrastructure such as roads, healthcare and education development, Jandor is not pleased by poor performance of successive governments in Lagos since 1999 because of the allegiance to certain interest that’s opposed to the good of the greater number of the people in the state. This is especially so when thorough evaluation is done on the resources available to Lagos vis-a-vis the said achievements.
To him, what is evident on the streets and the poor standard of living of the generality of Lagos residents today is not in anyway, shape or form commensurate with the huge revenue accruals to the state; both Federal allocations and IGR as well as all the huge loans.
It is not surprising therefore, that those who encouraged him to join the PDP are now envious of his success and followership that they have decided to mount the soap box. Even those who could barely win in their wards on the platform of the PDP when they were given the ticket on a platter in the past are seen today warming up to contest while they are not bothered about the re-engineering process of the party at the grassroots like Jandor.
Jandor’s message of hope and unity; and that he has not come to take over the party as being touted, but to rejuvenate it in order to make it more attractive to all and sundry, has continued to reverberate.
During his visit to Ojo Local Government (his base) in this last month of March, Jandor said the exchange of flags among the Lagos4Lagos Movement and party executives at the ward level was to symbolize the entry of the group into the mainstream People’s Democratic Party and to engender love and harmony, emphasizing unequivocally that unity is strength.
Last year, before the Lagos4Lagos Movement agreed to join the PDP, the council of traditional rulers in Alimosho was agog as they received and openly endorsed Jandor, a development that informed them incurring the wrath of Lagos State, with Governor Sanwoolu summoning and reprimanding them. His emphasis was on the preparedness, credentials and the persona of the contestant as opposed to the bandwagon effect that usually come as a directive from above basis. The Obas and chiefs also prayed for the success of his political aspiration as governor of Lagos In 2023.
Jandor has been engaging the council of imams and Alfas across the state, a strategy that has seen the Lagos Muslim community already rooting for him. In Kosofe, the Council of Imams were excited last year that unlike other contestants who will visit them barely few months to election, Jandor has come for the blessings of the religious leaders, even when it was “off season” and really was not expedient to do so.
Jandor’s energetic movement and youthfulness seems to have attracted some newbred into the fold of the PDP.
Few days ago at Eti-Osa, famous musician, Olubankole Wellington, aka, Banky W who contested the Federal House of Representatives, Eti-Osa Federal constituency under the defunct MDP, and lost by a narrow margin in 2019, has found solace in the warm reception accorded him by Jandor. Also, Adebanke Victoria Oniru is in PDP today, courtesy Jandor.
Inspite of his goodwill and warming personality, his mobilization drive to woo more members into the PDP is being deliberately and mischievously misconstrued by serial traders who are accustomed to always using the party platform at every election circle for financial gains and thereby increasing the chances of the party failing at the general elections rather than working for the party to win.
They are ganging up and though they have resorted to poor propaganda, blackmail and peddling outright falsehood, Jandor is not perturbed. So instead of dissipating energy on puerile and frivolities that will further divide the party, he is focused on winning for the party but first, he stresses that it is of utmost importance for the platform (PDP) to be attractive enough and win more followers if it must dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress and its war chest, having been in power from 1999 through AD, AC, ACN and now currently APC.