The internal crisis rocking Lagos chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to be resolved, and it is dragging the party’s anticipated success in the 2015 governorship election in the state to the verge of hopelessness.
If the information at ENCOMIUM Weekly’s disposal is anything to bank on, things are no longer at ease at the moment with the party expected to give the ruling All Progressive Party (APC) tough time in the forthcoming guber poll. The internal wrangling, we learnt, is not unconnected with the unhealthy rivalry among the party’s governorship aspirants, especially former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu olatunji Obanikoro, former national vice chairman (South-west) of the party, Engineer Adedeji Doherty and the new entrant, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.
The three political juggernauts are said not to be in good terms with one another right now, with each wooing supporters ahead of the party’s primary election slated for Monday, December 8, 2014.
Obanikoro had reportedly referred to other aspirants as inexperienced politicians who don’t possess the expected qualities of a candidate capable of wrestling power from APC in the next governorship election in the state. He, therefore, urged the delegates to consider him as the only viable candidate that can deliver the state from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 16 year rule.
Koro Ibo, as Obanikoro is fondly addressed, was also said to have manipulated the results of the congress election held recently in preparation for the PDP primary in the state. He was accused of buying up two out of the five electoral committee members that conducted the election, who allegedly changed the outcome of the election in favour of his loyalists that will participate in the December 8 primary election that will determine the party’s flagbearer in the 2015 governorship election in Lagos state.
However, ENCOMIUM Weekly’s efforts to get Obanikoro’s reactions on the allegations leveled against him were unsuccessful as the calls put through his mobile line were unanswered. We also sent him a text, all to no avail. Our text reads: ‘Good morning, Sir. Calling to seek your reaction to the story that Lagos PDP is currently engrossed in crisis, allegedly masterminded by your loyalists, who were said to have doctored the results of the congress election held recently in your favour. Thank you and have a wonderful day, sir!’ This was not replied till we went to press.
Meanwhile, Obanikoro was, a couple of days back, dragged to court by some party members over allegation of dual citizenship. The case is currently before the Lagos High Court, Ikeja.
However, the long time differences between the former diplomat and Lagos PDP godfather, Chief Olabode George are yet to be resolved. This factor, a political pundit told ENCOMIUM Weekly, may work against his candidature as the latter is said to be the major sponsor of Agbaje, allegedly with a view to checkmating Obanikoro’s ambition.
This, we learnt, has also created animosity between Agbaje and the ex-minister.
“Obanikoro and Jimi Agbaje are not in good terms at the moment. I learnt it is because Bode George is sponsoring Agbaje against Obanikoro because of their long standing feud. I learnt Chief Bode George specifically presented Jimi Agbaje before President Jonathan as the only person that can defeat APC if given the ticket. Since Obanikoro got wind of that proposition, he launched a verbal attack on Jimi Agbaje, referring to him and other aspirants as inexperienced and incapable to rule Lagos state.”
Meanwhile, an online report had it on Monday, November 24, 2014, that Agbaje has been disqualified to vie for PDP governorship ticket allegedly on lack of membership evidence.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s efforts to get Agbaje’s reaction were futile as his mobile line was unreachable at the time of filing this report.
Reacting to the alleged crisis, Doherty said: “It’s true, there were manipulations in the congress election held recently, and that was the reason it was cancelled. But left to me, I don’t bother myself with any of the aspirants, be it Obanikoro or Jimi Agbaje. What I am after is victory at the primary election coming up on Monday, December 8, 2014. I am almost through with my consultations in all local governments and I am sure of clinching the party’s ticket.”
– TADE ASIFAT