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General News of Monday, 13 March 2023


Lagos election: Sanwo-Olu battles LP, PDP divided forces

A collage of Sanwo-Olu, Gbadebo and Jandor A collage of Sanwo-Olu, Gbadebo and Jandor

The refusal of the Labour Party, LP, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to form a coalition ahead of the governorship election in Lagos State may benefit Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

DAILY POST observed that the All Progressives Congress, APC, commenced horse trading to swing this Saturday’s contest in its favour shortly after the presidential election.

Apart from working to scuttle a possible PDP-LP partnership, the ruling party is reaching out to influential opposition leaders and their key loyalists.

Though analysts believe a deal involving PDP’s Azeez Adeniran (alias Jandor) and LP’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (a.k.a. GRV) could dethrone the APC, both are not willing to shift ground.

Last week, Jandor and his party debunked claims regarding an alliance, reiterating their readiness to free Lagos “from the present oligarchy”.

A source told DAILY POST that the opposition already handed Sanwo-Olu another term because of individual ambition.

The veteran politician gave reasons for his prediction while narrating the intrigues that played out before and after the PDP and LP primaries.

The PDP chieftain listed former Senate President Bukola Saraki and Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde as two of the forces behind Jandor.

“When we were shopping for a candidate, Jandor was in the APC. Then the Abuja connection (Saraki, Makinde and co.) encouraged him to come to the PDP. They handed over the structure to him which was the first mistake, and that’s why he is so arrogant.

“This is someone who said he would retire the old men in the PDP. They made sure Jandor was in charge of the delegates for the primaries, that’s why he won. In fact, most of the candidates for Senate and House of Reps seats were his choices.”

Jandor, an entrepreneur, defeated David Kolawole Vaughan (Dakova) on May 25, 2022, polling 679 votes out of 709 to win the PDP ticket.

But just before the primaries commenced, other aspirants – Rhodes-Vivour, Adedeji Doherty, Ade Dosunmu and Jimi Karmal – pulled out.

“They withdrew when it became clear that Jandor had been anointed. How will PDP win with these people and their supporters aggrieved?” The source queried.

“They’ve been quiet. No big name is campaigning for Jandor, Abuja people should come and do it,” he added.

The source also gave an insight into the emergence of Rhodes-Vivour as the LP standard bearer and the alleged role of Chief Bode George, ex-PDP Deputy National Chairman.

He recalled that after Jandor emerged, party elders tried to make peace and reach a consensus over the running mate.

“During that period of disagreement, Jandor seized the opportunity and selected Funke Akindele, but popularity on tv can only do a little in politics.

“It was when George’s wish wasn’t granted that he worked for Gbadebo to secure LP’s ticket. But he doesn’t even have the pedigree. What has he done before that we can measure him with? All we hear is MIT,” he said.

In September 2022, George disclosed that the initial plan was for Jandor and Rhodes-Vivour to run on the same PDP ticket, revealing how he purchased nomination forms.

On LP and PDP chances, analysts argue that deputy governorship candidates Abiodun Oyefusi and Akindele do not seem politically strong, and have not displayed intellectual capability like incumbent Femi Hazmat, a former commissioner.

DAILY POST recalls that their separate interviews on Arise TV and Channels TV were viewed by some observers as uninspiring. While Oyefusi failed to articulate her party’s manifesto, Akindele said she’s confident of a win citing her “fans and followers”.

Speaking to DAILY POST Sunday night, Rhodes-Vivour’s Campaign Organisation spokesperson, Akin Olaoye, however, expressed optimism of LP’s victory.

“We are expecting a good turnout like we witnessed during the presidential election in February; we expect that GRV will win.

“The people are ready to vote out an establishment that has held Lagos for many years. They will be voting out corruption, patronage and godfatherism,” he added.

Lagos APC Publicity Secretary, Seye Oladejo recently declared that Governor Sanwo-Olu “will win this election and win convincingly”.