How Jonathan, Sambo brokered peace in Lagos PDP
Following the reconciliation between the governorship aspirants of the Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the controversial governorship primary, the Vice President, Namadi Sambo has said the party is set to take over power in Lagos in 2015.
Sambo, while addressing the aggrieved aspirants, which include the embattled former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro, Mr. Tokunbo Kamson, Babatunde Gbadamosi, Ade Doherty and also present was the governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, said President Goodluck Jonathan had to personally intervened to resolve the imbroglio, which ordinarily would have affected the party in the governorship election.
Although, the President's intervention finally rested the controversies and disagreements that trailed the governorship primary, how the party is going to harness the opportunity to unseat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is another hurdle it must address, as it appears that the former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP South West zone, Chief Olabode George, former Minister of Works, Price Adeseye Ogunlewe and Obanikoro are still at loggerheads.
The reconciliation came against the backdrop of Obanikoro's suit challenging the outcome of the governorship primary, which produced Agbaje at the Abuja Federal High Court, to compel the party's leadership to cancel the exercise.
Obanikoro's insistence was based on a discrepancy in the number of delegates and number of votes cast at the primary that saw Mr. Agbaje emerging as the party's candidate.
Addressing the meeting that comprised supporters of the aspirants and some chieftains of the party in Lagos last week, Sambo disclosed that the aspirants had agreed to work as one.
The Guardian however learnt that it took the personal intervention of President Jonathan, Sambo, the Senate President, David Mark and other top members of the PDP to convince Obanikoro on the need to drop his suit and work for the party ahead of the 2015 elections.
One of the reasons he was asked to drop the suit was the fact that a disjointed Lagos PDP would definitely affect the chances of the party in the South West zone.
Sambo said that Agbaje had signified interest to work with everyone to deliver Lagos.
According to him, 'Agbaje is indeed humble and that is what appeals for total support for the party to win in Lagos.
'Our party has the total advantage of winning Lagos as the state has yearned for too long for a change.
'We are poised more than ever before to rescue Lagos. The time for PDP to take over Lagos has come. PDP is confident that it would win Lagos and other elective positions in 2015.
'We have maintained our neutrality by encouraging our aspirants to get the members to vote for them.'
He added that Agbaje as the candidate comes 2015 would not let the party down. What we have done today is worth emulating by other party members in Lagos and beyond.'
Sambo posited that the Federal Government and indeed the PDP has realistic and verifiable pictures of works it has carried out.
'Our pictures are real. I saw a poster of a candidate claiming that the Lekki Deep Sea Port is a Lagos State venture. I will like to say that the Federal Government has a large share in it.
'The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) also has a 20 per cent share hollering while the private sector has the largest share. Our pictures are real and verifiable,' he said.
The vice president also said there would be realistic development in Lagos State with a PDP government 'today people are leaving Lagos because of heavy taxation. A PDP government will correct it. Jimi is coming to save Lagos.'
In his gratitude remarks to Mr. President personal intervention on the issue, the Lagos State Chairman of the party, Chief Tunji Shelle said it took a great lot of patience, experience and strong will on the part of President Jonathan to prevail on the aggrieved candidates to drop their animosities and work together in the interest of the party 'their intervention will translate to the PDP winning in Lagos State 'It is a show of solidarity, loyalty to the party.'
Indeed, Shelle agreed that the challenges before the party are there 'but we are forming a common front to work together as a team because of the task ahead of us.'
Shelle urged the members to sustain the enduring peace it has achieved through presidency intervention.
On the party's governorship candidate for 2015, Shelled reaffirmed the candidacy of Agbaje, saying: 'Jimi Agbaje is the choice of the people of Lagos. I want to plead with all to give him the maximum support so that the party can win.'
Obanikoro on his part remained convinced that despite the inadequacies in the primaries 'we have all agreed that Agbaje is the candidate.'
He explained that it was a very challenging time for the various supporters of other aspirants who felt cheated and betrayed the way the primary was conducted, he urged them to move past what had happened and work as one family.
According to him, 'There is no doubt that my passion and love for Lagos is known. It will trigger any level of sacrifice to ensure victory for the PDP. The Guardian