Lagos PDP chieftains defect to APC
Support swells for Makinde
The battle for governorship positions in Lagos and Oyo states heightened yesterday with parties and their leaders restrategising for Saturday’s election.
The poll is for governorship in 28 states and House of Assembly positions in 36 states of the federation.
In Lagos, incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had a major boost yesterday with the defection of a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state, Ade Dosunmu to the ruling party.
Sanwo-Olu’s counterpart in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde of the PDP and his APC challenger Senator Teslim Folarin also recorded a series of endorsements from other political parties.
Dosunmu, during his formal defection at the State House, Marina, said he left the PDP because “the party has not made any appreciable progress in terms of electoral success/victory.”
He added that the dynamic leadership of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as well as Sanwo-Olu’s approach to piloting affairs of the state endeared the APC to him.
He said: “I have a great passion for Nigeria’s development and our beloved Lagos. Since I joined politics, my concern has always been to develop our fledgling democracy, as well as ensure its sustainability. Every nation that is well-founded on democracy has found out that success depends on the leaders, who believe that governance is all about service to the people and not vice versa.
“The emergence of a truly dedicated and patriotic leadership, one that is capable of understanding the nitty-gritty of development, as well as challenges of governing a modern state, has become imperative for Nigeria and Lagos State. These are the attributes, which our leader and President-elect, Asiwaju Tinubu, and Governor Sanwo-Olu, have in large measure.
“The APC’s victory in the February 25 elections remains a landmark in the political and electoral history of our dear state and Nigeria as a whole. It is indeed a political phenomenon that has shaped, to a large extent, political events in our dear state. It has indeed remained a permanent landmark in our political evolution and therefore calls for political realignment in the interest of service to the nation and Lagos State.
“Similarly, Governor Sanwo-Olu is a man of exceptional dynamism, a listener and a good crisis manager. I must state that his inspiring personal style of leadership is equally deserving of my humble commendation. The steady and self-assured way he has been piloting the state affairs, cutting across every sector with characteristic skills and sobriety, is commendable. His great exploits in infrastructure development, youth empowerment, education, health, direct foreign investment, and transportation (rail and land transportation) among others, are enormous.
“All these have attracted me, my supporters and my political associates to APC as a party and to Governor Sanwo-Olu and his administration. Hence our commitment to ensuring his victory in Saturday’s election so that he can continue the good work. We are certain he will do more and address other areas of concern by Lagosians when re-elected for another four years.”
Sanwo-Olu, receiving the defectors, said the APC had the ambience of togetherness to accommodate all of them.
In Oyo, incumbent Governor Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his challenger from the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Teslim Folarin have recorded a series of endorsements from other political parties.
Aside the APC and PDP which also gained support yesterday for the upcoming elections, the Labour Party (LP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Accord (A) among others, are in the race to the Agodi Government House in Ibadan.
But, the SDP candidate, Micheal Lana, has dumped his ambition to back Makinde.
The pledging of support for the Oyo State helmsman by a faction of the LP has pitted the party against its candidate, Tawfiq Akinwale, who openly condemned the action.
Akinwale had not only lashed out at the party leadership, but he has also reiterated that he has not and will never step down for any candidate, no matter the cost.
The situation is not different with the Accord, whose factional leaders also threw their weight behind Makinde.
Not only shocked by the decision and action, the Accord governorship candidate, Oloye Adebayo Adelabu, also expressed disdain about the leaders’ action.
The affected leaders were immediately sacked by the national leadership, which appointed caretaker executives to run that party’s affairs.
The party confirmed Adelabu as its candidate in the rescheduled election.
At an emergency stakeholders meeting, the SDP announced its adoption of Folarin, who rekindled his old spheres of influence among many aggrieved members of the PDP.
A former governor in the state, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja was reported to have called on major candidates across the parties to work for Folarin.
In Osun State, the PDP and APC stepped up their campaigns for the state House of Assembly candidates.
Governor Ademola Adeleke is said to be working towards securing all 26 assembly seats while his immediate predecessor Gboyega Oyetola and his team were all out to retain a majority of the house seats.