Hakeem, Amode, Tokunbo Pearse, Dr. Amos Alabi Fawole, Niyi Adams, Olabode Philip Avodji are all in the race to contest for Lagos PDP chairmanship position as Deji Doherty decline interest, Thecitypulsenews reports.
Ahead of the October 16 state congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Oyo, Adamawa, Kebbi, Borno, Kogi, Osun, Kwara and Ebonyi states, that of Lagos promises to be interesting as five party chieftains declare interest for the seat of its chairmanship position, Thecitypulsenews gathers.
Five chieftains of the party have signified intention to contest for the chairmanship position of the party in the state, having purchased the forms for the office.
The congress will see Lagos PDP having a new chairman and possibly resolve the intractable leadership crisis in the party since 2019, following the withdrawal of one of the factional chairman of the party in the state, Engr. Adedeji Doherty from the race and the death of another factional chairman, Dr. Adegbola Dominic, in August.
Doherty had in a statement said he was not interested in re-contesting for the seat. He said he remains a member of the party but will not run for a second term.
His words: “My experience as chairman over the years has been eventful and has taught me more about life, especially as it relates to my relationship with God. “I am staying out of the race as a sacrifice, I have to make in order to create the emergence of a new team of administrators; those I believe should ultimately bring a semblance of peace and unity to the party.”
Doherty decried numerous crisis periods within the party as well as the sudden death of important members of the party. He prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives at different points, particularly to different illnesses, and especially to COVID-19. He said his political career had been fulfilling in the only party he had ever been a member.
He was once the South- West Zonal Financial Secretary, the Organising Secretary and later Acting Vice-Chairman of the South-West PDP before becoming the state chairman in November 2019.
Expressing appreciation to all loyal executive members, the Local Government Chairmen’s Forum and various leaders and party members at the respective levels of the party structure for their support, Doherty commended all members for tolerance and the patience exhibited during his tenure.
“I remain in PDP but will not run for a second term as PDP Lagos State chairman. I am staying out of the race as a sacrifice I have to make in order to create the emergence of a new team of administrators; those I believe should ultimately bring a semblance of peace and unity to the party,” he said.
Dominic, a medical practitioner, died on Wednesday, August 25 as a result of COVID-19 complications. He was a grassroots politician from the days of defunct Action Group (AG) led by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
He held several other political positions, including state Social Democratic Party (SDP) officer. He contested the Lagos State governorship election under the platform of the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the Lagos West Senatorial primary of the SDP, a contest between him and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
It will be recalled that Justice Oyekan Abdullai of a Lagos High Court, some weeks ago, ruled in favour of the late Dominic, directing him to take over the chairmanship position of Lagos PDP from Doherty, who had occupied the seat since November 2019. The court declared illegal, the state congress held, and which brought Doherty to office.
With Doherty and Dominic out of the way, our source reliably gathered that about five chieftains of the party have so far declared interest to run for the office of the chairman of the PDP in Lagos State.
Those who have purchased forms for the chairmanship position include a former governorship candidate of the SDP in the state, Dr. Tokunbo Pearse; a party chieftain from Surulere area, Dr. Amos Alabi Fawole; outgoing PDP Youth Leader in the state, Niyi Adams, Olabode Philip Avodji and Hakeem Amode.
Most of the aspirants are still consulting with their supporters and other chieftains of the party, but Adams seems to be determined in his ambition of leading the party in the state. He has promised to unite the party if elected as its chairman in the state. “I’m a founding member of PDP in Lagos State. I was the Director of Administration in 1998, when we were responsible for organizing the trip to the Jos convention that brought Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Also, we organized another trip to Minna for the inauguration. I was also the Director of Administration, when Prince Adeniji Adele wanted to run for the governorship of the state ended up becoming the deputy governorship candidate to Chief Dapo Sarumi in 1999. “After that, I contested for council chairmanship in Eti Osa East Local Council Development Area in 2011.
I later became the local government chairman for the party in Eti Osa and I was also the Director of Organization and mobilization for the Jimi Agbaje campaign structure in 2015. I was also the director of state campaign in 2019.
I’m the outgoing Youth Leader of the party in the state, so I have all the experience but one thing that probably stands me out is that in as much as I’m a Chief Bode George’s boy, one thing I have over every other aspirant is that I can pick up my phone today and call Jimi Agbaje and he will answer me.
“I can pick up my phone and call anybody and they will answer me because I have worked with them at one point in time or the other.
So, I can be seen more as a bridgebuilder. That stands me out. Aside experience, my greatest constituency is the youth not because I’m the outgoing youth leader but because I relate with them a lot.
“I am someone, who believes so much in the youth and I have supported them a lot in the past. So, I’m well equipped and I’m prepared. I want to be the state chairman of the party and I want to be the first state chairman that would lead the party to win the governorship election in Lagos State,” he said.
Hakeem Amode is the outgoing organising Secretary of the party in Lagos and he has contributed a lot to the party both in federal and state level.
It is also worthy of mentioning that Hakeem Amode is the social Secretary of a foremost club in Lagos ‘EKO CLUB‘.
Hakeem Amode emergence can bring good fortune to the party based on his connection and interaction with people within and outside the party
Hakeem Anode remains a viable Candidate to watchout for during the congress.
Another aspirant with a huge support base is Pearse. He believes that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has failed the masses. He also believes that he has what it takes to restore the peace and winning mentality in the party.
Since 1999, Lagos PDP has failed at every election in the state. Even when the party was in control of the federal government, internal crises marred its chances of winning elections in Lagos State.
But in 2011, through the popularity of for-mer President Goodluck Jonathan, the party managed to win the presidential election in the state. The party, however, lost the governorship election to the then Action Congress Nigeria (ACN). In 2015, the party failed to win Lagos for the PDP both in the presidential and governorship elections.
However, the party managed to win some seats in the state House of Assembly. After that, the party’s fortune has continued to dwindle as a result of an unending internal leadership tussle leading to the defection of some of its chieftains to APC.
These explain why the PDP’s electoral performance in Lagos State has gone from bad to worse, with the party failing to win any local government seat in the recent council elections in the state.
For instance, in 2011, when the PDP governorship candidate, Mr. Ade Tokunbo lost to former Governor Babatunde Fashola, the defeat created cracks, leading to the defection of many Lagos PDP faithful to the ruling party on the ground that the party lacked internal cohesion and democracy.
Back then, the former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, was accused of highhandedness and imposition of a weak candidate as the party’s flag bearer.
A similar development occurred in 2015, when Jimi Agbaje won the PDP primary and was presented as the governorship candidate, but lost to Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode in 2019.
The party could not manage its post-election defeat, which led to several of its members, including a former senator, Musliu Obanikoro and former Minister of Works, Prince Adeseye Ogunlewe to ditch the party for APC. In the interval between 2015 and 2019, one of the party’s prominent chairmen, Moshood Salvador, was also forced to exit due to irresolvable internal crisis.
Even at the national level, the party has been moving from one crisis to the other and presently, some members are battling to unseat the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, ahead of the national convention scheduled for October 30 and 31.
But political watchers are of the view that the major issue is control of the party’s structure ahead of 2023 presidential election.
While some members are insisting that Secondus must go on the ground that he lacks what it takes to lead the party to victory in 2023, those backing him maintained that he has done well so far and should be allowed to serve out his tenure and possibly contest for a second term if he so wishes.
The tenure of the Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) is supposed to elapse in December but some chieftains of the PDP, who have their eyes on the 2023 presidential ticket of the party, want to ease him out in order to have a firm grip on the party before the national convention and the presidential primary.
With the state congress fast approaching, PDP would be hoping to restore peace in its state chapters, where the congresses will hold and reposition the party for the 2023 general election. But whether this target would be achieved in the coming month remains to be seen.
! Hakeem Amode , Tokunbo Pearse, Fawole, Others Jostle For Lagos PDP Chair