United Towards 2015

Shelle
Shelle

Once a divided house, the Lagos State chapter of the PDP, is aggressively mending its fences to enable it capture the state in the 2015 general elections

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  May 13, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

AS 2015 draws closer, the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, has continued to intensify it desire to wrestle power from the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. The party, which has over the years been playing second fiddle, has expressed its determination to upstage the dominance of the ACN in the state.

Tunji Shelle, PDP chairman, said the intention of the party is to capture the state in the next general election. He said that the party was determined to wrestle power from the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2015 gubernatorial elections. “We wish to re-assure our teeming supporters that the PDP is determined more than ever to take over power in Lagos come 2015 and to ensure grassroots development in all parts of the state,” Shelle said.

He also said that the party had resolved the differences between the various factions which had constantly dogged the state chapter. “We have resolved to work as a family so as not to disappoint the people of Lagos who have, for so long, agitated for a change of government at the state level. We appeal to aggrieved members that had backslided from the activities of the party to please come back home. We also welcome people from other political parties willing to join us and we assure that all members, new and old, will be treated with the same love and fairness for which the party is known,” adding that nothing can be more assuring than to know that the Lagos leadership has the support and blessings of its national leaders.

Mohammed
Mohammed

He dismissed the speculation that the party had already endorsed, Musliu Obanikoro or any other person as its governorship candidate for the 2015 general elections. “The news that we have endorsed Obanikoro or are already looking in the direction of any particular person to become the party’s governorship candidate for the 2015 election in Lagos State was false and meant to ferment trouble within the party.”

Tunde Daramola, a PDP chieftain in the state, said the constant frictions which the party witnessed in the state were indications of the dynamics of an evolving process which is a necessary ingredient for a participatory democracy. The case of Lagos PDP will not be different as the state can be said to be populated by the most enlightened political actors and stakeholders in the Nigerian nation. Be that as it may, he said that the Lagos PDP has no choice but to put its house in order as the election year approaches gradually.

“The decision as to who governs may rest squarely on the electorate but the organisational capability of political parties has been found to be a game changer. With this in mind, it is very important that personal ego is set aside for the general interest and overall good of our state. Let me take this opportunity to commend the leadership of the party for the various reconciliatory panels put in place to find a peaceful resolution so as to bring all and sundry on board. The party belongs to the people; they must partake in the process by being given a sense of belonging,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed, national publicity secretary of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, describes the PDP’s motive as an empty threat and a wishful thinking. He said PDP leaders were busy chasing shadows, adding that the party lacked the programmes that can attract votes from Lagosians. Mohammed also said that the achievements of the Fashola administration have sealed the pact between Lagosians and the progressive party. “They are joking, they cannot capture Lagos,” he said.

Political analysts in the state are of the opinion that the Lagos PDP has its inherent structural weaknesses which make the party addicted to crises. Recurrent personality clashes and ego war among the chieftains have deepened the disunity in the party, making it to go into periodic elections as a divided house. Although many aggrieved ACN chieftains have defected to the party, they are said to have lamented their decision to be part of a sinking ship, some of them have retraced their steps and gone back to the progressive party. Others who stayed on out of frustration, have continued to play passive roles in the conservative camp.

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