• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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‘Why Lagos residents are ready to give PDP a chance’

‘Why Lagos residents are ready to give PDP a chance’

Hakeem Amode is the publicity secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State.

In this interview with Iniobong Iwok, he assesses the chances of AbdulAzeez Olajide Adediran aka Jandor, the party’s gubernatorial candidate in state. He also defended the choice of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate.


PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State, Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran has been going round the wards in the state to campaign, what has been the feedback as people feel this is an APC state?

There is nothing like the APC state. If you will recall, in 2015, we had eight members in the Lagos House of Assembly and six members of the Federal House of Representatives, which will let you know that the APC does not have any monopoly in Lagos State.

Lagos is a state that the APC has been ruling by default because elections have always been rigged in the state.

APC cannot defeat us in a free and fair election in the state. I am very happy that the INEC now has new technology, and new innovation with BVAS and the rest. That alone will help give confidence to Lagosians and the generality of Nigerians.

AbdulAzeez Adediran believes that it is important that we take our campaigns to the 245 wards in the state to see what is happening in the state and to see the infrastructure decay in the state.

Lagosians are very happy to see Jandor. They are excited that the PDP is bringing a breadth of fresh air, something different, that we are bringing a young man, who is only 44 years old and the Deputy Governorship Candidate, 45 years old.

The youths are clamouring for change and we are giving it to them, we are giving them something different entirely. What we have done is to show Lagosians that we are with them, we will give them what they are asking for.

People are surprised how Jandor, who just joined the PDP emerged as its candidate, Bode George does not support him or is it that they don’t believe that the PDP would win Lagos State?

The Atona of Oodua, Olabode George is our leader, he will continue to be our Leader, he is a respectable leader for that matter. He is also my brother from Lagos Island. At no point did Bode George fail to support Jandor, he might have issues with the deputy governorship candidate of our party.

But the party has decided, we are moving on as a party. We respect him a lot and having said that, events have overtaken that, we are working with the elders of the party and the leaders of the party and we are all together.

You could see all tendencies today at the Umbrella Day such as Deji Doherty, Ogunkelu, the former state chairman, Shelle and the current state chairman of the party, Phillips Aivoji and all others. We came together to tell Nigerians that we are working together to ensure victory for the party from the presidency to the state house of assembly.

With APC is all the local governments and CDAs, how are you sure of winning the state with this?

Don’t forget that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the 37 LCDAs are not recognized and INEC will conduct elections in just the 20 local governments.

Having said that, this is why we are going to the grassroots, we are campaigning in all the wards and people are happy to see AbdulAzeez Olajide aka Jandor.

Also Funke Akindele, our deputy governorship candidate, is accepted in all the markets we have visited, people are excited to see us and they said they wanted a change after 23 years of the APC in Lagos State, as they said their dreams have not been met.

Read also: Lagos guber: Jandor pledges to reverse APC’s anti-people policies

AbdulAzeez Olajide was a member of the APC for many years, people feel he might defect to the APC if he wins the election. What do you say to this?

He has said it severally that he is a member of the PDP, he will remain in the PDP, and that he will never go back to the APC. Members of the PDP want him and they are happy with him. They are all supporting him and looking forward to us winning on March 12, 2023.

In practical terms what will your party do differently in the state as AbdulAzeez Olajide has never held a public office before?

Jandor is a businessman. Those who are running our economy now have never employed anybody before. Jandor has done well for himself in his chosen profession. Whoever can manage a business effectively can manage a state. This is a state that is generating so much but does not have anything to show for it.

The state of our infrastructure is so bad, our roads are bad, just go and see our inner roads. I was on a radio programme yesterday and a teacher called to say that he has 94 students in his class, how does he cope with that in one class. If you say APC has done well, the amount of money they generate in the state cannot be justified based on what they realise. So, we need someone that can manage the economy of the state properly.

People are criticising PDP for picking Atiku Abubakar, a northerner as presidential candidate, when they expected power to shift to the south. How do you justify this?

We went to the primary election to elect a candidate and we did. Everyone supported his candidature and he has promised to be the president of everybody.

Atiku Abubakar is detribalized. He has promised to treat all Nigerians equally and correct the imbalance in the leadership structure of our security agencies. So, that is not a problem at all. He will be different from the person in power at the moment.