3rd December, 2010
Lagos State Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party, PDP, is likely to field a consensus governorship candidate for the next election, Political Platform can authoritatively reveal.
A meeting of the stakeholders of the party drawn from the six caucuses in the polarised party is expected to take place at the party’s secretariat in Ikeja this month to discuss the issue and prepare for the general elections.
A chieftain of the party, Dr. Bayo Ogundimu, told reporters in Lagos State that the party has discovered the futility of forging ahead in disarray.
He said the meeting of the governorship aspirants would follow the stakeholdersÂ meeting, and some of the contenders would be prevailed upon to step down for one another in the interest of the whole house.
Ogundimu, a former Commissioner for Health and Transport in the state, explained the motivation for the consensus option, adding that only a candidate who is neutral and does not belong to any of the warring factions would be acceptable to the party.
â€œWe have come to realise that PDP in Lagos is not a united family and disunited we fall. There is need for us to come together as one family and unite the various camps. That is the beginning of better political prospects for us in 2011,â€ he said.
There are about six camps in the branch led by big wigs, including the jailed leader, Commodore Olabode George (retd); former Works Minister, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro; former Deputy Governor, Chief Olufemi Pedro and Chief Rafiu Jafojo.
Two parallel state executive committees headed by factional chairmen, Hon. Setonji Koshoedo who was allegedly imposed by George and Hon. Hamid Olorunoje, backed by Obanikoro are allegedly at each otherâ€™s throat.
In the last 11 years, the Lagos PDP has produced five chairmen, Olorunfunmi Bashorun, Murtala Ashorobi, Alaba Williams, Bayo Willam and Koshoedo and their tenures were marred by crisis.
Efforts made by Koshoedo, a former member of House of Representatives to unite the groups have failed as aggrieved chieftains opposed to his leadership claimed that his emergence as chairman violated the principle of internal democracy.
Currently, no fewer than 12 governorship aspirants are struggling for the ticket of the party, a development that may presage rancorous primaries.
The contenders include Prince Adegboyega Dosunmu, Mr. Deji Doherty, Chief Ademola Seriki, Otunba Pedro, Hon. Goke Salvador, Chief Bode Oyedele, Senator Kofo Bucknor and Mr. Tokunbo Kamson. Sources said Obanikoro may join the race.
The only neutral aspirant, who has not been part of the groups scrambling for control of the party machinery, is Mr. Qudus Folami, political scientist and former senatorial candidate who worked with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, parliament between 2003 and 2007.