The Challenge To Reclaim Lagos Is Huge —Obanikoro


Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana and a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagso State, Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro, has said that the challenge to reclaim Lagos State from the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, is very huge.

Obanikoro stated this during an interview with Political Platform at his Park View Estate residence, Ikoyi, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

He said it was for that reason that he rconciled with Chief Olabode George, another stalwart of PDP in Lagos State.

According to the ambassador, “politics is about crisis management and conflict resolution. We had our issues and don’t forget that myself and Chief Olabode George are from the same local government. Therefore, we meet to part and part to meet. We are bound to have issues and being a man and being responsible is rising above those issues and moving on with life.

“If you know me and I believe you do, I don’t know how to fight anybody. I can fight a little but immediately, I’m a forgiving person. That is my nature and I don’t prolong feud. It doesn’t help anybody. We are all in politics to add value and if we keep on fighting ourselves, we will not make progress.

“It is commonly said that progress cannot thrive in a crisis situation. Therefore, you have to create a crisis free environment for development to occur.

“Besides, the challenge to reclaim our state is even greater than personal interest. With the direction that Lagos State is going, some of us are not happy and if we continue to fight ourselves, we won’t be in a position to reclaim our state. So, that is why I said that the resolve to reconcile aggrieved members of the party is a greater challenge and we don’t want to lose focus on that,” he said.

Speaking further, he said: “There is no doubt in my mind that the aspiration of an average PDP man in Lagos State is to have a united party. I believe they are all committed to it and I also believe that everybody is working towards achieving that goal.

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Speaking on other issues, he decried the alleged conspiracy between the Lagos State chapter of ACN and the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, against PDP in the last local government election in the state.

He said it was worse than the annulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election.

He alleged that the ACN conspired with LASIEC to announce the party as winner in some council areas where it was roundly defeated by the PDP. Obanikoro list the areas as Agbado Oke-Odo, Badagry, Shomolu and Ikoyi Obalende.

Koro, as he is fondly called, added that people did not pay much attention to the alleged electoral fraud simply because it did not take place at the national level.

“Let me tell you, what LASIEC and ACN did during the last local government election is worse than the annulment of June 12. The people seemed to pay less attention to what transpired here in Lagos State during that electoral period because it did not take place at the national level.

“But the truth of the matter is that anywhere you see injustice, you must stand up against it. Where you fail to do so, that injustice will one day consume you also. Now, having said that, I believe they have lost in the court of public opinion. I believe they have also lost before God in this matter. It is now left for the tribunal to either decide to be on the side of God or ACN.

“God will then be the final arbiter as far as this issue is concerned. But there is no doubt that they lost the local government election and they are bad losers. It is also very sad because these are people that everyday they stand on mountain top shouting that they are democrats. You cannot be democrats by word of mouth alone. You will be democrat by word of mouth and deeds,” he said.

—Jamiu Yisa

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