On March 11, 2023, another history would be made in Lagos politics as a new political dispensation would birth with a new governor.
The governorship candidates of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as other political parties will slug it out with one another for the covetous post of the state governor.
The sitting governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu will be representing APC, the Lead Visioner of Lagos4Lagos Movement, Olajide Adediran (Jandor) will fly the PDP’s flag while the former chairman of Surulere Local Government, Hakeem Olaogun-Dickson will be contesting on the platform of Accord Party (AP).
The race to 2023 governorship elections in Lagos State might shape up to be very fascinating considering the activities, popularity and weight of each candidate.
The primaries, held on May 25 and 26, produced Sanwo-Olu as the APC candidate and Adediran as the PDP flag bearer while the Accord Party’s primary was held on May 30 where Dickson was unanimously picked by the party as its candidate.
Before they emerged as the candidates of their parties, there had been internal crises in some parties especially the PDP.
For the PDP to present a formidable fight in the state in 2023, it has to find a solution to its never-ending internal crisis.
Though the Accord Party is trying to put its popularity and that of its candidate to test, with little or no action from the other political parties in the state, political analysts still believe that the 2023 governorship election in Lagos State will be, as has been the tradition for about two decades, a contest between the two major parties – APC and PDP.
Based on the internal politics which played out to produce Adediran, Jandor as he is popularly called, analysts said it might be difficult for the party to put up a good fight during the general election.
PDP in Lagos is notorious for its in-fighting, particularly during election seasons, prompting speculations that the party is populated by APC moles.
The party had more aspirants for the party’s ticket: Ade Dosumu, AbdulAzeez Adediran, David Kolawole, Olanrewaju Jim-Kamal, Adedeji Doherty, and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
Following the emergence of Adeniran, some other aspirants felt cheated and showed their grievances.
Adediran, a former member of APC, joined the PDP in January, this year and declared his intention to run for governor on the PDP platform two months later.
At his declaration in March, Adediran said the APC reign in the state had come to a terminal point.
“There is a terminal point for everything and the terminal point of APC in Lagos is 2023. We were the APC, we have created that implosion in APC and we are now in PDP.
“PDP has been doing between 30 percent and 34 percent in every election year. So, the 20 percent which PDP needs to cross that threshold is what we have brought in from APC to PDP.”
Ade Dosunmu, an aspirant, was the party’s candidate in 2011 when they lost to the then incumbent governor, Babatunde Fashola.
The margin of loss that year remains the widest margin of defeat in the state’s gubernatorial election since 1999.
Dosunmu represented the party again in 2015 in the Lagos Central senatorial election. He lost to the APC’s Oluremi Tinubu.
Adedeji Doherty, another aspirant and a founding member of the party in the state, was the state chairman in 2019 before a court removed him two years later.
Mr. Jim-Kamal, who also ran for the party’s ticket, said the party has been losing elections in the state because of imposition.
“I opted out in 2015 when I discovered somebody was to be imposed on us.”
Analysts said if the PDP in the state can put its house in order, and with a key APC member now in its fold, it might stand a chance of causing an upset at the poll in 2023.
A source within the PDP said Adediran’s emergence as the party’s candidate which was viewed by some as imposition could further throw the party into a crisis.
Apart from this, some of the political analysts who spoke to ECHONEWS believed that it would be difficult for Adeniran to break the stronghold of APC backed by the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Kehinde Samuel said: “The contest is between Jandor of PDP and the incumbent governor from the ruling party, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. The other guy whose name you just mentioned will barely get sizeable votes and Jandor will only try, Sanwo-Olu will win for the second time because the calculations are in his favor.
“He is the incumbent and his party leadership is strongly with him. In governance, Sanwo-Olu has been at his best and he will hope to consolidate his achievements when he gets reelected. Jandor might come near but Sanwo-Olu will win.”
Another political watcher, Saheed Akintunde said: “PDP seems to be a stronger force now and I have this belief that they will give APC a run for their money this time around. It won’t be business as usual come 2023.
“Jide Adeniran is contesting to win, unlike the party’s last gubernatorial candidate who was just contesting to make money through negotiation. It will be a serious contest between APC, PDP and let’s say Accord party too because they are there to spoil the vote.
“If either APC or PDP can approach Accord for negotiation it will be a plus to their side because having a loose end might be costly to either of the two strong forces. I can’t say who will win now because it will be a keenly contested election.”
Meanwhile, Dickson, following his emergence as the party’s candidate, had boasted of victory in the coming governorship race in the state.
He appealed to the teeming youths for their collective support to the party to ensure total victory in the general elections.
He said: “We need the youths to take over governance and through seminars, workshops and professional training, we will get it done.
“We are not a violent party and we assure the people that there won’t be any form of violence from us.”
According to him, with the kind of unity among members of Accord, “We are ready and eager to take on the APC, PDP and other 15 political parties next year 2023.”
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