By Rasak Adebayo
In the build up to the 2023 general elections, the Lagos State chapter of Labour Party (LP) has revealed plan to roll out its campaign this week.
Since the political activities started across the State with other parties such as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its strong rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flying their campaigns through various media,the Labour Party has not been seen with any firm of campaign.
However, in a chat last week, the governorship flag bearer of the party in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, good ECHONEWS that his party would commence rolling out of its campaign this week with jingles to be played on radios and televisions.
“We shall roll out our jingles next week. Unlike other parties, we don’t have the government’s money, we don’t take money from the government to do campaign. We do not have the money to be given out to the electorate to buy them to vote for us,” he said.
Reacting to a rumour that his party is planning on strategies to rig the election in Lagos State, Rhodes-Vivour said it was a political gimmick by the opposition parties to divert the attention of the electorate to them and sympathize with them.
“Rig election? Who is rigging the election, the INEC or who? We don’t have the money to bribe, those who have taken the government money are behind it.
“It is a propaganda by the opposition party and we cannot fall for that “
The LP flag bearer expressed confidence that his party will win the election in Lagos State, saying “We are sure of our victory in Lagos State.”
Rhodes-Vivour started his political career in 2007 when he contested for the Ikeja Local Government Chairmanship position under the umbrella of the KOWA party.
In 2019, he came out to contest for the Lagos West Senatorial seat under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but lost to Senator Adeola Olalekan (Yayi), an All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
He headed to the tribunal to challenge the result. Citing incidents of widespread violence and discrepancies in the result, he requested a rerun, which was not granted.
He later sought PDP ticket to contest for the Lagos State governorship seat in 2023 but again, could not secure the ticket due to the internal politics which played out to produce Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor as the party’s candidate.
Apart from Rhodes-Vivour, Ade Dosumu, David Kolawole, Olanrewaju Jim-Kamal, and Adedeji Doherty were other aggrieved aspirants under the PDP.
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, 2022 and declared his intention to run for governor on the PDP platform two months later.
Rhodes-Vivour, thereafter, pitched his tent with Labour Party where he was given the ticket to run for the governorship position in Lagos State.
He emerged the Labour Party’s candidate for the Lagos State governorship election after decamping from the PDP.
following his emergence as the party’s candidate, had boasted of victory in the coming governorship race in the state.
Speaking, Rhodes-Vivour expressed his determination to become the next governor of Lagos State with assurance of winning the election in March, 2023.
He said despite all the propaganda by the opposition parties, his Labour Party will still coast home victory, having the strategy to canvass for people’s support.
According to him, it is time for the youth to take over the government to put things in good order.
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 we shall get it done.”
He had boasted to be the beat candidate to to become the next governor due he knows how best to restructure the state.
According to him, apart from running under the Labour Party platform, the Lagos residents need a new person like him and that because he is an architect and knows how to design Lagos that will be okay for every resident but not for only the wealthy.
He noted that after lawyer and accountant have ruled, the next is to try an architect.
He said he had gone round the ten local governments under the Lagos West Senatorial Constituency while he was contesting for the senate under PDP, saying he had got first hand knowledge of what the Lagosians want.
“I know what the people need. I know the place where they never had electricity since 20 years ago. I know where they don’t have primary health care center, I know where they don’t get school. I know where the government has abandoned them and feel as if they are not part of Lagos State. When become governor, I will serve the people, not my pocket or my family but the people living in Lagos.
“I’m an indigene of Lagos. I will be a leader that everybody can relate with. And again, it is time for the youths, it is the time for power to shift to the youths who form the larger percentage of the population.
“And also, I’m highly intelligent. I graduated from the beat university in the world. I graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and I have worked with American and Chinese government on urban planning so, I have the experience to work Lagos out.”
On infrastructure, the LP flag bearer said he would construct 100km of rail within four years, embark on road network in the inner communities, making sure the local governments work by making them independent, adding that he will make he would make sure potential governors are made local government chairmen, who can deliver. He said he will also invest in quality education and make the health care facilities work well.
An activist, who turned politician, Rhodes-Vivour was the convener of Nigerians Against GMOs (NAG), an organisation that advocated against the authorisation or introduction of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) into Nigeria.
He has also been a frontrunner in advocating for the restoration of history in the school curriculum.
On March 11, 2023, Rhodes-Vivour will compete for the Lagos State governor with Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olajide Adediran of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Hakeem Olaogun-Dickson of Accord Party (AP).
As earlier reported by ECHONEWS, political analysts in Lagos politics had observed that the election would be between APC and PDP.
However, they believed that it would be difficult for Adediran 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. Other contestants will barely get sizeable votes and Jandor will only try. Sanwo-Olu will win for the second time because the calculations are in his favour.
“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.
“Labour Party cannot move in Lagos, they are very minority. The guy will only have to make the list.”
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. The LP is not known in Lagos, nobody hears of them.”