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Everyone is aware that presently in Nigeria, the rave of the moment in the affairs of the country is politics. Come February 2015, the political atmosphere in the country would take a drastic turn as elections into different posts would begin. [showads ad=GLO]Many aspirants have put their jobs on the line to contest for elective posts. One of these people is the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro. Ardent followers of Lagos politics know that Obanikoro had been eyeing the coveted sit of the oval house in Alausa. [showads ad=GLO]
Musiliu Obanikoro was made the Ambassador of Nigeria to Ghana. With this appointment, political followers believed then that Obaniko had been sent to a political oblivion. Their belief was that he would have lost many of his supporters and his clout would also reduce drastically. But, alas, Obanikoro returned back to the country and became [showads ad=GLO]the Minister of State for Defence. This post really gave him some bad name. One, he was actively involved in the Ekiti State election where he used his influence to ensure maximum security during the election. But, those in the know believed that such move was just a gimmick by the Federal Government to harass and intimidate the opposition parties in other to win the state by all means. [showads ad=GLO]
Obanikoro then decided to contest for the Lagos gubernatorial seat once more, this decision came after a credible candidate in the person of Jimi Agbaje had been shown the green light by the PDP hierarchy in Lagos. [showads ad=GLO]
Now, Obanikoro seems to be facing some internal challenges from his party leaders and one of them is former Minister for works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe. The top Lagos politician and PDP stalwart in a recent interview with the media revealed that Musiliu Obanikoro cannot emerge as the Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party because he (Obanikoro) has a lot of baggages with his image. He went further by urging the party’s delegates to vote for the person that could deliver Lagos to the PDP. [showads ad=GLO]
Ogunlewe, who is known to be a die-hard supporter of the more preferred Jimi Agbaje a.k.a Jay Kay, said Obanikoro was too controversial and the people of Lagos would only vote for someone with a clear track record.
He was quoted to have said that “In 2015, people will not vote for party but the candidate. That is our fear in the PDP. Perception is very important in politics. We must do what is expedient, what people will be happy about. Party will play a very little role in who will win the election. [showads ad=GLO] “It is the candidate that will be able to convince the people and they must be able to appreciate the candidate. The time is too short and the aspirant will not have time to be answering questions about allegations.
“Questions like what happened in City Hall. What happened to the pilgrimage funds, what is your date of birth? Is it 1960 or 1954? Where is your school certificate? What is your proper name, is it Obanikoro or Onikoro? All those things we don’t have time to be answering them anymore and this was what we did in 2007 that took so much of our energy because Obanikoro is from the stable of the Alliance of Democracy. “Nobody is saying the allegations are true but they are questions that are unanswered and a political party should not spend too much of its time answering questions that are already in possession of the opposition.”
While reacting to allegations by Obanikoro that there was a conspiracy against him (Obanikoro), by the party leadership ahead of the primary, Ogunlewe said, “On two occasions we invited all aspirants to appeal to them for cooperation since only one person can win. On the two occasions, he was invited but he did not show up. If there was a gang up against him, would he have been invited?” However, Obanikoro said he was confident of winning the primary even though the party leaders were against him. “As a matter of fact, I do not have business with Agbaje. As far as this election is concerned, I am contesting against Bode George and Senator Ogunlewe,” Obanikoro said. Obanikoro said all he needed was a transparent, free and fair primary, expressing the confidence that he will win the primary. He said as one who came from a humble background, “I know that all power comes from God.” [showads ad=GLO]
However, keen political watchers believe vividly that the PDP is known to always parade individuals with questionable characters to contest for elections, examples of these people include Alao Akala in Oyo State, Iyiola Omisore in Osun State, Ayo Fayose in Ekiti State and even in the last 2011 election in Lagos, their candidate Ade Dosunmu was also alleged to have committed a high scale fraud while at NIMASA. All these people, most especially in the South West are perceived as un-describable personalities. [showads ad=GLO]