There is growing disquiet among the political leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State over the choice of the deputy governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 general elections.
The Lead Visioner, Lagos4Lagos Movement, Abdul-Lateef Olajide Adediran (Jandor), who won the ticket of the party is yet to pick his running mate.
The ruling All Progressives Congress is expected to retain the Babajide Sanwo-Olu/Obafemi Hamzat ticket, which won the 2019 election.
The PDP had, last Wednesday, commenced the screening of nominees for deputy governorship positions. The party pencilled five nominees.
Among the shortlisted names are Nollywood actress, Olufunke Akindele popularly known as Jenifa; former governorship aspirant, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (GRV); former senatorial candidate for Lagos East, Yeye Shobajo, another governorship aspirant, David Kolawole Vaughan known as DAKOVA, and Engr Teslim Balogun.
While a picture of Jandor and Akindele had gone viral on social media, the LGA chairmen of the party in the state endorsed Gbadebo as the preferred choice, describing him as a young dedicated party loyalist who has an already-established electoral value.
They noted that in the 2019 elections, Gbadebo contested for the Lagos West senatorial seat and scored 37,375 votes, more than what Jimi Agbaje, PDP’s governorship candidate, garnered in that election cycle.
“Considering the increasing recognition for the principle of the ‘non-indigene’ factor which plays a major role in our elections, GRV also comes in for consideration, as his mother is Igbo from Abia State, while his wife is from Anambra State – a situation that accounts for his cosmopolitan and pan-Nigerian outlook which complements his educational background, as well as his youth, personality and ability to reach across ethnic divides in no small way,” they said.
In another letter, the 15 ward chairmen of the party in Lagos Island, who affirmed that Gbadebo is from the area, noted that the Jandor/GRV ticket would serve as a direct response to the agitation for youthful leadership.
They noted that while the 44-year-old Jandor is from Lagos West, 39-year-old Gbadebo is from Lagos Central but also has a huge followership base in Lagos West because of his contributions to the development of the area.
“We are appealing to the leadership of our party, to consider the political popularity of GRV in Lagos West, as an opportunity for the party to wrestle power from the APC,” they added.
A party chieftain said some elders in the party are not happy with the controversies generated over the choice of running mate, noting that the party must present a united front to upset the APC in 2023.