The race for the Lagos State 2015 gubernatorial seat between the two major contending parties ACN/APC and PDP is no doubt going to be a very interesting and exhaustive one to watch. This is on account of the many facts, ploys, plans and calculations being daily adopted by the principal players, and by extension, the parties, even as this is not peculiar to Lagos state alone.
In the Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, one name that has suddenly sprung up, according to an inside source, is the pharmacist-turned politician, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, whose ambition to rule Lagos state can be described as rather strategic.
Information at the disposal of this magazine has it that if things go well by the principal architects of the latest move, then the former Democratic Peoples Alliance, (DPA), governorship candidate in the 2007 guber polls, Jimi Agbaje may move to the PDP nest to possibly be their 2015 governorship candidate.
Still banking on our impeccable source, we gathered that it is being feared in some caucuses within the Lagos PDP that the former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana and the party’s guber candidate in the 2007 gubernatorial election, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro is still nursing the same ambition, with all verve, come 2015, and that from all indications, he is daily garnering massive support; and indirectly clearing the way for himself to be the strongest candidate out of the lot that have shown interest. Thus, the calculation by these pundits is that if Obanikoro’s ambition is allowed to be going on unfettered, he may end up pocketing the entire party and have a field day during the primaries.
This was why the Jimi Agbaje kite was flown to checkmate Senator Obanikoro’s fledgling excesses and seeming incursions.
The Jimi Agaje’s purported defection, we gathered, is being spear-headed by a formidable and respected party leader in the state, Chief Olabode George, who sold the idea overtly or covertly, of fielding Jimi Agbaje in the 2015 guber polls. The reason of Bode George and his co-horts is allegedly based on the premise of Jimi Agbaje’s never unwavering ambition to rule Lagos State, just like Obanikoro; thus they are artfully capitalizing on this; but their first condition to file behind him is for Jimi Agbaje to cross-over to PDP for him to pick the Lagos PDP ticket during the primaries. It is also being touted in some quarters that Jimi Agbaje may not have any serious challenge financially during electioneering because of his wide network of deep-pockets friends, and more importantly the status of his brother, Segun Agbaje, who is the current MD of GTBank Plc, and who interestingly has subtly lent his support to his brother’s long-time ambition. With all these indices and many yet to be unraveled, Jimi Agbaje, though may not appear already baited by the Olabode George wagon for the defection, but being very wary of Obanikoro’s strong ambition and hunger for the same ticket, gave a proviso that for him to join the party, he must be assured of the party’s guber ticket come 2015.
As if it was a masterplan to get Jimi Agbaje into their fold at all cost, a clandenstine meeting to have Agbaje join the party at all costs, was convened among the party leaders involved.
At the meeting, called at the insistence of Agbaje’s condition, the president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was said to have dangled another carrot for Jimi Agbaje. The president gave as an addendum to his guarantee for the party’s guber ticket, there will be a slot for him (Agbaje) of a ministerial post, with the specific portfolio of Minister of State for Petroleum in the imminent cabinet reshuffle. An inside source said with this bonus of a kind, Agbaje was left with no choice but to play along in the defection mission, as he may soon be shifting base from DPA to PDP to probably achieve his aim, and to ensure a stiff opposition to Obanikoro’s gathering followership, which the Bode George group are scheming to stall, hence their romance with Jimi Agbaje.
With all these permutations, the entire political terrain awaits a very interesting battle of wits and superiority in the Lagos PDP guber contest at the primaries, but those who know the terrain well say Jimi Agbaje can never be a threat to Koro’s ambition. The waiting game has started.