The immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has rejected the result of the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary in which Jimi Agbaje was declared the winner.
He also berated the state leader of the party, Bode George and a former Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, for allegedly manipulating the Monday exercise.
The election was characterised by controversy as the number of votes cast exceeded the number of delegates who actually participated in the primary.
Obanikoro, while addressing a press conference minutes after the event was concluded, said his defeat was orchestrated by George.
He said it was unfortunate that George, who was the leader, could advance another aspirant’s campaign through religious sentiments.
He said the Chairman of the Governorship Primary Committee, Senator Sheidu Komu, was with George moments before the primary and therefore, questioned the conduct of the exercise.
“The entire primary was a sham. I still cannot comprehend how accredited delegates of 806 will turn out to be 868. To be honest with you, with the benefit of hindsight, you can tell that the outcome was predetermined.
“The path of fraudulent electoral success is condemnable and we intend to fight this. There is an opportunity to appeal and I hope the party will do the right thing. Bode George has been the major problem as far as this party is concerned and there is no doubt in my mind that he supervised this electoral malpractice.
“How do you explain the panel chairman arriving in Lagos by 10am and not starting the election until about 5pm? There are so many things that you can look at, like the pronouncements made by Bode George, Ogunlewe and others. One of the reasons why this party has failed in Lagos is because it is being led by the likes of Bode George and Ogunlewe.
“In 2006 during the primary, Bode George manipulated the same way to produce Hilda (widow of the slain governorship aspirant, Funsho Williams) as the winner until common sense prevailed. We submitted ourselves to a process that we thought would be free and fair but unfortunately, they decided to play religious politics and manipulation of electoral process, particularly on the election day.”
“Bode George brought thugs to come and harass and intimidate delegates at the primary. I was not even at the primary when the violence started but it was Bode George’s people. One of them even stabbed a nephew of mine during the selection of delegates. This is known to the police. One of them was arrested at the Mainland. He shot at people. They perpetrate violence and then run to his house for cover,” Obanikoro said.
He said the PDP could lose at the governorship polls next year if the proper thing was not done.
However, George while responding to Obanikoro’s allegations at another press conference, described the former minister as a “rude boy” who lacked respect for elders.
George said Obanikoro was known by all to be violent and maintained that the people of Lagos could not vote for him, having lost in 2007.
He denied manipulating the primary, adding that he was not a member of the committee. He, however, said the PDP would win Lagos next year and nobody could hold the party to ransom.
He said, “I don’t want to lose my anger but I hate it when people don’t have respect for elders, no respect for others and think that they alone have the right to be there.
“The day he lobbied to be minister, he brought Adebayo Alao-Akala to my office to prostrate and beg me because they did election here in my compound and he was not selected. He had just one vote.
“Humility and civility are the tenets of growth. How can he say the election was a fight between him and myself? This was a boy that was born in 1960. If I did not go to school, I would have had him as my son. He has the nerves to say he is fighting me.
“I brought him (Obanikoro). He joined the party here. If he has many types of apparels, he will never have as many rags as us. That experience is inborn. The Bible and Quran say respect your parents so that your days may be long.”