One time Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, has said that a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, cannot emerge as the Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party because he (Obanikoro) is too controversial.
Ogunlewe who spoke on Sunday, therefore, urged delegates to vote for the person that could deliver Lagos to the PDP.
Ogunlewe, who is supporting one of the party’s governorship aspirants, Jimi Agbaje, ahead of today’s (Monday) primary, said Obanikoro was too controversial and the people of Lagos would only vote for someone with a clear track record.
“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.
“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,” Ogunlewe said.
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.”