In a deft response to checkmate the moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to pick a Christian as its governorship candidate from the Lagos East senatorial district for the 2015 elections, the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might also be looking at the same direction by having its candidate from the same district.
A source in the party leadership, who spoke with THISDAY yesterday, said the step had become imperative in the jostling to win the hearts of the people and possibly win the governorship election in the state in 2015.
The source, who requested for anonymity because “the issue is a very sensitive one,” said there were contending interests in the party as to who and where the PDP would pick its governorship candidate for the crucial election and that beyond other factors, the strategy employed by the party would count so much towards a successful outing.
“Without the right strategy to properly checkmate the ruling party in Lagos, we may have to contend with bigger problem than before and the entire aspiration in shambles. So, we have to be deft in our calculations to upstage the APC and win the election but our choice of candidates not only the governorship but at all the other levels of election are also critical,” he declared.
He said at a recent meeting of the stakeholders of the party in the state, the issue was broached with contending voices asking the leadership to be careful in taking decision on how the governorship candidate would emerge, noting in particular the reasonable contention of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to have a Christian succeed Governor Babatunde Fashola.
Again, while the preponderance of the gubernatorial hopefuls in the party are Muslims and from the Lagos Central senatorial district, some forces in the party who were at the meeting pointed out that for equity and strategic response to the APC, which is reportedly considering its candidate from the Lagos East senatorial district, PDP should as a matter of expediency think along that line by picking the party’s candidate from the same zone to checkmate the ruling party.”
Though no decision has been taken on the matter, according to the source, but would be reconsidered at a meeting slated to hold somewhere in Ikoyi next week.
“Our leader told everybody at the meeting that 2015 will be different and that it stand would be further tabled at a full house next week, so we should believe that reason rather than the usual jostle for the ticket will prevail,” the source added.
The source who claimed that there were justifiable reasons for the PDP to consider a governorship candidate from the Lagos East pointed out that since its inception, the party’s candidates had always come from Lagos Central senatorial district, which he said, was not in the best interest of the party.
“Look, the 2015 election in the state is a very important one for our party. It is a make or mar election if you can understand my point. So our leaders must do everything possible to ensure that the ruling party is not allowed to have its way as usual but this will also have so much to do with our strategy, reading the minds of APC leaders and checkmating their strategies.
“The valid position of CAN and all interested parties, the various communities and traditional institutions must be courted as well as general mobilisation to let them know that the PDP is out to protect their basic interests this time around.
“If you have followed our choice of candidates since 1999, you will also discover that all our governorship candidates have come from the Lagos Central, except Dapo Sarumi, who came from Agege, and the late Funso Wiliams, both from Lagos West. This also applies to the major appointments and elective positions. If you look further, you will also want to believe that part of the reasons why our foundation state chairman, Olorunfunmi Basorun (Lagos East), former state Deputy Chairman, Tunde Salau (Lagos East) and former Vice-Chairman, Lagos East, Lanre Rasak, left the party for the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) then was because their governorship aspirations were dashed in preference for others from Lagos Central. So for equity and sense of belonging, some of us who are stakeholders would want to prevail on the leadership to let us have a change of mind this time. It is politically strategic and in line with the on-going reconciliation,” he stated.