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Lagos 2015: Jimi Agbaje as game changer?

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BY DAPO AKINREFON
The 2015 general elections are fast gaining momentum.

In Lagos State, the frontline political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are ready to slug it out at next year’s governorship election.

The two parties are relentless as they aim to outwit each other at the polls.

In the PDP, the frontline aspirants have thrown their hats in the ring to clinch the party’s ticket when the primary is conducted.

Though neither the PDP nor the APC has unveiled its flag bearer, tongues have been wagging to know who emerges as the parties’ candidates.

One aspirant, whose declaration is giving the APC sleepless nights is Mr Jimi Agbaje.

Agbaje’s return to the political scene in Lagos ahead of 2015 is a strong statement from the PDP, a development which is much likely to change the dynamics of the election.

Seven years after, Agbaje is back, and this time with a mission to accomplish.

Jimi Agbaje
Jimi Agbaje

For several months, there have been speculations that he was gearing up to stage a return in the race to become Lagos governor, on the platform of the PDP.

If the permutations are anything to go by, Agbaje’s eventual emergence as the PDP gubernatorial candidate will set the stage for what is likely going to be a two-horse race between the APC and the PDP, for who will become the next governor of the state.

For Agbaje, the structure on which he contested the 2007 election has been collapsed into the PDP, which pundits propound puts him at an edge over other aspirants.

A chieftain of the PDP in Lagos, Mr Olufemi Williams, said the party stands a great chance of winning the governorship election if it fields Agbaje as candidate.

Williams said an Agbaje candidacy would boost the PDP’s chances at the polls.

He said: “The PDP in Lagos is united. There is no question about that. All the leaders and members have seen the need to work together and win the governorship election which has remained elusive since 1999. In-fighting cannot get us anywhere and that is what APC has been capitalising on.”

The PDP chieftain explained that having united all the factions, the  next important thing is to look for a sellable candidate that enjoys popularity among Lagosians and match any candidate fielded by APC action for action.

“Jimi Agbaje is the best man for the job. He is not a member of the party but we can convince him to join us because he has no party for now. Let us not deceive ourselves. I believe Agbaje is the man with the needed requisite to win Lagos for us.

“He is still as popular as he was seven years ago when vied for the governorship slot and we all know he could have won if our election had been free and fair,” Williams said.

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