By Dapo Akinrefon, Monsuru Olowoopejo & Gabriel Olawale
LAGOS— GOVERNORSHIP Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, yesterday, dismissed speculations that he had stepped down his ambition from contesting in Saturday’s elections.
Agbaje, in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, said: “I have not stepped down and I will not step down for anybody.
“Neither my party nor I have any arrangement with anybody to drop out of the race. And at this point in time, no Jupiter can even make such a suggestion to me. It is taboo. It is indecent. It will not happen. Such has not even crossed my mind.
“To step down for who? Stepping down will be an unfortunate betrayal of the hopes and dreams of millions of Lagosians who consider me as the only alternative to the impunity and corruption they have suffered in the hands of the Pharaoh who has selfishly cornered the state and its resources these past 20 years.
“The results of the last elections, despite its being cooked and falsified to favour APC, showed that Jimi Agbaje and PDP have a formidable standing and they are the preferred team to take over the leadership of the state.
“We are the glimmer of hope. We are the light at the end of the dark tunnel. And I will never be part of anything to betray our people’s trust and hope. So help me God.”
Southern, Middle Belt leaders back Agbaje
Meanwhile, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum comprising Afenifere, Ohanaeze, PANDEF and Middle Belt leaders, have thrown their weight behind the PDP candidate in Lagos State.
In a statement by Messrs Yinka Odumakin (Afenifere), Prof Chigozie Ogbu (Ohanaeze), Sen Bassey Henahaw (PANDEF) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt Forum), the leaders said: “We have looked at the build-up to Saturday governorship elections and it is clear there are two leading candidates.
Of the two one belongs to a political party that stands on the way of restructuring Nigeria and therefore cannot be in our consideration.
The other candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje of the PDP has for over 20 years been involved in the struggles to rearrange Nigeria as an Afenifere man and we have no reservations in encouraging our people to choose him as Governor of Lagos in the March 9 election.
Meanwhile, a coalition of political parties and civil society organisations, Free Lagos Orange Movement, FLOM, has urged Lagosians to use their Permanent Voters Card, PVCs to end the era of overbearing godfatherism in Lagos.
Addressing a press conference at the NUJ Press Centre in Lagos, a group led by Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin and Comrade Mark Adebayo, said that March 9 presents the best opportunity to liberate Lagosians from the iron grip and oppressive regime of Bourdillon that has held the state down for 20 years.
They encouraged Lagosians to be vigilant so as not to be shortchanged.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Mr. Adebayo said: “Information at our disposal shows that Tinubu has given all the APC party members in the council and the state executive council a marching order to ensure that his candidate, Ba