January 29, 2023

Alleged political attacks: I’ll not be intimidated, Jandor vows


Sends S.O.S to Buhari, IGP
.Vows to continue campaign across wards
.We ‘ll not condone violence- Sanwo-Olu

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State, Dr Olajide Adediran, popularly called “Jandor” has expressed concern over alleged series of attacks on his team by suspected ruling All Progressives Congress, APC hoodlums during campaign tours in various parts of Lagos, saying he would not be intimidated despite the acts.

Jandor, however, called on President Muhamnadu Buhari and Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Akali Baba to live up to expectations and ensure a crisis-free campaign in the state.

He made the remarks at a world press conference over the continued attacks on the campaign team, yesterday, held in Alausa, Ikeja, and Lagos.

Jandor, however, vowed to continue with his ward-to-ward campaign ahead of the 2023 general elections without succumbing to any form of intimidation, threat and harassment, saying that Lagos must experience a breath of fresh air in 2023.

The conference was attended by the party chieftains, led by chairman, Phillip Aivodje. Others included market women who were victims of recent attacks, carried out by thugs.

Jandor, who made the call against the backdrop of a series of attacks on his campaign train and his deputy, Ms Funke Akindele, in recent times, since he flagged off his ward to ward campaign in October last year, however, commended the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, for doing his best to arrest the ugly situation.

This was just as he said it was about time the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, allow residents to make their choice in a democratic manner.

“He (Sanwo-Olu) should allow residents to decide who they want to rule them in the forthcoming governorship poll.

“On my part I will continue to do everything within the confined of law to do our campaign.

“It is about time the sitting governor allows the people of Lagos to have their choice of who they want as their governor in a democratic manner.

“I want to commend the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, he has been there to do what he can do arrest the ugly situation on ground.

“But we cannot but to call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police to live up to expectation and their responsibilities to let us do our campaigns in Lagos without any form of attacks,” he pleaded.

Speaking on the series of attacks that had been unleased so far on his campaign train across the state, Jandor, accused the ruling party of not allowing PDP to have any visibility as it was denied use of billboards, access to public places, among others that made him to embark on ward to ward campaign.

He recalled that the first attack against his campaign team was in Badagry on October 23, the second day of his campaign to the area, saying it was followed by another one that took place in Agege, and followed by similar incident in Kosofe, where his deputy, Akindele was attacked and prevented from entering the fruit market by thugs, loyal to APC.

Others were also allegedly, prevented from gaining access to their shops as at the time of filling this report.

The PDP governorship candidate, who spoke on recent attack in Surulere area of the state, dissociated self from the crisis, against allegation by APC, saying that the ruling party was only trying “to turn things around to favour them.

“The next thing was in Surulere, the first day was okay for us.

“The second day I was in the mosque to pray, and as I stepped out of the mosque and I heard the attackers, they were asking where is Jandor, where is Jandor? They hijacked our vehicles and damaged them. The ruling party was only turning things around,” he said.

Jandor said 2023 was beyond him, but between the people of Lagos and the status quo, declaring that it was about time for residents to break the monopoly and elect with their Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, a governor who is not answerable to the beck and calls of a godfather.

On the the governorship debate which was scheduled to hold on Sunday, boycotted by Governor Sanwo-Olu, Jandor said he was not surprised, saying: “What is your expectation of a governor who said he would not be seeking a re-election if he was not able to fix traffic gridlock in the state and a governor who met poverty rate at 4.2per cent but it’s now 8.5per cent?

Jandor said the excuse the governor gave which had to do with attacks and safety was not tenable as, according to him, it was him that was attacked and not the governor.

According to Jandor, “This speaks volume of Governor Sanwo-Olu as Chief Security Officer of the state as he cannot guarantee his own safety,”

He declared that he was prepared to feature at the debate which he said had been shifted for about four times in the past by Sanwo-Olu.

“It just worries me that the Chief Security Officer of a state is saying he is not safe, I am safe and I will go everywhere in Lagos.

“The debate wasn’t put together for me or Sanwo-Olu, it is for people of Lagos State. I will go, he has given me role of big brother to play. I will go because I want people of Lagos to listen to me and know what I want to offer. This 2023, they wouldn’t come again,” he added.

Also speaking, PDP Chairman in the state, Aivodji, condemned the incessant attacks on PDP members, saying similar incidents were happening in villages and hamlets across the state, stressing that PDP would not be intimidated.

He said the moment Jandor started his ward to ward campaign, the APC became jittery.

Lagos govt reacts

However, in an earlier statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, spoke on the Surulere attack and the reason why Governor Sanwo-Olu’s boycott of the debate.

Will never condone violence

The statement by Omotoso read in part: “The Lagos State Government has noted the flood of comments sparked by the shocking video of a group of thugs shooting in broad daylight in Surulere.

“Security agencies are investigating the video, which has gone viral on the social media. We believe they will fish out and prosecute the evil actors, who are believed to be henchmen of the opposition PDP.

“We condemn this savagery that has portrayed our state, the safest in Nigeria, in a bad light. That is not who we are; we are civilized and cultured.

“Following advice from competent sources, including elders and respectable Lagosians, we will henceforth shun any forum that may require us being together with PDP and its agents of violence.

“Consequently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu regrets to announce that he will not be participating at The Platform Governorship Debate of January 29, 2023.

“The Governor holds Pastor Poju Oyemade and the Covenant Christian Church family in high esteem and cherishes future opportunities to engage the congregation and render accounts of his stewardship to them as integral parts of the Lagos electorate.

“We will never be found in the company of those to whom the lives of innocent Lagosians mean nothing. Mr. Sanwo-Olu won’t share a podium with them.”