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Lagos: Why Jandor seeks to overturn Sanwo-Olu’s victory at election petition tribunal

Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (a.k.a. Jandor), PDP Governorship Candidate in Lagos State

*Analysts believe that the outcome of the petition by Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (Jandor), PDP governorship candidate, at the Lagos Governorship Election Tribunal, challenging the state guber election results will ‘make or mar’ the ruling APC administration in the cosmopolitan state in Nigeria

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Following the March 18, 2023, governorship election in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) petition before the Lagos Governorship Election Tribunal, challenging the outcome of the state guber election results, is unsettling the high echelon of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s camp.

Sources disclosed Governor Sanwo-Olu and his men, who are of the All Progressives Congress (APC), are aware of the groundswell of allegations of corruption surrounding the March 18 gubernatorial election in the state.

They are afraid that if these allegations prove to be true, might upset the apple cart at the elections tribunal in Lagos.

Besides, Mr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship candidate, popularly known as Jandor, has presented a very strong case at the tribunal with weighty evidence that will likely upturn the election result, said the source.

It was learnt the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos State is calling for the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress and the Labour Party candidates in the election for “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022, as well as the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023 dated April 7, for instance, the petitioners said APC did not comply with the INEC timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 General Elections, which stipulated that all political parties must give 21 days’ notice to INEC before the conduct of their primary elections.

Whereas INEC is the first respondent in the petition, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, his Deputy Governorship Candidate; APC; Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, LP governorship candidate, and the LP respectively are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th respondents.

Besides the allegation of non-compliance with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Adediran also alleged that at the time of the governorship election, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat and Rhodes-Vivour were not qualified to contest the election.

The PDP candidate, therefore, asked that all votes cast for them in the gubernatorial election be declared wasted.

According to the petition, the APC also failed to comply with the requirement of the Electoral Act 2022, which states that every political party sponsoring a candidate in the General Elections shall submit the nomination forms of such candidate(s) not later than 180 days before the conduct of the General Elections in forms EC9.

Adediran and the PDP added that Sanwo-Olu failed to attach a copy of the GCE O’Level results he claimed to have sat for in 1981 along with his form EC9, as required by the Electoral Act 2022 among other allegations.

Some lawyers, who reportedly looked at the breakdown of the petition gave Jandor kudos for doing a thorough job capable of disqualifying both Sanwo-Olu and Labour Party candidate at the tribunal.

Analysts believe that Jandor did a yeoman’s job, and with experienced lawyers, Sanwo-Olu may just be on his way out of the Lagos State Government House, if the case is properly decided.

It is recalled that

Adediran came third in the election with 62,449 votes, behind the duo of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party.

Sanwo-Olu scored 762,134 votes to edge out the LP candidate, who got 312,329 votes.

Rhodes-Vivour had since rejected the outcome of the election and vowed to challenge it in court.

Ahead if the governorship election, Jandor was said to have expressed confidence in winning, irrespective of the antics of the ruling party or enemies within his party.

He had declared that no candidate, including incumbent Governor Sanwo-Olu, had ever worked like he had done in the electioneering, going to meet people in various communities across the 245 wards in the state.

Bolstered by this and the reception he was getting from fans, he took the offensive.

Addressing news reporters sometime at his campaign office in Ikeja, Lagos State capital, 45-year-old Adediran said he was in the guber race to win and bring in a breath of fresh air in Lagos State.

“We know they (APC) have been collecting Permanent Voter Cards, PVC, from the electorate to manipulate the polls’ result.

“But we are assuring them they will meet their waterloo this time.

“They (APC) do not have the monopoly of madness.

“Machinery has been put in place to check for any fraudulent moves. We will protect our votes from polling to collation centres,” stated he.

The governorship candidate also noted: “This election is to send the ruling APC packing. “Remain steadfast, and calm down because the battle is of the Lord. We will win this election.”

Adediran urged his fans not to succumb to their threats, and intimidation.

He said: “We will protect our votes. Our votes will count this time, come out en-masse to exercise your rights.”

However, the weeks leading to the election came with much turbulence for Jandor with allegations of rape, stepping down for other candidates, his campaign Director-General leaving him for LP, as well as perceived backstabbing by trusted members of his party.

Jandor believed that the campaign of calumny and machinations were orchestrated by members of the opposing party who saw his rising profile and wants to pull him down by all means.

The candidate told the media in one of his briefings, that “we are all aware of the whirlwind in the polity towards this governorship polls in Lagos as a result of activities of some godfathers in PDP and APC who are bent on subverting the wishes of the majority.

“It is about the candidate that has been everywhere to see things for himself. It is about time that we elected a governor that is not tied to the apron of any godfather.”

Adediran further noted: “We are here stating that all the rumours that are out there purportedly being sold by some people in some quarters is nothing but false.

“Lagos PDP is not in alliance with any political party. As the candidate of the party, I have not stepped down for anybody, we are not stepping down for anybody, and we are not going to step down for anybody.”

He also clarified “there has not been any formal meeting between Lagos PDP and any political party as such to say that we are on a round-table discussing alliance.

“The leaders have been beating the drums of war for the last few weeks with provocative statements, harassment, and propaganda. But am sure all these will soon subside.”

The PDP flag bearer said: “God has exposed them as they are beating the drums of war.

“Because I resisted the move by a godfather in PDP to pick Rhodes-Vivour as my deputy, they lured him (Rhodes Vivour) to Labour Party to confront us and stop our dream but this will definitely fail. We are resolute in attaining victory.

“We have worked hard for it in the last 10 years. The new wave of LP will not stop us.”

Report indicates one of those that Jandor accused of sabotaging him was Chief Bode George, a former PDP Deputy National Chairman, South, and a few other members of the party in the state, who had a few days before the election endorsed Rhodes-Vivour on the basis of his capacity.

Jandor accused these PDP elders of leaving him for “crumbs”.

However, Chief George told the media, that Jandor breached an agreement on running-mate selection.

The party’s chieftain said Adediran flouted the agreement to make Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour his running mate, instead of Funke Akindele.

According George, Adediran’s decision to pick Akindele, the Nollywood actress, as running mate forced Rhodes-Vivour to join the Labour Party as its standard bearer for the Lagos governorship election.

He explained: “After their presentation here in my office, we saw that these were the best two we have (Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and Adediran), and we asked him (Adediran) pointedly here, would you work with this man as your deputy, and he said, ‘yes sir.’

“Having paid for the price of the form, for us to have a seamless primary, would you take him to be your running mate, he answered ‘yes sir’.

Chief George also related “after that, he came to me to say his mentor, Denrele Ogunsanya, asked him to choose a deputy from Ikorodu, a woman.

“I told him why didn’t he tell me at the time. I’m saying this now for history because that was what transpired.

“I have heard rumours that I am the one sponsoring Gbadebo.”

It is noted that Jandor, however, weathered storm, bearing the burden without shaking.

The PDP candidate stressed that he ran the governorship campaign without any support from the party.

Adediran said: “We went into this election against all odds, and even against some of our leaders within the PDP.

“Some respected leaders, supposedly, in the party had to leave us for crumbs.

“I didn’t get a single money from the party at the state or national level after February 25 presidential and National Assembly Elections.”

He further explained: “We stayed behind to see this to the last.

“Even when some left the party to form a false alliance, we stood our ground to see this to fruition.

“I want to commend the people of Lagos, all loyal PDP leaders who stayed to see that the election came to a logical conclusion.

Analysts also believe that Jandor, who hails from the Ojo/Badagry Division of Lagos State, is a better alternative to replacing Sanwo-Olu, who many see as “a lackey, lily livered and non-performer”.

Besides, Adediran’s division in the state is seen to have been marginalised over the years by the APC government in Lagos.

The governorship candidate promised to work for its development, to erase years of neglect by successive administrations in Lagos.

During his familiarisation tour, he had urged the artisans and people living with disabilities to vote for PDP candidates at all levels in the state, stressing that the ruling party and their candidates had failed ‘Lagosians’.

Barnabas Abiodun Raji, the leader of the People Living with Disabilities, and Kola Alatise, Chairman of Coalition of Artisans in Badagry, pledged the support of their members for the gubernatorial bid of Jandor and his running mate, Olufunke Akindele.

Also, Jandor in recent interactive session with the league of Pastors in Igbede/Iyana axis of Ojo Council of Lagos State said that the state needed a breath of fresh air that would make it work for all and sundry.

According to him, the Badagry Division, where Ojo LGA is also located, has suffered long neglect, hence the need to support him as an indigene of Ojo LGA, to change the story of the division for the better.

Promising free and compulsory education, security and massive infrastructural development, Adediran said that he would ensure that the wealth of the state worked for the residents, especially the masses.

While in the palace of the Royal Majesty, Elekunpa of Ekunpa Kingdom, Oba Abu Kazeem Kosoko in Ojo Council, Jandor promised never to let the traditional institutions down.

He told the Oba that he would run a government of the masses that everyone would be proud of.

His running mate, Funso Akindele, also helped to enhance the saleability of Jandor to the people especially the women. Akindele said that their administration would give women opportunities and ensure total inclusiveness.

Akindele said that Jandor would implement 35 percent affirmative action for women if elected.

Also speaking during a visit to a coalition of artisans and physically challenged people in the Agamadeh part of Badagry, Jandor promised to set up a ministry for the physically challenged in the state and it would be headed by one of them.

He stated: “I want to appeal to all of us that this election is about giving Lagos a breath of fresh air.

“It is about time we did something else in the state.”

Analysts yet believe that the outcome of Jandor’s case at the election tribunal will be a make or mar for the APC government in the state.

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