The Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been embroiled in fresh crisis.
The crisis triggered by a recent news that went viral on social media alleging that the governorship candidate of the party in the March 9,2019 gubernatorial election in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje has dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Agbaje in denying the rumours blamed the leader of the party in the state, Mr. Bode George for being behind it. He said the rumours were part of plots by George to frustrat him out of the party ahead of 2023 elections. Agbaje who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Felix Oboagwina said Agbaje has no plans to dump the party.
He said, “People should please tell Bode George to shut up and leave PDP if he lacks any value to add to the party, instead of being a dog in the manger hampering the progress of the party in Lagos State.
“He should tell the world where he got the news being spreading round.
“These party leaders have 2023 in mind. The game-plan is simple: Give the dog a bad name and chase it away from the party. By 2023, this mudslinging will have scared off credible people from the party, which will leave the whole field to them to continue to operate.
“I am too big to sneak out of one party into another one. And the reality remains that I have not left PDP for any other party, least of all APC.”
Responding to the accusations, George said Agbaje is ungrateful. In a statement issued by his special adviser, Prince Uthman Shodipe, the party leader accused the governorship candidate of not being a party man despite flying the party’s flag at the last election.
“We have read with disgust an absolute report of idiocy that emanated from one Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who was a failed gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in last general elections in Lagos State, against the leader of the party in the state, Chief Olabode George.
“For the record, it is a public knowledge that Chief Bode George gave Agbaje his break in politics; he gave him the PDP platform without knowing him and also empowered him. It is sad and shameful that Agbaje has bitten the hand that fed him.
“Whether he has gone to APC or wherever, it is none of our business. We don’t know where he concocted this malady about Bode George saying that he has gone to APC.
“Bode George lifted him up in 2015 without knowing him; he secured the party’s ticket but his heart is not with the PDP. Bode George is a man of dignity and repute, he is a father of figure for the PDP not only in Lagos and South-West, but also across the nation” the statement said.
On his part while defending George, the state chairman of the party, Mr. Dominic Adegbola said the party lost the governorship election in the state on the account of the imposition of Agbaje on the party, adding that members of the party in the state did not want him.
He said,“During the governorship primary, many of the party leaders didn’t want Jimi Agbaje because he only appeared at the party every four years, but with the interference from outside the state, he eventually emerged as the party candidate.”
“But I can sense it from Agbaje’s attitude before, during and after election that he was not prepared to win and the people of Lagos had deserted him.
“He is an unwillingly candidate, uninterested in winning, he did not carry any leader along and did not campaign, he only held town hall meetings which were not well attended. Even when we drew up campaign programmes, he refused to run with it.”