The Former State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Lagos State has said that at the moment he is only interested in glorifying God for sparing his life, while also putting his all into helping the People’s Democratic Party progress politically.
Engr Doherty made this known in an interview held at his Oregun office, as plans are in top gear for his 60th birthday.
He threw some light on some issues affecting the party in the state and his future political ambition as the 2023 General election is fast approaching.
Engr Doherty said, “you would all recall that I joined the PDP in March of 1999 and I was quite young and energetic, politics was just a passion that caught my attention.”
He said “Having travelled extensively to various developed nations and having seen the situation with our people in Lagos State, I believed I could contribute my quota to the development of the state by joining a well organised progressive National Party and not a Regional Party.”
He reiterated that “PDP at that time was the only National Party and I decided to work with Late Funsho Williams.”
Doherty said “I eventually decided to contest for Governor in 2007.”
“I also continued my aspirations to contest as a Governor in 2015 and 2019.”
“I however, lost the primaries on both occasions, and decided to work with who ever emerged as the candidate of the party.”
Doherty said that it was during these periods of working for the Gubernatorial candidates that made him develop an interest in restructuring the party at the grassroot level, with a bid to getting the party prepared to secure its votes at the polling units.
Engr Doherty said “With this in mind, I got involved in contesting for the seat as State Chairman of the party in 2019 which I won, after serving the party as a Zonal Financial Secretary, Zonal Organising Secretary and Zonal Acting Vice Chairman of the party.”
When asked about his experiences during these periods, Engr Doherty said “all I can say is that, I give all glory to God for Sparing my life till date, I believe we did everything in the interest of the party.”
“I can only pray that God will touch the hearts of my political opponents and enemies, especially those that continue to lie and try to tarnish my image regularly.”
Doherty said, “It is my strong belief that I and my entire executive committee served the party well and delivered fairly well.”
“We did all in our capacity in keeping a financially weak party afloat through those tough times.”
He stated that a notable example is the issue of the party Secretariat, where himself and his Executive Committee were able to save the Party from paying almost N50million in rent owed over about a 12 year period.
He noted that all legal documents to this effect have been officially submitted to the office of the New National Legal Adviser.
He seized the opportunity to thank all those that supported him and his team physically spiritually and financially during those tough times.
He made special reference to the Covid 19 palliative period and his medical rescue Initiative, which saw to the payment of medical bills of some party members who had critical illnesses.
When asked about the present state of the party and his views about the influx of new members into the party.
He said that, during his administration as State Chairman, he had worked very hard to bring the party back into the limelight in the state.
This he said was very evident in the successfull conduct of a free and fair primaries during the East Senatorial Election and the Local Government Council Elections and finally for the first time in PDP Lagos State, aspirants into the State Executive Committee were seen to be campaigning all over the State and showing/selling themselves to the members of the party, seeking their votes to be successfully elected into the seat of their choice.
This he said was a situation that had never happened in the history of the party.
He reiterated that, the three elections showed that the Lagos State PDP is a party to belong if someone truly wants to run for any office without having to be close to any leader or caucus, this strategy is the only strategy that can help mobilise members into the party, especially when you are not in power.
He pointed out that, he believes this is why a lot of politicians in Lagos have decided to cross into our party.
He further said the continued influx of new members into the party is very encouraging and it is hoped that more new entrants will come in as the Election year is fast approaching.
When asked if he would want to run again as a Governor, Engr Doherty said “as a businessman and an industrialist I have served my state and party diligently for about 23 years and I believe i have played my part as a good member of the party and as such it is time to take the back seat politically.”
He further said “At present, i would rather concentrate on my personal businesses and my family.”
“I would however be willing to work with the party if called upon at anytime.”
He said, at 60, age is no more on my side, there is the dire need to encourage younger people to aspire into these offices.
Engr Doherty said, “People in my age bracket are at the moment seeking to be Presidents in their various countries.”
He seized the opportunity to plead that peace be allowed to reign among members of the party.
He further advised all and sundry to shun the era of politics with bitterness, while endeavouring to show love and respect for one another.
Engr Doherty finally pleaded with the elders of the party to allow the youths take control of their destiny, saying he is not happy seeing a whole generation being alienated in the creation of a policy direction for the party in the state.