After conceding defeat to AkinwunmiAmbode of the All Progressives Congress in the Lagos state governorship poll and announcing that he would not contest for the governorship again, observers are worried if Jimi Agbaje’s political career has come to an end. OKUNADE ADEKUNLE reports
The governorship election in Lagos state has been won and lost in the poll that was keenly contested by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is interesting to note that in the battle the two major candidates, Mr. AkinwunmiAmbode of the APC and Jimi Agbaje of the PDP emerged their party’s standard-bearer in a controversial party primaries that was influenced by the godfathers.
Another thing that is off interest to political analysts is how the two of them would be able to manage their winning and loss after the electioneering, which according to analysts may in one hand aid the political development of the state and also promote a formidable opposition platform ahead of 2019 governorship election in the state.
It is clear that the political system of Lagos for its success in the next four years would be majorly determined by the way and manner the opposition party in the state, PDP, is able to put the ruling APC on its toes on public policy and how it affects the general populace, however, making the PDP a rebranded platform of alternative for promotion of social welfare of the electorates.
In achieving this, it was clear that the PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, would have a lot to do in terms of rebranding the party and positioning it as a robust alternative in 2019. It will be important to state that Agbaje, who lost to Ambode with a margin of 152,206 deferential votes, remains a political figure in the PDP who may become the rallying point for the party’s membership who still believe in the party and have a clear understanding of the importance and necessity to reposition the party ahead of 2019.
As it is believed in some quarters that Agbaje’s political career has not gone down the drain as his ability to galvanize such considerable votes of 659,788 in the last governorship election shows that he has the political strength to keep himself relevant in the politics of the state, and to become a force to reckon with when it comes to taking important decisions in the PDP. His show of strength at the poll to some analysts was a fact of his goodwill and public acceptance by the electorates based on his personality traits and political history which has placed him ahead of other leaders of the PDP in the state.
Speaking with Hallmark, the former Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, (Ikeja Branch), Mr. OnyekachiUbani, described Agbaje as a good man and honest politician who is full of integrity and love for the Lagos people. He added that Agbaje would need to remain focused and never give up in the politics of the state, adding that he should learn from Gen MuhammaduBuhari (retd) who contested
elections four times before winning as President of Nigeria.
Ubani stated that Agbaje should not see the last 2015 governorship election as the end of his political career, stressing that he has contributions to make to the development of the state in many capacities.
“My view is that he is a good man and honest politician. He is full of integrity and love for Lagosians. I want him to remain focused, he should not give up and learn from the life of Buhari who contested for four times before winning the Presidential election”, said Ubani.
“He has not come to the end of his political career. I believe he has contributions to make to the development of Lagos in many capacities.
He is just a good man in Nigeria politics as he called on his supporters to calm down after the declaration of result”, said Ubani.
Also, the Convener of Activists for Good Governance (AGG), Comrade DeclainIhkehaire, stated “I would have predicted a brighter future if not that he has made the statement of not contesting anymore. With that statement, he has shot the door by himself”, said Ihkehaire.
“The Agbaje that I know is a simple and principled man who is still much needed in the Lagos politics”, said Ihkehaire. Speaking on rebranding the PDP by Agbaje ahead of 2019 general elections, Ihkehaire stated that PDP is not relevant in Lagos if not for the anti-people policies of Governor Fashola.
He stressed “I believe the governor-elect would correct all the draconian policies of Fashola this time around in order to keep the party in power beyond 2019”.
Lagosians from the look of things are looking for a situation whereby the PDP governorship candidate takes charge of the Lagos PDP affairs and reposition it towards becoming an alternative for the ruling party in 2019 general elections.