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Anti-Tinubu APC group, Lagos4Lagos, joins PDP in quest to dislodge godfather

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LAGOS4LAGOS, a political movement that seeks to ‘free’ Lagos State from the control of national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has decided to move to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The group, led by Lead Visioner Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran popularly known as Jandor, has been a part of the APC.

Hundreds of members of the movement agreed to defect to the PDP at a meeting with Chairman of PDP National Reconciliation Committee, a former Senate President Bukola Saraki, at the Liberty Place, Lagos4Lagos headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos, on December 4.

Addressing members of the movement at the meeting, Saraki said the PDP was finally set to take control of Lagos State.

The PDP has serially lost governorship elections in Lagos State since 1999.

“If we must win power in Lagos, we must open our door. If we organise ourselves and work together, there is no stopping us,” Saraki said, appealing to members of the movement to come on board.

Responding, Adediran said Lagos4Lagos was moving to the PDP because of a lack of level-playing field in the APC.

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“If the level playing ground is not available in APC, we are ready to move to PDP. That is why we are moving out with our large members because we have the numerical strength to deliver Lagos,” he said, adding that the group had realised that “without taking the executive power from the APC, we can’t change Lagos.”

After the decision to defect to the PDP was unanimously approved through a voice vote, Adediran announced that the official declaration of the defection would take place at an event on December 18.

Until now, Lagos4Lagos had been challenging Tinubu’s domination in Lagos politics from within the APC.

During the party’s state congresses in October, the group held a parallel congress where its members elected Sunday Ajayi as the APC Lagos State chairman.

However, the group’s congress was not recognised by the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni.

Earlier in July, Lagos4Lagos had joined forces with a former Secretary to the Lagos State Government (SSG) Aderenle Adeniran Ogunsanya to mobilise over 6000 APC members to challenge Tinubu’s political hegemony in the state.

The group and the former SSG called on the CECPC to probe and consequently dissolve the Lagos caretaker committee headed by Tunde Balogun, a Tinubu loyalist.

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* Lagos4Lagos leader to contest 2023 Lagos governorship election on PDP platform

While Lagos4Lagos was still part of the APC, Adediran had declared his intention to contest the 2023 governorship election in Lagos State, a development that means he intends to stop incumbent governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a Tinubu protege, from going for a second term in office.

Lagos4Lagos Lead Visioner Olajide Adediran aka Jandor

Having moved to the PDP, Adediran has already indicated his interest in the PDP ticket for the gubernatorial poll.

Responding to Saraki’s remarks at the December 4 meeting, Adediran said, “Rest assured that we are good for governorship. Our concern is that we want to believe the PDP is ready to win and give us the ticket.”

Saraki had, earlier in his remarks, appeared to promise Adediran the PDP ticket.

“Come May 2023, I will be with you for the swearing in as the governor of Lagos State,” he told the leader of the Lagos4Lagos movement.

* PDP extended formal invitation to Lagos4Lagos in November

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Lagos4Lagos’s defection to the PDP is coming barely one month after a high-powered delegation of the party led by Board of Trustees (BOT) member Raymond Dokpesi visited the group’s headquarters in early November.

A statement posted on Lagos4Lagos website said the visit was in continuation of the PDP’s consultation with critical stakeholders across the country following its recent national convention where a former Senate President Iyorchia Ayu was elected as national chairman.

According to the statement, the PDP delegation, during the visit, specifically urged Adediran to join its fold ahead of the 2023 gubernatorial election in Lagos.

Dokpesi reportedly acknowledged the years of hard work of the Lagos4lagos movement in Lagos State, noting that time had come for the desired change in the state.

Reacting to the invitation extended to him by the PDP, Adediran, according to the statement, told the delegation that political platform was not the problem of the country.

Rather, he identified ‘political class’ as the problem, and told the PDP delegation that his group would take a critical look at the invitation, inform all Lagos4Lagos structures across the 245 wards in the state and revert accordingly.

* Lagos4Lagos demanded Sanwo-Olu’s resignation over Lagos #EndSARS report

Following the release of the report of the Lagos State #EndSARS panel, Adediran had called for the resignation of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

He accused the governor of lying to Lagosians.

“The panel report has clearly indicted the governor as being culpable. The casualty figure and the government’s involvement in the invitation of the Army in the panel’s report have exposed the governor as a serial liar. The honourable thing for him to do is to resign and stop deceiving Lagosians who are constantly at the receiving end of his maladministration.”

* Who is Lagos4Lagos?

At the unveiling of the movement in November 2020, Adediran had made it clear that Tinubu should not be allowed to continue to decide what happened in Lagos State.

In apparent reference to Tinubu, who was governor of the state from 1999 to 2007, Adediran said, “Since 1999, we have only had one governor in Lagos. Every other person has been a tenant. This individual even decides who becomes an Oba in my village. Ours is a political movement that wants to change the course of things in the state. It is not about party. It is about making Lagos work for everybody.”

On its website, the group implored Lagosians to join it to actualise the dream of making Lagos a city working for all, and not just for a few privileged individuals.

“Our dream Lagos is one that works for EVERYONE in it, not just a privileged few. We are leading the way to bring this to reality. Join us,” an introductory message about the group said.

A further message addressed to Lagosians on the website said. “You must banish the thoughts that you can’t make a difference. Your support is the added weight required to bring our Lagos4Lagos project to life. Join our growing army of volunteers across all 57 LGAs and LCDAs in Lagos.”

Explaining what drove the group, Adediran, in another message posted on the website, said, “We are driven by our desire to flourish again and take pride in our Lagos. An end to individual pronouncements over the true intrinsic power of the people is our first major step towards making Lagos work for ALL in Lagos.”

The Lagos4Lagos website further described members of the group as “young, passionate and goal-driven individuals concerned about the socio-economic development of Lagos State with a clear vision to truly make Lagos work for those who live and work in Lagos.”

The Lagos4Lagos movement evolved from a non-governmental philanthropic organisation called Jandor Foundation focused on equipping indigent Lagosians with tools and support needed to fight poverty.

The group observed that the indigent in Lagos were currently in a pitiable state, having lost all hope due to lack of access to state resources which were concentrated in the hands of a few.

Another message posted on the website said that time had come to make the state’s resources available to every resident and not just a privileged handful.

The group has over 150,000 member and its operational structure is modeled after the political multi-level management model, according to information available on its website.

On the website, members of the public are urged to ‘donate to the cause.’

“Support the movement. Help us to build a better world,” a message seeking donations to Lagos4Lagos said.

The website provided a link for donations.

* APC reacts to Lagos4Lagos’s defection

The Lagos State chapter of the APC has quickly reacted to reports that the Lagos4Lagos movement was moving to the opposition PDP.

APC national leader Ahmed Bola Tinubu is believed to be the godfather of Lagos politics

Spokesman of the Lagos APC Seye Oladejo said the development confirmed suspicions that Adediran had all along been a mole planted in the APC.

“He (Adediran) has always been an opposition within the Lagos APC. He has always been regarded as a mole planted in our party. We knew he has been fraternising with the PDP,” he said.

Oladejo added that the Lagos4Lagos movement failed in its mission to destroy the Lagos APC.

“We are not losing any sleep at all with his defection.”

The Lagos APC spokesman questioned the sincerity of Adediran’s quest to change Lagos, saying, “His movement has also shown that it’s all about his ambition and not about doing well for the good people of Lagos State. He is blindfolded by ambition and clearly in a desperate mode.”

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