The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State is currently in a quandary over the selection of its candidate ahead of the October 31 Lagos East senatorial district election in the state.
This is as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to have settled for the outgoing Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank, Tokunbo Abiru, as its candidate for the vacant senatorial seat.
The position became vacant following the death of Senator Bayo Osinowo aka Pepperito who died on June 15. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently announced the schedule for by-elections affecting 12 constituencies across eight states in both federal and state legislative houses, including Lagos East and Kosofe state constituency II.
The vacancies across the federation were as a result of litigation and death of members. Ahead of the by-election, it was gathered that no fewer than six members of the party have signified interest to represent the party and they have all obtained the party’s nomination form.
Among those already signified interest for the party’s senatorial ticket is the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in 2019 election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi; the party’s candidate for the district in 2019 and daughter of the late Ayangburen of Ikorodu – Oba S.A.A Oyefusi, Princess Abiodun Oyefusi.
Others include the immediate past Vice President, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Yeye Adenike Shobajo; a trade unionist, Babatunde Olanrewaju; a legal practitioner, Aare Oladotun Hassan and Princess Saidat Fawora.
New Telegraph learnt that delegates and leadership of the party are currently divided on who will become the flag bearer of the party following the decision of some blocs within the party to support Gbadamosi who recently returned to the party ahead of Oyefusi who represented the party in the 2019 polls.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “The PDP has a better chance of winning Lagos East if we present BOG (Gbadamosi), but it appears some people within our party don’t want him. He is popular, has a deep pocket, and understands the issues, even the APC is scared of him. I hope we get it right resig this time.”
But a former member of the state executive in the state said the party should conduct free-and-fair primaries ahead of the election, asking: “Why are we always looking for short cut in our affairs?
Someone left the party to contest on another platform against our candidate, and he came back again and we are already putting him forward. Don’t we have other capable people within the party again?”
Meanwhile, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP has inaugurated a five-man screening committee for the Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe state assembly by-elections.
The committee has Hon. Tajudeen Ayo Yusuff as Chairman while Barr. Jacob Otokpa will serve as its Secretary. In the meantime, the APC may have settled for Abiru who announced his retirement from the service of Polaris Bank, effective August 31, 2020, having completed his second two year tenure at the helm of the bank.
Some of the aspirants within the party are said to have withdrawn their interest following the resignation of the former Commissioner for Finance who appears to have the backing of the party’s National Leader and former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Lanre Odesanya, a few days ago stepped down for Abiru.