By Gideon Njoku
The chances of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, ever being in power in Lagos continues to wane every day. Aside from losing a number of its officers and other members to the ruling party in the state, the APC, its two top chieftains, Chief Bode George and Jimi Agbaje are at each other’s throat, thus exposing the under-belly of the party.
George was the Party’s former National Deputy Chairman, and Agbaje, its governorship candidate.
Agbaje was George’s political godson. But no longer. He is, rather, better, derisively, known as the Party’s perennial, failed, governorship candidate in Lagos.
Each failure to win the governorship seat, gradually, tore at the strings that hold the party together. But none has devastated the party more than the 2019 election loss. Since then, nothing has been the same.
A number of stakeholders blame Agbaje for the loss. They say people have become tired of seeing his face every four years. They say they are weary of seeing his posters for the same post every four years. They ask if there are no other persons in the party. And they say he becomes a serious party man only when it is time for governorship election.
It came to a head a couple of weeks ago when it was alleged that Agbaje had defected to the APC. The news went viral on the social media. A thoroughly embarrassed Agbaje angrily denied the report in very strong terms. He did not only do that, but went further to say that the fake report emanated from Bode George.
The allegation against George was made through Agbaje’s media aide, Felix Oboagwina. “There is nothing like that, nothing like that at all. He has not defected. He is too big for that; he is in PDP.
“People should please tell Bode George to shut up and leave PDP if he has no 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 spread around”, said Oboagwina.
But George did not take the accusation lightly. Firing back through his media adviser, Prince Uthman Shodipe, he denied being the source of the report on Agbaje’s defection, and accused Agbaje of biting the finger that fed him. He said, ” 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 Bode George.
” For the record, it is public knowledge that Chief Bode George gave Agbaje his break in politics; he gave him the PDP platform without knowing him. It is sad and shameful that Agbaje has bitten the fingers that fed him.
“Whether he had 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”
George has a supporter in the Lagos PDP Chairman, Dr. Dominic Adegbola, who not only defended him, but blamed Agbaje for the party’s continous loss in Lagos. He said Agbaje was not a candidate for victory, and was imposed on the party from outside.
His words, “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 the election that he was not prepared to win, and the people of Lagos has deserted him.”
Condemning Agbaje’s allegation against George, the Chairman said: ” I am shocked to read such statement from Agbaje, but not very surprised because we are not expecting much from him”