Fashola Can’t Tell me to step down Come 2023 ____Jandor
Olajide Adediran is the Lead Visioner of Lagos based socio-political group known as #TEAMJANDOR, he his also an aspirant for the 2023 Governorship election in Lagos, In this interview, with August24news.com Publisher, AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM, he speaks on his ambition and how he intends to actualise it.
You are aspiring to be the next governor of Lagos State in 2023; on which political platform do you want to actualize the dream and what happens if the party declines to give you its ticket?
I am of the All Progressives Congress (#APC) but my belief is that for #2023, there is still going to be a political realignment in Nigeria and if you ask anyone who wants to contest for any position in the next general election, including those who want to be President, you will find out that no one is sure of a platform yet. So, the most important thing for us, which is already playing out is to create a floodlight movement.
Yes, we are of the #APC but the main opposition party in Lagos State; the Peoples Democratic Party (#PDP), is already saying ‘we know they won’t give you the ticket, so why not joins us.’ May be, they have not seen the kind of thing that we are doing in their own party, but we have told them to take it easy. Even if we want go to anywhere, we are not going to go cap in hand. We want to ensure that we go with our own strength.
These developments, notwithstanding, we are creating a movement that will not allow our party to ignore us when it comes to its governorship ticket.
One of the factors that stand us out is that the division where I am from, #Badagry Division, has not produced a governor for Lagos since the creation of the state.
Badagry is a division of 10 local governments but the only thing we got in the present cabinet is the position of a special adviser to the governor; in a cabinet of 45.
That will tell you that it is a battle to rescue ourselves and we are not joking about it. That makes it look like there is a deliberate policy by those ruling us in Lagos to relegate two of the three traditional divisions of the state – Badagry and Epe – to the background.
And if you ask about what we are bring to the table; I will tell you that we are bringing age to the table. I will be 43 by next week and if you look at Lagos, the last time we had a governor that performed absolutely well, he was in my age bracket when he assumed office.
For you to govern a state like Lagos, you must be mentally and physically fit. Some will say that I am inexperienced because I have not held any political position before, but I will tell you that by the virtue of my profession and the fact that I have spent over two decades in the corridors of power, I understand Lagos better than a majority of those they put in offices and I can say this anywhere.
How far have you gone with consultation of major political stakeholders in the state over your ambition and what was their response?
There is only one man, who decides on who gets what in today’s Lagos; we don’t need a soothsayer to reveal that to us. But as far as consultation is concerned, he is the only person I have not met and I don’t have the intention to consult him.
Do you think that your ambition will fly if you refuse to consult him?
Yes of course. I will be the #Governor of Lagos come 2023 and he will be alive to witness it. I will tell you this; I have the choice of becoming a governor of the people or one, who will require a second level of approval before he can do anything.
I want you to have it in mind that no dynasty reigns forever and this time is the end of the Lagos political dynasty. Everything that happened in the state in the past, God allowed them to happen, but we have come to a terminal point.
How prepared are you to challenge an incumbent, who is likely to seek for reelection in 2023 and a political godfather, who has a deep pocket?
The Governor himself is not losing sleep over what we are doing because he doesn’t have control over whether he gets a second term or not. As far as he is concerned, what we are doing is not his business. He is not the one having sleepless nights; we know who is having sleepless nights. But that is not what this movement is all about; we are aware that we are going to run against an incumbent governor, who has been there since 1999. You talked about financial muscle, but this is one of the things they have been using to scare us for a very long time.
They will ask: ‘Do you have the money; they will kill you.’
But let me say this to you; if you stockpile a whole house with money and we say we are ready for 2023, if it is not ordained, it won’t come to pass. We want to change the narrative because every time, they bring people who never envisaged to be governor and by the time the person is going on campaigns, if he gets to one spot in Ojo, he has been to the whole of Ojo; if he gets to one point in Alimosho, he has been to the whole of Alimosho.
How would you want to govern Lagos and you don’t know the state like the back of your palm? So, we are not just looking for the governorship position; we know what to do with it by the time we get it.
How was Babatunde Fashola able to perform, when he was governor of the state? He was Chief of Staff for six years and we know what happened when he assumed office as Governor in 2007.
The first thing he did was to embark on a tour of all the local government areas in the state devoid of the usual fanfare. It was strictly an intellectual trip aimed at meeting with the people to know what their problems are. Like I said earlier, we have learnt from people who understand the problems of Lagos and we are ready to put the knowledge to use.
There are insinuations that you are being used by the camp of ex-Governor Raji Fashola to fight the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. How would you respond to that?
Sincerely, I approached him in 2016 to tell him about this project, so it is not the other way round. When I approached him, he even thought that it was about 2019 because he said that then Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would like to go for a second term, but I told him that it was a 2023 project that I was starting at that time. I further said to him that what I informed him about was for his information and that if he wants to back it up with action, it was his choice.
I wasn’t saying that I do not need his support or that I can do it alone out of disrespect but because I made him to understand that I will not listen to him when tomorrow comes and they call and tell him that Jide is his boy, so he should tell me to go and sit down.
So, it is really unfortunate and I don’t envy him because there is no way he will tell people that he is not part of this and they will believe him if our relationship is anything to go by.
I also don’t believe that people will believe me if I say the same thing but there is nothing I can do about it and there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. Today, I can tell you for free that his one naira has not been put down for this project.
What are your plans concerning the primary election, which is purely a party affair?
We understand this game. Do you think I will be stupid to believe that if our party remains the way it is today, #Asiwaju Tinubu is going to give me the governorship #ticket?
He can give you everything but not the governorship ticket. When I say every other, I mean every other thing but not the governorship ticket and that is why whoever emerges as governor of Lagos State will not be the peoples’ governor.
We understand what is playing out in the APC today, so anything can still happen tomorrow.
So, it would be so silly of us to cave in at this point because of the belief that it won’t happen. However, we wouldn’t need a soothsayer to tell us to pack and go when the picture becomes clear that they will not give us the ticket. We are not sleeping on anything and that is why you see us doing what we are doing as if the election is tomorrow.
We won’t stop what we are doing at the moment; we will continue to sensitize and mobilize the people, so that even if it is ‘Zero Party’ that is available in 2023, we will see what we will be able to do with it. We won’t accept defeat on what is going to play out in the next two years. There is still a lot to do on this journey but I must tell you that it is a game for us to lose.
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You are all bless sir/ma.