The Lagos state gubernatorial election will clearly be a straight battle between Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressive Party (APC). Although according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) there are 13 other contestants fielded by various other political parties, even the blind can see that the contest for the Oval House Alausa Ikeja is a two horse race. A seasoned pharmacist with interest in other business areas, The PDP flag bearer Jimi Agbaje is a descendant of the Lasuwon royal family house of Ikorodu. He ran for governor in 2007 under the Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) after losing out in the election of the defunct ACN to incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola. He came third in that election behind Musiliu Obanikoro who was the PDP candidate at the time. The APC candidate Akinwumi Ambode hails from the Epe axis of Lagos. A graduate of Accounting from the University of Lagos, he is an experienced civil servant as he has worked in almost all the Local Governments of Lagos serving as accountant and auditor at different times. Ambode ended his 27-year career stint in the Lagos state civil service after serving as the Accountant General of Lagos State.
The battle for the soul of Lagos will be fierce in this election unlike in 2011 where PDP failed woefully. The PDP apart from polling a paltry 300,450 votes against the defunct ACN’s 1,507,113 votes which saw them loosing the governorship election, also lost out in all the 40 seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly, 20 federal constituencies and three senatorial district seats. Surprisingly, few months after its woeful outing, precisely on 21st October 2011, the PDP put up an impressive performance in the Lagos State LGA election held across the state, winning some councillorship seats and putting up a good showing in five LGAs of Badagary, Ojo, Ajeromi- Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin and the Ikoyi/Obalende LGDA. Consequently, PDP believes 2015 is its year in Lagos.
The state publicity secretary of the APC, Mr Joe Igbokwe alongside other APC state leaders have however continued to reiterate that there is no threat to the APC’s hold on power, and they have at different interviews attempted to give reasons for their claim. Even though the odds favour the APC, the party is not leaving anything to chance as it has began its campaign in earnest across the state, and has picked its deputy governorship candidate- Mrs Aderanti Adebule from Ojo LGA, an annex of the old Badagary district in Lagos West, a strategic move aimed at placating the people of that axis thereby garnering as much votes as possible in the area which is known to be a PDP stronghold. The two issues of religion and zoning that would have posed a threat to any of the parties have been dealt with as the both political parties did not only produce Christian candidates but also ensured their candidates emerged from areas whose natives have never occupied the office of governor in the state.
As the campaigns go on, the stage is being prepared by the INEC, the electorates in Lagos with bated breath and the rest of the world anticipates the outcome of the all important Lagos gubernatorial election. Opinions are divided on who will carry the day.
Will it be APC or PDP?
Time Shall Tell!