The Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Lagos State, Mr. Ganiu Taofeek, has said that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the December 5, Lagos East Senatorial Election, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru cannot give the people the dividends of democracy. In this telephone interview he granted OLADIPUPO AWOJOBI, Taofeek said Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi is a successful estate owner and businessman
How prepared is your party for the December 5 senatorial election in the Lagos East Senatorial District?
The Lagos State PDP is prepared for that election and we have always been prepared for any election in Lagos State. It has always been part of our strategy to plan ahead for any election. The peculiarity of election in Lagos State is such that so many elections are likely to go into rerun because the people that are presented by the ruling party are either ineligible or they have one reason or the other to be impeached or recalled. However, to be specific on Lagos East Senatorial District Election or Kosofe Constituency 2 election, we are even the first party and candidates that Lagosians will like. For the senatorial election, our candidate is Mr. Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, the APC has fielded somebody who is not familiar with elections, he was lucky to be a commissioner. During his tenure as a commissioner, the state got to the highest level of borrowing and the state became very indebted to local and foreign investors. And then we found ourselves where we are today. The party is fielding somebody who headed Skye Bank and the bank became bankrupt and it was taken over by the CBN and became Polaris Bank. He does not have that moral qualification to face Lagosians to say he can manage our interest with that office. Our own candidate, Mr. Gbadamosi is an investor and the owner of Amen Estate, which is one of the best estates in Nigeria today. He has been able to generate power, water and everything is uninterrupted, which is being enjoyed by occupants of the estate. You have confidence that he is someone that can represent your interest. I can tell you that the only people that can vote for the APC are the card carrying members of the party, no other person can vote for the party. If the government can allow a credible election, the PDP will win the election and if they do not allow the will of the people to prevail, we will use all means possible to reclaim the mandate. We are giving this warning to INEC to allow the will of the people to prevail. We will not fold our arms and allow the mandate of the people to be stolen.
What you are saying in essence is that Gbadamosi is a better candidate than Tokunbo Abiru
There is no doubt about it, Babatunde Gbadamosi is a better candidate than Mr. Tokunbo Abiru. If they are not getting anything right at the federal level, how can they do it here. The first time we had representation in the state was when we had eight members in the state House of Assembly. So, it would be a good thing for the state to have one of the senators in the opposition so that he can also push for those things that the state has not been having. So far, the state has not been able to push for the recognition of the 37 LCDAs in the state. Gbadamosi would be able to push those things for the state.
Do you think the PDP has the capacity to defeat the APC
There is always time for everything. The time is now for the APC to be voted out at any election; the people have come out to say that the APC must go. That was what happened in the recent protests that we had in the state. I can tell you that the acrimony within the APC leadership is also another reason they would lose this election. The ac- rimony in the APC will affect their fortune.
There are insinuations that Babatunde Gbadamosi does not have the support of the chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Deji Doherty and that his candidature was influenced by Chief Bode George, what is your reaction to that? Who said that?
There is no such insinuation. Everybody in the PDP is united to de-feat the APC at any election in the country now. There is no such insinuation, it is what you have couched. The state party chairman is 100% in support of our candidate. Chief Bode George is 100% in support of our candidate in Lagos. Every member of the PDP is in support of our candidate. Did you not see the mode of our primaries, we were all dancing at the event. Even the Lagos State Television (LTV 8), the state media that came to cover it was allowed. People were so happy, they were dancing. This was against the primaries conducted by the APC, where a lot of other persons interested in the office were stampeded into stepping down. At our primaries held in Somolu, Lagos, we were dancing. The men of the Nigeria Police Force that were there were so happy. They didn’t have cause to tell anybody to conduct themselves properly. Other aspirants were dancing, they were happy. It was a family event. If anybody says some people in the part did not support BOG, let them continue to believe that. When BOG is declared the winner of the election on the 5th of December or on the morning of 6th of December, 2020 that is when they will know that they had been having nightmare.
What is your charge to the voters, INEC and the security agencies For the INEC, they must live above board, they must allow a credible election.
For the voters, they will not have any reason to regret it or accuse anybody of not giving them what they want if they do the right thing. If they go and vote because of food items or for monetary reward, then they are selling their representation. For the security agencies, they should also live above board. They should allow free, fair and credible election. They should not compromise the system. They should have the boldness to arrest whoever commits any infraction that is not allowed.