The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday, 21st January, endorsed Dr. Abdul-Azeez Adediran aka ‘Jandor’ as an aspirant for the Lagos gubernatorial race in 2023.
Jandor, 44, is a journalist and the convener of the Lagos4Lagos Movement, an All Progressives Congress (APC) group which recently defected to the PDP.
Six PDP governors, led by the party’s National Chairman Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, alongside party stalwarts from across the country gave the endorsement during a rally at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Lagos Island.
Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom); Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Duoye Diri (Bayelsa).
They were joined by party chieftains, including former PDP Vice Presidential aspirant Dr. Peter Obi, ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki; former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Bode George and former Ondo Governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko.
Others were former Minister of integration and cooperation; Dr Abimbola Ogunkelu; Former PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje; PDP BOT member; Captain Tunji Shele, among thousands of the party’s supporters.
Ugwuanyi, who spoke on behalf of PDP Governors Forum Chairman and Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal, described Jandor as “a new strategic member”.
He added: “Jandor is not only important but he is strategic. Our presence in this meeting today is an endorsement of the fact that the PDP is the only democratic party in Nigeria and if we say that you are one of us, you are indeed one of us in truth and spirit, that is why all the governors left everything today to join the National Chairman to welcome this very, very important bridge builder.
” It is the bridge that will transit us from a geriatric government to an active government populated by youths.
” I, therefore, ask members of the PDP in Lagos State to give him maximum support and cooperation so that he will contribute his quota to the growth of the party.
“May I also ask that Jandor see his brothers and sisters – those already within the party – as part of his own family. So that together as we rescue Nigeria, we’ll rescue Lagos alongside.”
Ayu welcomed Jandor and his supporters to the party, adding that he was hopeful of victory at the polls.
He said: “I lived in Lagos for many years, I was happy. Today, I know you are not happy because you gave your life away to people who deceived you about change. Are you enjoying the change? How much is the value of rice?
“We thank you for coming over to the PDP. Go back and tell everybody that this time next year, we are coming back to celebrate a PDP governor.”
Wike, who spoke in pidgin, urged the people to support the aspirant for victory at the polls.
Jandor pledged to add value to the PDP, adding that he and his supporters would submit themselves to a “fair contest” within the party.
He said: “We have joined a party where we are ready to submit ourselves for a very fair contest. Today we have declared for the PDP and be rest assured that we are going to join the existing members of the party to win for the party, not for ourselves alone.
“And to all, we are here to add value, not to destroy the existing structure. We are here to be part of the big family and together we can take Lagos and return it to Lagos.”
A statement by Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, indicated that the governor, while addressing select journalists shortly after the event, said the event signalled the beginning of a new dawn for the PDP in Lagos State.
According to the governor, the South-West PDP is now ready to lead the charge to rescue the zone and the country from the hands of the APC, which promised too much but did so little to justify the trust Nigerians had in it.
Makinde said: “Today, I joined my brother-governors in the PDP and other well-meaning members of our great party to welcome Mr Jide Adediran of the Lagos4Lagos Movement to the PDP.
“Indeed, it is the dawn of a new era and our great party has shown through many ways that it is ready to rescue the South West and Nigeria from the bad governance of the APC. The South West, as I have always said, is strategic to Nigeria’s politics and we will definitely lead the charge to rescue Nigeria from the front.”
In his response shortly after being presented with the PDP membership card by the chairman of the party in Ojoo Local Government and the chairman of the Lagos State PDP Caretaker Committee, Julius Akinsola, Adediran said he and his followers were joining the PDP to add value to the party.
Adediran, who stated that he drew inspiration from Governor Makinde, who took on a task that seemed unachievable and came out victorious in the 2019 governorship election in Oyo State, noted that he and his followers would put their numerical strength to test in Lagos.