Lagos4Lagos movement battles insurrection ahead 2023
Cracks in the Lagos4Lagos Movement that led to sacking of its chairman, Prince Sunday Ajayi over allegation of compromising his position to act as a mole to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) came to many as a surprise.
Before the allegation, the movement was believed to have cult-like bonding, with the sole aim of challenging the political hegemony of the National Leader of the APC and presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and present the next governor of the state.
After its failed attempt to reach an understanding with the party structure in Lagos, the movement defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with the hope of winning the governorship ticket and face the APC candidate in 2023 general elections.
While members of Lagos4Lagos thought they had taken a right political decision by decamping to the PDP, news filtered in that the chairman of the movement allegedly collected N100m from Tinubu to divulge all the strategies of the movement to the ruling party.
The embattled chairman was also alleged to have been working against the unity of members with the aim of weakening the Movement on its plan to produce the next governor of the state.
Lagos PDP gubernatorial aspirant and convener of the Lagos4Lagos Movement, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor did not only express his disappointment over how Ajayi allegedly stabbed the Movement in the back, bnut set up a panel to investigate the misconduct.
In approving the recommendation of the Apex body of the Movement to sack Ajayi, Jandor said the Movement would not spare anyone that wants to drag the integrity of the group into disrepute.
A member of the movement, who pleaded anonymity said: “The Movement gave Ajayi a long rope but he was too blind to see it and turn a new leaf, until he was eventually spotted and confronted with facts on how he has been hatching plans to return thousands of the group members to APC, of course it is not pro bono. But he was eventually found out.
“The APC wants to infiltrate the Movement and the former chairman appears to be their willing tool. Apart from the alleged inducement claim, which is said to be in hard currency, the erstwhile chairman was also alleged to have been holding secret meetings with emissaries of the APC and had commenced a mission to cajole members of the Movement to return to the APC.”
However, Jandor said he is unruffled by the development, as he has prepared himself to expect anything.
He said, “This is not the first attempt by the ruling APC and I don’t expect it will be the last. We are well prepared for possible uncanny events such as this, we won’t be distracted from our focus, we will keep on till we achieve our goal of rescuing Lagos from their stranglehold come 2023.”
Jandor said he was left with no choice than to approve the recommendation of the Apex body of the Movement to boot Ajayi out as chairman.
Many are of the opinion that Jandor’s defection from the ruling party has resulted into a beehive of positive activities within the PDP, signifying that the clouds are gathering in favour of the opposition party, as they set to oust the APC in Lagos come 2023.
Sources also said one of the plots to ensure that Jandor does not appear on the ballot paper for the state governorship election next year is the infiltration of his top team.
The Director of Communications and Strategy of the Movement, Seun Soyinka, insisted that Ajayi remained “sacked”.
Soyinka said, “He is sacked because of the gift and many other things. He had been holding meetings with APC and rallying our members for APC. He can’t claim he did not collect any money.”
When reminded that Ajani denied collecting N100 million, Soyinka replied, “He won’t accept collecting money. Do you expect him to confirm or show you the bank details? In politics, do they transfer money for such a purpose?
“But why is he doing everything that he has been doing despite all the entreaties. Elders of the Movement had visited him. He just stopped coming to work and we are wondering what happened to him. He didn’t have any conversation with our leaders. He just started to call people and told them that they are going to APC.”
In his response, Ajayi has threatened to sue Jandor for accusing him of collecting N100 million from Tinubu.
In a statement, Ajayi said, “My attention has been drawn to a malicious statement by Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (Jandor), claiming that I collected N100 million.
“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have dignified a man whose life has been shrouded in controversy with an answer, but for the benefit of the general public and undiscerning members of the Movement.
“For the records, I, Hon. Prince Sunday Ajayi, withdrew from the activities of Lagos4Lagos because of the questionable character and draconian lifestyle of Jandor. For someone to accuse me of collecting money from a man I have not spoken to or interacted with in the last three years shows the level of lies they peddle.
“I am indeed, grateful that I saw this coming, as I was warned severally that Jandor usually fights anyone, who would oppose his style and actions.
“I dare Jandor to show proof of receipt of such a transaction, failure upon which I will have no choice but to institute legal action against him.
“For clarity, Jandor’s latest action is borne out of the frustration he has met in his fruitless quest to get a PDP ticket that was already placed out of his reach from the word go.
“It’s better for him to come out clean on how his leadership stylehas led 70 per cent of the movement to leave Lagos4Lagos. Lagos PDP should be careful of him if they intend to get any credibility.”
Meanwhile Lagos State APC has described the return of Ajayi to the party as a welcome development.
The acting publicity secretary of the party, Yesiro Karamo said the returnee was misled by the misguided propaganda of the Lagos4Lagos movement.
He said, “If Sunday Ajayi, their chairman could return home, we are positive others will follow suit in the days ahead.”
A Chieftain of the PDP, Adetokunbo Pearse has said that Jandor is the most qualified stalwart of the PDP running for governor this time, while urging party delegates to support him.
He said Jandor’s candidature as PDP flag bearer will attract multiple sources of funding due to his capacity to raise funds within and outside the party, noting that the day he (Jandor) officially declared his membership of the party attested to his capacity.
He said, “It is noteworthy that while Jandor is able to generate funding from multiple sources, all other aspirants most likely have access to only one, which is the funding from the party at the national level.
Unfortunately, we all know that often when candidates find that one source from the PDP National is insufficient to finance their election, they put the token amount towards the election and pocket the rest.”
Pearse added that the defection of Jandor and his Lagos4Lagos group to the PDP has brought many new members to the fold, while others in the ruling party in the state are considering defecting to the PDP.
“Come 2023, we envisage thousands of registered APC members voting in solidarity with Lagos4Lagos in rebellion against the unpopular APC administration. With this development, PDP will accumulate enough numbers to win not only the governorship but also all other positions.
“A perennial problem experienced by the PDP is the absence of local security operatives, popularly known as ‘strong boys.’ Jandor’s candidature will further enhance our capacity to defend our votes on Election Day.
“Having toiled for over 20 years in the political wilderness created for us by Tinubu, you and I owe it to ourselves and to posterity to rescue Lagos from APC’s stronghold and misrule.”