Abdulazeez Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, is the arrow head and moving spirit behind Lagos4Lagos a popular political pressure group within the All Progressives Congress in Lagos until recently when the group defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
In this interview with Mayowa Samuel, Jandor speaks on how the group was influenced to join the PDP by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was also a former Governor of Kwara State and business mogul, Raymond Dokpesi. Apart from saying that his ambition is to become the next governor of Lagos State, he narrated what has been going on in the Lagos chapter of the APC that led to the group’s defection.
You are the leader of Lagos4Lagos Movement. You and your group have verbally defected to the PDP which will be formalised very soon. How was Senator Bukola Saraki able to convince your group to defect to the PDP?
You know we’ve been fighting an internal battle with the APC and it appears that the party was not ready to change from its old ways. If you were part of our processes, you would have noticed that we had our congresses at the wards, local governments and state levels. All these congresses, according to them, were supposed to be by consensus. But then as an individual, I don’t know how you’ll do a consensus without bringing together all the tendencies in the party to arrive at a point where it would be beyond doubt that yes, we have all agreed So, the long and short of it is that we were excluded, just like many other groups anyway. However, in the process, we were able to get our own funds and we conducted our own parallel congresses across the board.
At one point, Abuja sent a committee to come and review the whole thing. We went there and told them our grievances but surprisingly and unfortunately, I should say, it yielded no results whatsoever. We were asked to wait, so we were waiting and hoping they will right all these wrongs before their national convention. Unfortunately, we noticed that even for the national convention, it appeared that the party was not ready to listen. We have looked at their politics, their politics is so local and if you look at APC in Lagos State, they are fast losing it. As for us, time is of essence. So, for us therefore, the most important thing is for us to move on and take our structure and join forces with a party that has equally got structure on the ground so that we can wrestle this power from them. After all, that was what they did in 2014 that brought them to power at the national level.
Until we take over that executive power, we won’t be able to put an end to all this madness that they are doing in terms of governance, so that’s what informed our defection. But it will interest you to know that before Senator Saraki came, a highly respected group had come first. That first group was led by a BOT member of PDP, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi. From there, we got invited to speak with our people and from there; we started working on other things. Saraki came at a point where we felt it was time to move on and begin a new lease of life in our new abode. So, that’s it.
The Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Senai Agunbiade, asked The Point recently, what reputation the person that came to convince your group to join the PDP has in his own state. Are you certain that the PDP will satisfy the interests of your group which the APC, according to you, failed to do?
Well, I’m not interested in joing issues with him. I am not going to do that. He wants me to join issues with him because it is absolutely unnecessary. You should have asked the Majority Leader of the Lagos House of Assembly, what he meant by that statement. As for me he should have been more specific because I don’t know if what he read in the papers or listened to on radio or watched on television was that we joined the family of Saraki. You know people talk without contextualizing their talk. Did we join the family of Saraki or did we join the Peoples Democratic Party?
And if he wants to speak on the person of Saraki, permit me to ask him, how is his own leader better than Saraki? So if he is saying that Saraki’s house is not in order, are we not speaking about Lagos now? Can he say in all honesty that Lagos APC in order? Is he talking about another APC in Lagos or the one that we all know? Weren’t we part of Lagos APC before crossing over? So, there are no points in joining issues with these people because of course, what do you expect them to do?
They will continue to foolishly put up a defence for what is not but that is not what we are doing. Our main focus now is that we have found a new abode where we are now and we now have a new family, so let everyone hold on to their own family. I find their headache in our joining PDP funny. Whether we are joining somebody or not, seriously speaking, shouldn’t be their headache. It shouldn’t be their concern. Why are they concerned about us? Didn’t they say we are inconsequential? Why are they worried about our movement? Why is it giving them sleepless nights? That’s where I have a problem. Why is everybody commenting and reacting to what is not important? To me, that’s just a pointer to the fact that they are jittery and we can’t help them, unfortunately.
Since 1999, the PDP hasn’t been able to upstage the APC in Lagos. With your defection to the PDP, what do you and your group intends to do differently to ensure that it is a different case come 2023?
Let me say this that since 1999 that you spoke about, in an off-election season, have you seen a group of people in the name of movement defect to PDP? It has always been the other way round. So the fact that people are leaving the ruling party to the opposing party during an off season, speaks volumes and that’s to tell you that things will shift in 2023.
As the leader of the Lagos4Lagos Movement, what exactly is your aspiration in 2023?
I’m running to be the governor of Lagos State. It’s been there from day one, we are not changing. We are not like them that wouldn’t have aspirations. No, we have, we are not waiting for someone to tell us what to do and what not to do.