Battleground shifts to Lagos as 16 political parties contest governorship race



Uba Group

No fewer than 16 political parties, including the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party are contesting the 2023 governorship election in Lagos State come this Saturday. The political parties are All Progressives Congress, Allied Peoples Movement, All Peoples Party, Accord Party, Action Alliance, African Action Congress, African Democratic Congress and Action Democratic Party.

Others include Boot Party, Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party, National Resistance Movement, Peoples Democratic Party, Social Democratic Party, Young Progressives Party and Zenith Labour Party. While only four out of the 16 political parties have members and secretariats spread across the 20 local government areas and 37 LCDAs in the state, the same cannot be said of the remaining political parties which are with no known members and secretariats.

As displayed at the INEC Lagos office, Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat are candidates of the ruling APC for the March 11, 2023 polls. In 2019, Sanwo-Olu defeated incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to emerge as the governor candidate of the APC and went ahead to win the coveted seat also on the platform of the APC. Alongside his deputy, he is running for a second term in office.

A former leader of the Lagos4Lagos Movement in the APC, Adediran Azeez Olajide, popularly known as Jandor, is running alongside Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele also known as Jenifa as the candidate of the main opposition party, the PDP in Lagos State. Having defied all entreaties, Jandor singlehandedly picked Jenifa from the Ikorodu constituency as his deputy governorship candidate for the Lagos governorship race.

The choice of Funke as the Lagos PDP deputy governorship candidate was vehemently opposed by a large number of PDP members of the party, including a former South West Chairman and chieftain of the PDP in Lagos state, Olabode George, who preferred Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to the actress.

Consequent to his failure to clinch the party’s deputy governorship ticket, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour dumped the PDP for the LP where he emerged as the party’s governorship candidate in the primary election held in August 2022.

Rhodes-Vivour defeated a former chieftain and chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Conscience Forum, Moshood Salvador, to clinch the LP ticket. Salvador also left the APC for the LP following unresolved contentious issues with the party leadership in the state.

Described by many as a serial contestant, Rhodes-Vivour contested the chairmanship election in Ikeja Local Government under the KOWA party in 2007 but lost. In 2019, under the PDP, he contested the Lagos West senatorial election but lost to the candidate of the APC, Adeola Olalekan (Yayi).

Now a member of the Labour Party, Rhodes-Vivour and his deputy, Oyefusi Abiodun Adetola are the candidates of the LP in the 2023 governorship polls. Founded by a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore in 2019, a left-wing political party, the African Action Congress, has Olayiwola Akeem Olaide and Eze Benneth Segun as governorship and deputy governorship candidates respectively for the 2023 Lagos governorship race.


Similarly, the SDP has Uthman Olakunle Taofeek as its candidate while Animashaun Morenike Abeni is his running mate. For the YPP, Ajayi Wasiu Adebayo and Shodeke Temitayo are the governorship and deputy governorship candidates while the ZLP is fielding Adenipebi Mode Adekunle and Kassim Moses Adekoyejo as candidates.

Other governorship and deputy governorship candidates include Dickson Hakeem Olaogun and Mate Caroline Emimie for the Accord Party, Balogun Tope AbdulRazaq and Salako Oluwatosin Mautin for AA, Doherty Olufunsho Adeshina and Giwa-Amu Rosemary for ADC, Bamidele Ishola and Adewusi Omobola Tawakalit for ADP, Kupoliyi Funmilayo. A and Adepojo O. Timothy for APM, Adeyemi Abiola Roseline and Adeyemi Opeyemi for APP, Oluwo Olawale Wasiu and Balogun Rotimi for BP, Jim-Kamal Olanrewaju Olalekan and Abiola Faosa Okoya for NNPP and Braithwaithe Akinwunmi Ishola, and Dabiri-Adewunmi Azeezat Oluwatoyin for NRM.

However, the Labour Party governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission of colluding with the ruling APC against his party while flaying the alleged irregularities observed during the presidential and National Assembly elections held last Saturday in the state. He said, “INEC has been colluding with the ruling party in Lagos State and it is really disgraceful.

The moment transmission of results did not happen from the polling units, (I knew) the elections had been compromised.” He disclosed that the elections were marred with irregularities orchestrated by the electoral body.

“In Surulere, we won there, INEC is saying that our candidate was on the ballot. All sorts of irregularities are going on with INEC right now and it is extremely shocking but we are not going to accept these results. We have all our original polling unit results.”

He also disclosed that the elections were marred with violence, victimization of LP members and voters by the ruling party in the state. The governorship candidate said some of the members of the party are currently hiding while some were attacked during the elections. He, however, appreciated efforts of the Nigerian Army for stepping in.

“There have been a lot of threats to our members at the polling units, collation centres. Even the Eti-Osa Chairman is in hiding now because of the threat. In Ojo, they came in with thugs to chase our people out of the collation centre.

People have been taken to custody. “They wanted to carry on with the manipulation to reduce our numbers. That was the end game that they had. Thankfully, the army was able to respond and came in there for our people to go back in.


The army stepped in and in Alimosho as well.” He said the threats were all across Lagos State but supporters of the party and good governance were resolute. Rhodes said, “Despite all of these, the people came out in huge numbers. He further described the level of security put in place by the Nigeria Police Force as unprofessional.

“A lot of situations, the police would just leave and ‘area boys’ would just come and scatter the place. “The security apparatus of these elections needs a lot of work. They need to sit up,” he said. Meanwhile, committed to peaceful co-existence through the spirit of unity, a joint leadership of the Lagos State Leaders of Thought led by Yoruba Council Worldwide and Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos, have called for calm and understanding with the non-indigenous citizens, especially the Igbo extraction and supporters to support and re-elect Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for a second term in office.

Addressing journalists in Ikeja, President, Yoruba Council Worldwide/Secretary General, Nigeria Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council, Aare Oba Oladotun Hassan, on behalf of the group said the call for support for Sanwo-Olu’s re-election was hinged on his landmark achievements and sustainability of peace, unity and development of Lagos and by extension the Yoruba land.

Reading from a statement, Hassan said “Careful observation shows the incendiary plot and intrigues by the fake elements of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by its SecretaryGeneral, one Okechukwu Isiguzoro, who has been unveiled through a news platform where he hides under the camouflage of ethnicity in inciting the public to vote out Governor Sanwo-Olu in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.

“By this, he has no doubt crossed the red line of the law in gross violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while exposing his nefarious conspicuous agenda to incite ethnic violence, precipitating our demands to the Inspector General of Police and DSS to fish out this culprit and prosecute this disgruntled terrorist led IPOB hiding under the most respected indigenous Igbo group: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Council. “Isiguzoro affirmed in his seditious material that the socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has vowed to hold the Governor, Oba Akiolu of Lagos and Mr. Musiliu Ayinde Akinssnya (MC Oluomo), responsible for the attacks on Igbo in the state, especially following the victory of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in Lagos State as alleged by him, while he was even calling for self-defense in any of such subsequent attacks while emphasizing that self-defense is a universal law, the attempt that equal to a subtly beating of the drum of war where there is no war and by building a mountain in a molehill in futility.

“Sequel to that intemperate outburst and incendiary statements, he had conspicuously established his nefarious mindset at fanning the ember of ethnic tension, violence, disharmony, and anger among the peace-loving and good people of Lagos, even irrespective of their ethnic nationalities and diverse political affiliations and persuasions,” the statement further noted.

Alluding to Hassan’s statement, the President Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos State chapter, High Chief Sunday Osai, said the need to address the public through the media became obvious following the inciting statements by Isiguzoro, which he said was very wrong and capable of imploding the society, turning a united people against themselves.

He averred that Isiguzoro acted on behalf of the national Ohanaeze and not the Lagos State chapter. “Even if he was acting on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo national, he should have consulted with Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos State chapter to get on-the-spot information on what happened in Lagos during the presidential election.

“He didn’t do this, instead, he went on air to express his agenda, which we, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos deemed very wrong. Therefore, as the president of Lagos State Ohanaeze, I represent the mouthpiece of Ndigbo in the state, I hereby debunk the statement that Ndigbo asked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to resign.

The statement is unofficial and does not represent the position of Lagos Ohanaeze Ndigbo and by extension the national Ohanaeze Ndigbo. “Governor Sanwo-Olu is a friendly governor not just to Ndigbo but to all ethnic nationalities in the state.

A very cordial relationship has existed between Governor Sanwo-Olu and Ndigbo. If Ndigbo is rooting for anyone to become the governor of Lagos State that person is Sanwo-Olu. He represents everything Ndigbo needs to prosper. This can be attested to the businessfriendly policies of his administration.”

Admitting there were pockets of crises in the state, the leaders of thought commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his swift response with an immediate directive to the security agencies in the state that peace be maintained and properties be well protected. According to Osai, “Yes there were pockets of crises in some parts of the state, especially in Ijedodo, where some of our people were ill-treated and properties vandalised.

I visited the place and had an audience with the Eze Igbo of Ijedodo, Eze Nwokedi, and we went round for on-the-spot assessment. “Visiting the scene was helpful, as it not only provided me with what transpired but how the Eze Igbo Ijedodo and the Baale of the Ijedodo had pronto our visit to find a solution to the cause of the crisis,” he added.

The Lagos Ohanaeze leader further said that the consolidation of Governor SanwoOlu rests solely on the law enforcement agents that also spontaneously rise to the challenge of arresting and taming the ugly situation. “I want to use this opportunity to reassure Governor Sanwo-Olu that come March 11, Ndigbo in Lagos will vote for you and it will be a resounding victory. We will mobilise Ndigbo to massively cast them for you.”

Also present at the press conference was Mike Kelechi Ekeocha, Vice President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos and Chairman of the seven town union, who said there was no iota of truth in the news being circulated in the media. “Ndigbo is not at war with anybody.

Politics is a game of interest and number. People vote based on their choice. I want to enjoin all the security agencies in Lagos to ensure that not only the Igbo are protected but also other tribes and ethnic nationalities.”