Lagos 2023: Chances of APC, PDP senatorial aspirants ahead of primaries

By Seye Olumide (Southwest Bureau Chief)

· Politics

 

As the 2023 senatorial elections are fast approaching, the contest for the three senatorial seats in Lagos State is between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Other political parties will participate as usual for the sake of it. So far, they have not made significant impact in sensitising the populace regarding their intentions.

Since 1999 PDP has only produced senators from Lagos West and Central, when Senators Adeseye Ogunlewe (West) won the platform of PDP and Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro (Central) won under the Alliance for Democracy (AD). Obanikoro had to leave for PDP when himself and former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, disagreed before the 2003 elections.

 

In the 2003 elections Ogunlewe and Obanikoro lost to candidates of then Action Congress (AC) and thereafter, PDP couldn’t win any senatorial seat in Lagos.

 In the 2020 Lagos East by-election, which was conducted to replace the vacuum left by the late Senator Bayo Oshinowo of APC, who died during the COVID-19 pandemic, candidate of the ruling party, Tokunbo Abiru defeated Babatunde Gbadamosi of the PDP.

 

The real contest this time around will take place in the party primaries, after which the elections will be decided by those who are able to convince voters, with reach and resources.

 

At present Lagos West and Central is where the real battle will take place since there will be no incumbency advantage. The incumbent lawmakers are not returning. Third term lawmaker, Senator Remi Tinubu of APC, wife of the national leader, Tinubu, has refused to participate.

In Lagos West, Senator Olamilekan Adeola aka Yayi, has transferred his participation to Ogun West senatorial district, where other formidable opponents are working hard to stop him. They say after benefiting in Lagos, he cannot now claim to come from Ogun, to the detriment of those who have been on ground.

Recall that Senator Adeola, in 2019 attempted to succeed former Governor Ibikunle Amosun but after strong opposition, he retraced his step and collapsed his Yayi Platform into Governor Dapo Abiodun’s structure.

In Lagos West, three senatorial aspirants, Obanikoro, former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and former commissioner of Transportation in Lagos, Kayode Opeifa have obtained the nomination and expression of interest form for the election.

It was said that Orelope-Adefulire didn’t submit her form and she may likely not participate in the primary.

The chances of Obanikoro getting the APC Lagos West senatorial ticket was uncertain until the news that Orelope-Adefulire didn’t submit her form. The development leaves Obanikoro and Opeifa to contest the May 30 and 31 primary.

The former Nigerian envoy to Ghana defected to APC after the 2015 general elections. He attempted to contest the Lagos West senatorial election in 2019 but he was stopped. His son, Babajide was however given the ticket to run for a seat in the House of Representatives as compensation for his father.

Initially, Obanikoro’s plan to pick the Lagos West ticket was threatened as the party was said to settle for the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Orelope-Adefulire. But now that Orelope-Adefulire allegedly did not return her form, the game might have changed.

 

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