Gbenga Ogunleye, Head, Media and Communications, Jandor4Governor Campaign Organization, has claimed that Bode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, backed Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivor, Labour Party governorship candidate in Lagos with a view to helping the APC to retain power in the state.
Ogunleye who speaks for Dr. Olajide Adediran, popularly called Jandor, the PDP governorship candidate in the state, noted that George has never supported any Lagos PDP governorship candidate since 1999.
The Jandor campaign spokesperson made the remarks in apparent reaction to George’s statement while fielding questions on national television on Tuesday, explaining why he did not support Jandor’s governorship candidacy.
George, during the interview, said he has no regret not supporting Jandor in the March 18 governorship election in Lagos state.
He said he followed the decision of a group he belongs to which was to support the best among all the candidates irrespective of political affiliation.
George said, “If you say that I supported somebody from another party, it is not me as PDP. There is a group called Omo Eko Pataki and as a bonafide Lagosian we sat down, we took each of those candidates from (Governor Babajide) Sanwo-Olu to Jandor and others and we weighed them.
“And there was a new movement going on in the country and we said look, who has the capacity? Who has an educational background? Who has the moral background to handle my state? As a PDP, the fellow who got the ticket was on another planet.
“No regrets whatsoever (not supporting Jandor). And let me tell you something, I said it publicly to our presidential candidate that if they do not honour the South-West, I won’t vote for Atiku, I did not hide it.”l
Recall that George had backed Labour Party’s Rhodes-Vivour for the Lagos governorship election. But, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of APC eventually won the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s, state Returning Officer, Mrs. Adenike Oladiji, while declaring the results said Sanwo-Olu, polled a total of 762,134, votes to defeat his closest rival, Labour Party, LP Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and Dr. Olajide Adediran of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
LP polled 312, 329 votes while, PDP polled 62, 449 votes.
The PDP chieftain said the party must come together and resolve differences within it, adding that it must probe what made the G5 governors and other elders in the party to withdraw their support for the party.
But Ogunleye claimed that George’s support for Rhodes-Vivour, was not for LP to win, but to help APC remain in power.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement made by Chief Olabode George justifying his treacherous action during the recently held governorship election in Lagos State,” he said in a statement.
“Chief George while fielding questions on national television yesterday said he had no regret for supporting and voting for the Labour Party governorship candidate against the candidate of his supposed political party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
“It is not surprising that Chief Bode George as his usual practice worked against the interest of the PDP again but his attempt to blame the infighting in the party as an excuse and a justification for his action is a failed attempt to hide behind a finger.
“It is public knowledge that Chief Bode George’s modus operand in every election cycle is to deliberately wreak havoc within Lagos PDP and pick up a fight with the governorship candidate of the party to enable his paymaster in the ruling party remain in office.
“This, he has done consistently since 2003 when Funsho Williams contested. He did the same with Musiliu Obanikoro in 2007 and repeated it with Jimi Agbaje in 2015 and 2019 when he ordered PDP members to work for the candidate of another Party, just to divide Lagos PDP and allow the ruling party remain in office.
“This has become a pattern and unbecoming of a supposed Elder Statesman.
“It is on record that no gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Lagos State from the inception of this nascent democracy in 1999 to date enjoyed his support.
“There is a widespread perception among party-faithfuls and well-meaning Lagosians that Chief George always works against the PDP in every election year to serve the interest of the ruling APC.
“We are not to join issues with him, however, it is important to note that only a treacherous parent like Chief Bode George won’t be proud of JANDOR’s achievement in taking on Lagos slaves’ masters and matching his words with action, as against the likes of Chief Bode George who only come to National TV to speak ill of Lagos Status-quo and do otherwise with ‘a sprinkle of grains of corns’ when it’s time to match their words with actions.
“Chief Bode George has a penchant for referring to his own sons as older than JANDOR but what has any of his sons, as the case may be, have contributed to the upliftment of Lagos? No wonder he can’t see anything good in JANDOR (Eni tí kò ní irú eni, kò lè mo yì eni). You can’t value what you don’t have.
“It is quite disheartening that the hope of a breath of fresh air shared by the good people of Lagos State who are barely surviving the harassment and insensitivity of the ruling APC has suffered a momentary stagnation by the actions of the likes of Chief Bode George.
“We are convinced that the vision to rescue Lagos from the grip of the marauders across party lines, who have held the state by the jugular in the last 24 years will be realized.
“The victory of evil over good is only temporary, power will be returned to the people.”