With the 2015 general elections over and everyone looks forward to getting the dividends of democracy from public office holders, a factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Captain Tunji Shele (retd) has said that the party still looks forward to reclaiming its alleged stolen mandate in the state.
Shele made it clear that the PDP, which used to hold sway at the federal level before the 2015 elections, would bounce back in 2019.
Speaking during the commissioning of the constituency of a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly from the PDP, who is representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1 in Festac Town on Saturday 15th August, Capt Shele declared that the party’s governorship candidate in the state in 2015, Mr. Jimi Agbaje actually won the election, but that he was rigged out by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We won six house of representatives seats and eight seats in the LSHA. We even won more than that, but the APC stole our mandates. We are at the election tribunal, where we hope to get justice. The one for the governorship election has gone to the Court of Appeal, so Jimi Agbaje is still okay.
“Our party was not like this in Lagos State in 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2011. We also have two senatorial cases at the election tribunal. Some of our candidates for the Lagos Assembly are also pursuing their cases at the tribunal and we hope they would be declared winners of the seats as they would reclaim their stolen mandates,” he said.
The embattled chairman specifically told a son of a former minister of works in the country, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, Moyosore, who was at the event, that he would reclaim his mandate as a member of the state assembly from Kosofe Constituency 1, where an APC member has been declared winner and sworn-in.
Shele also used the occasion to address the issue of the chairmanship of the party in the state, which is being contested by Mr. Kamaldeen Olorunoje, who is also being recognised as the party chairman in the state by a faction, saying that he (Shele) is the authentic Chairman of the PDP in Lagos State.
He emphasised that there is no room for rascality, violence or illegality in politics and that the issue would soon be resolved by the leaders of the party at the national level in a matter of days.
“I am the authentis Chairman of the PDP in Lagos State anyday, anytime. I worked for it and I merited it. Whoever is interested in the office should wait for the next congress of the party. I never did this to those, who are older than me in the party. People should respect the party, we have to play politics fair and square,” he said.
He stated that the PDP is the party to beat and that it has put the past events behind it.
Capt. Shele commended Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu for the constituency office project, adding that it shows that he cares for the people and that it is not everybody that has the moral obligation to serve the people.
He said that the lawmaker has done his bit and that the office would help him in monitoring the affairs of his constituency and in preparing for debates on the floor of the assembly.
Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, who was also at the event, revealed that the idea of constituency office was started by people like him, when they were in the National Assembly.
He urged the people of the area to see the office as their own, and that they should come up with their views on issues through the office rather than grumbling and complaining.
“You sent him on errand, write letters to him about projects such as schools, roads, health centres and others so that he can present your complaints to the government,” he stated.
Ogunlewe charged Hon. Dipo not to sit down and grumble all because he belongs to an opposition party in the state, but that he should focus more on his oversight functions and see the Governor of the state and the commissioners on whatever is bothering him about the constituency.
“You must fight them to a standstill because you are coming back to the people for another mandate in the next four years. You must have an advisory committee. You should also work on local government funding,” he said.
The politician condemned what he called a connivance between governors and local government chairmen to divert monies meant for local governments.
He gave example of Amuwo Odofin, whose budget he said is about N400 Million, saying that only about N40 Million would actually get to the council, and promised to get across to President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.
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