- Lagos chapter of the PDP has pledged support for the candidature of Taofeek Arapaja
- Arapaja, who was the former deputy governor of Oyo state, is vying to become the national vice-chairman (southwest) of the party
- The former deputy governor said that his emergence would ensure the party take over Lagos in 2023
A former deputy governor of Oyo state, Taofeek Arapaja has said that if all hands are on deck among the ranks and files of the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would be defeated in 2023.
Legit.ng reports that Arapaja made this known in Lagos on Thursday, March 11, during a stakeholders meeting where he was endorsed for the position of national vice-chairman (southwest) of the party.
The former ambassador, who expressed delight over his endorsement by the Lagos chapter of the party ahead of the zonal congress, said that there should be unity of purpose among the members to achieve their set goals.
He said it is time for the members of the party to close ranks and work together to ensure victory in the next election in the state, adding that Lagos is strategic for the development of the southwest and Nigeria as a whole.
He said the in-fighting and factions among the members were the major reason the party has not been able to govern Lagos since 1999, saying that there should be an end to the party's failure to take over the state from APC.
Arapaja added that with Lagos alone, the party can take over the whole of Nigeria as he noted that the main aim of the party is to take over Lagos state in 2023.
"If you are the excos of a party and your party is not in control of the state, then, you are wasting your time. The only language we understand in Oyo state is winning. Without government, all state excos are useless. It is the time to be serious. Why can't we be at the seat of power?
"It is high time we took over Lagos from these people but if we are not united, we can't achieve it. Why are we fighting on the election money? The APC is not doing anything all that they say is 'lori iro'.
"The only alternative to Nigeria in 2023 is PDP. Things are not going well - kidnapping, killings are the order of the day. We are pleading for the unity of purpose to achieve our goals."
Speaking on his plan for the zone if he emerges the vice-national chairman of the party, Arapaja noted that he would always make himself readily available for the members of the party.
He said that he would ensure the party takes over Lagos from the APC in 2023, stressing that Nigerians are ready to vote PDP back to power in the next general election.
The former deputy governor, however, said that he and other leaders of the party are ready to beg the aggrieved members, saying that a divided house cannot win any election.
"If the election is coming and we are fighting one another, how can we win?"
Earlier in his comments, the outgoing PDP zonal caretaker chairman in the southwest, Dayo Ogungbenro, said that when Governor Seyi Makinde called a meeting that comprised all the leaders of the party in the zone, the former governor of Ekiti state gave some conditions that must be met toa allow peace reign.
He said the conditions were met but Fayose insisted that he wanted to be recognised as the leader of the party in the southwest, which according to him was frowned at by the elders of the party.
Ogungbenro noted that after wide consultations, the leaders of the party in February 2021, unveiled Arapaja as the mainstream candidate for the southwest PDP.
"We have been to Fasoye's state and we were given a rousing welcome. The main purpose of the meeting is to unveil Arapaja. I want to appeal to Lagos PDP to support him."
The state deputy chairman, Waliu Hassan, assured Arapaja that the state would give him 80% delegates on the date of the zonal congress in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state.
He said the members must be united before the congress, adding that what the former national vice-chairman (southwest) of the party, Chief Olabode George, told him indicated that the aggrieved members would soon join the mainstream and work for the victory of the party.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Fayose denied plans to attend a reconciliation meeting with Governor Makinde of Oyo state on Friday, March 5.
It was reported that Fayose and Makinde have polarised the southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a result of their differences.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.