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Musiliu Obanikoro

Obanikoro makes U-turn, pledges support for Jimi Agbaje

The immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has said he will work with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, to wrest power from the All Progressives Congress.

Obanikoro had been engaged in a war of words with Agbaje and a leader of the PDP in the state, Chief Bode George, over the party’s controversial governorship primary.

Obanikoro had also sued the party for not attending to a petition he wrote over the party’s conduct of the primary which he described as a sham.

However, the Director-General, Koro Campaign Organisation, Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse, told our correspondent on the telephone that President Goodluck Jonathan had intervened in the feud.

He said part of the terms of the agreement reached with the President was that Obanikoro would be given a senior ministerial slot and not minister of state which is a junior ministerial position.

He said, “We have listened to the President’s appeal and have decided to settle out of court. Obanikoro will return as a minister but part of the terms is that he will be given a full ministerial position. We were told that he would head a ministry but we were not told what ministry in particular.

“He will help the President to campaign in Lagos and we will also work with Agbaje. We are willing to work with Chief Bode George and we will reconcile with the party.”

The development comes less than 24 hours after the PDP South-West chairman, Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe, called on the PDP leadership to ensure that aggrieved aspirants in the state were appeased because Lagos could determine who wins the presidential elections.

He had said, “When Ayodele Fayose emerged as the candidate of the PDP in Ekiti, we went to beg all other aspirants in their houses to ensure that we got victory in all the 16 local governments in Ekiti. You cannot win it all alone.”

Reacting to the development, a former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, said the PDP was one big family and that he would work with Obanikoro.

“We are party elders. If Obanikoro apologises, we will accept his apology. Our priority is winning Lagos,” he said.

With a voting population of over six million, it is believed that the person who emerges as the winner of the presidential election next year would be largely determined by the outcome of the election in Lagos State.

Party sources told our correspondent that the need to win most of Lagos votes was what prompted the reconciliatory meeting.



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