Jimi Agbaje has emerged the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State. Agbaje polled 1,100 votes to defeat his rival Adedeji Doherty who polled 742 votes, according to results announced by the chairman of the election panel, Victor Oyofo.
Why this matters
First, Agbaje was a late entrant into the race. He only announced that he was going to run again on 19th September. That is less than a month ago. By that time Doherty was believed to have gotten most of the party’s delegates on his side. So Agbaje’s victory – in a sense – can be viewed as an upset.
Second, after all the hoopla, oil tycoon, Femi Otedola, did not run for the party’s ticket. An online newspaper publisher, Dele Momodu, had claimed that Otedola told him that he had been offered the PDP ticket. Events have shown that story to be false. So with Otedola a no-show, and Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode who lost his bid to get the APC ticket deciding to stay put in the ruling party, the stage is now set for a showdown between Agbaje and the candidate of the APC, Babajide Sanwo-olu.
Third, Agbaje may be fancying his chances this time. Recall that former Lagos governor, Babatunde Fashola, won the election for a second term with more than 1.2 million votes separating him and the PDP’s 2011 candidate, Ade Dosumu. However, four years later when Ambode ran, the difference between the APC and PDP was just about 150,000 votes. The PDP substantially closed the gap.
Agbaje has two things going for him this time. There may be some anti-incumbent sentiment based on the fact that the APC controls both the federal government and Lagos state. Also, the APC in Lagos is still reeling from a contentious primary season which culminated in the loss of the sitting governor. Ambode’s supporters may simply decide to stay at home or back the opposition in retaliation.