By Bolaji Buhari
The Lagos State chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the exit of the immediate past Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Wale Oluwo, from the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a welcome development.
But a political group, Itesiwaju Eko Movement (IEM), on Wednesday joined issues with Oluwo, saying he has no political value to add to the dwindling fortunes of the PDP.
The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state,Mr Taofeek Gani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that Oluwo’s exit meant the APC was not a party for the people.
Oluwo, a close ally of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in a letter dated Dec. 3, had informed the party of his exit from the party. He said he was leaving the party over what he called lack of internal democracy, which he claimed, reflected in the October primaries. Oluwo later told NAN he was leaving to join the PDP as he believed that the opposition party was a respecter of democratic rights and freedoms of the people.
Gani said the exit of the commissioner vindicated the PDP’s long-held position that the APC was not for the people. He said if a serving commissioner could leave all the privileges of office to dump the APC, it meant there were serious issues in the party which all genuine democrats must challenge.
While saluting the courage of Oluwo to exit the party, Gani said the commissioner’s action should inspire others to “move out of bondage” to join the PDP. “We salute him (Oluwo), he has written his name in gold. He has taken a political step never to be regretted. We encourage all remaining true democrats to join the PDP now. Lagos has been in bondage and of unipolar rule and control,” he said.
According to him, even the present governor could not get a second term ticket just because of the interests of some party chieftains. “We call on Lagos electorate to join this revolution to free Lagos and we stand on our honour and before God to pledge that the revenue of Lagos shall be spent for Lagos State,” he said.
Gani said the PDP was sure that more and more people would soon leave the APC to join the party in its bid to”liberate the state”. The party spokesman said he was confident the PDP governorship candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje, would win the state to deliver real governance in 2019.
In a reaction by the IEM Chairman, Alhaji Mukaila Yusuf, the group said, “Wale Oluwo has no political value, because he cannot lay claim to a Ward, Local Government or Polling Unit, where he has following in any part of Lagos State. How many votes did he deliver for Ambode in 2015? Who knows him? What is his political pedigree?
“For us in IEM, it is good riddance to bad rubbish, because people like him got to prominence through the political sweat of others, who they pushed down the ladder. And, in Lagos State, we have vowed never again to people like that, which was the reason our leaders insisted that votes must count at the primaries. The primaries were open and transparent, which was how we liberated ourselves from them.”