As Nigerians go to the poll on Saturday, 11th March 2023 to elect their governors and state House Assembly members, voters in Lagos State have continued to share their worst fears and best hopes for what may unfold.
Some observers believe that the big surprise sprung by the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Mr Peter Obi by causing a political earthquake in Lagos State, where the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu dominated politics for a quarter century, winning the state in the country’s hotly contested presidential election with narrow margin could recur in the governorship election
It would be recalled that Obi polled 582,454 votes to defeat Tinubu who polled 572,606 votes in the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While some observers believe that the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, will ride on the wings of the Labour Party to defeat the incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, others dismiss it with a wave of the hands in the sense that the dynamics of presidential and governorship elections in the cosmopolitan state has always been different.
As far as they are concerned, the Labour Party candidate, Mr Peter Obi who got the massive support of his kinsmen highly concentrated in Lagos State was the rave not Gbadebor Rhodes-Vivour.
Speaking on the chances of the their party’s candidate, Lagos State publicity secretary of Labour Party, Mrs Olubunmi Odesanya said, ‘’Our party will spring surprises, the people of Lagos State, love our party, and they are ready to vote for us en masse.
“The people of Lagos will give us more votes, even more than the one we got during the presidential election, our concern is will INEC let the vote count? Our governorship candidate Gbadebo Rhodes -Vivour have always harped on the insincerity of INEC, will INEC live up to expectation by being sincere, can the electorate trust INEC?’’
Dismissing the perception in some quarters that the Labour Party’s governorship candidate is relatively unknown, she said, ‘’ The Rhodes -Vivour family is very popular in Lagos. He is someone whose ancestry can be traced the way back to the 18th century. Let’s trace a bit of his family ancestry. William Vivour was born in 1830. He was a Yoruba slave taken away to Sierra Leone. He would later return to his native home, bearing the name “Vivour”. A short form of the word “Survivor”.
‘’Many people who were taken away from Lagos as slaves were not lucky to return alive. William was a survivor. He died in the year 1890 at age 60. He is the grandfather of Justice Akinwunmi Rhodes-Vivour who was born in 1910 and died in 1987. Akinwumi Rhodes Vivour was the older brother of Bankole Vivour (1920 – 1944), A World War 2 veteran.
“Bankole Vivour is the father of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who was born in 1951 and he is the father of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour who is Labour Party governorship candidate for Lagos State. These are generations of men, holding forth the family name and legacy. He is Lagos Island, Lagos and was educated in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Nottingham and University of Lagos. Lagos is safer in the hands of a true Lagosian.’’
She also said their party is not considering collaborating with the PDP candidate, Mr Olajide Adediran, saying Architect Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is well positioned to win.
In an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP, the All Progressives Congress secretary in Lagos State, Summi Odesanya said the Labour Party do not pose any threats to the ruling party in the state , saying the party cleared the three senatorial seats and 20 House of Representatives seats out of 22 in the last election.
He said, ‘’We are fully prepared for the governorship election, and I am sure we will get more votes in the election, because people of Lagos State are keen at having Sanwo -Olu back as the governor of the state, to complete the lofty projects he has started.”
His words, “Labour party is not a threat. The scenario that played out in Lagos State on February 25,2023 in the presidential election will not repeat itself because the scenario and the coloration of the governorship election is different. APC chances of winning the governorship election is very bright and there is no doubt about that