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How JANDOR Made Me Leave PDP Last Year

Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Lagos Labour Party governorship candidate and Jandor, the Lagos PDP governorship candidate don’t see eye-to-eye. Since last June when GRV left the Lagos PDP, both have not been on talking terms. GRV feels bitter about the raw deal he suffered in the hands of Jandor who dumped him and picked Funke Akindele as running mate, which negates their initial agreement.

Not too long ago, City People asked Gbadebo why he dumped PDP for Labour Party and he explained that he left because of Jandor’s betrayal of him. He was meant to have been picked as Jandors running mate before Jandor sprang a surprise on him and settled for Funke Akindele. Gbadebo is so sure he will win the forthcoming elections because as he puts it, the APC has performed below expectation. Why does he think he will win in Lagos. “It is because Lagos State is the most cosmopolitan state in Nigeria. So, that is why any new thing, any revolution that is going to change and shock the statusquo in the South generally will start in Lagos State. That is what we are going to see play out”.

How does he see the chances of other parties vis-a-vis the incumbent party, the APC? “It is simple. The APC supporters plateaued. They cannot increase. They cannot get higher. Infact they will lose supporters now because the APC government has been a disastrous one in the last 8 years. We know what the dollar was when we all were worried when Buhari came in and what it is today. We know what the price of fuel was when we did Occupy Nigeria, and what it is today.

We know what the price of Kerosene was and Electricity was when they came in. So it has been monumental failure. So, the APC support base is plateaued and reducing. And obviously the horrific situation with the Endsars and 20th of October, 2020, young people are not going to forget in a hurry. The young people make up 60% of our population. And they are not going to forget in the nearest future”.

“I feel that the Labour Party is the party of the future. It is infact the party of Now, actually. It is one where people that get up are people in the dignity of Labour, people that are middle class, not by money, that they earn, but by exposure and education that they have had, make up the majority of Lagos, which a lot of people don’t realise.”

Lagos will not have the IGR that it has if the people who live in Lagos are not productive people. These are people who have an idea of how a state should be run. They are interested in ideas. They are interested in policy. And the idea is to get them to come out. We can not leave our politics consistently to be determined by people who can think with their stomach, because they are so poor. We need to get to people who are also engaged in work. They wake up every morning. They are the ones in the traffic, they are the ones closing and getting back late. They are the ones paying multiple tax. These are the people we need to get to come out to the ballot. And that is what we are working on.”

How does he see the other Opposition parties? “I believe Labour Party is the opposition party in Lagos State, as far as I am concerned.”

How about the PDP? No, the PDP is not there. Unfortunately, the candidate, or, the flagbearer that they chose has really been a let down for the party. I don’t really see their efforts going anywhere, to be honest”.

There are those who say that the Labour Party has eaten deep into the traditional strongholds of the PDP. How true is that?

“Well, I will agree with that. The foundational support base of the PDP in Lagos has been non-indigenes. So, that is completely gone for them. They are more like with the Labour Party now. Also, there is the Youth vote that we are looking at. The vote of the people that are upset about how things have been carried on. There is a new generation of voters that are looking to disrupt the statusquo. And the candidate that exemplifies that is Labour Party, that offers something that is truly, fresh, something that is completely a depature from norm and I think the Labour Party ticket is an epitome of that”

How easy was it for Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to leave PDP at the time he did last year with all the controversies? “It was not easy. It was painful. You must understand that this was a place that I had called home. I had settled in PDP for almost 6 years and I had played at the highest levels of politics. I had built structures across the entire state, in 20 local governments, I have my people there. It is a familiar terrain. It’s home. But Greatness comes when you step out of your comfort zone. You can’t always be lured by Comfort, especially when you have seen that Integrity and Justice are not been served on the table.

For me, I am not one that is afraid of challenging and pushing the envelope and learning the ropes once again. So, I joined Labour Party and I learnt the ropes and God so good, all glory to God, I emerged as the candidate of the Labour Party, in a keenly contested primaries.”

We got Gbadebo to tell us what triggered his having to leave the PDP for Labour. For the first time Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour opened up, on how he was supposed to be Jandor’s running mate before he was played out and Funke Akindele was picked.

“What happened was simply this. The leaders in the party felt that the ticket should go to a young person like me. I am young I am 40. They felt the ticket with the current flagbearer of the party, and myself will make an amazing ticket. These are from the people who are members of the BOT, nationally, in the party. Some of them were not too keen. But you know everything has its reasons. I wanted to run. But eventually I agreed. I really wanted to contest apparently. And on the day of the primaries, I withdrew based on that agreement. They had heard a conversation with the flagbearer. He had agreed. He told me, he had agreed. And in faith, I withdrew. And you need to understand that the party’s nomination form is N21.5 million. Prior to that, you have spent years politicking, spending so much money resources, and time. If you are not going to get to contest, in a race you want to contest, it is because an agreement has been made. Why renege on such an agreement? I don’t come from a pedigree that just sits down and takes nonsense. Its not in my DNA. I am not that kind of person. Its not me. That is the reason I am in Politics in the first place. So, as not to take nonsense. That is the reason I am in the Opposition in the first place. It is because I do not believe in nonsense. So, that is pretty much it. An agreement was made, it was reneged on, and the candidate is free to choose whoever he wants to choose. But there are consequences to reneging on promises and agreements”. How did he make his point known at that time? How did he express his displeasure? “Oh. I did. I expressed my displeasure. The 20 local government5 chairmen endorsed me, as deputy I talked to the leaders of the party. For me, I am not saying all of these to run the party down. The flagbearer of the party is new to the party, So, he does not really understand the culture of the party. And you see, the PDP is not like any of these other parties that is not fully formed. The PDP is one of the biggest parties in Nigeria, at a point. It is a party that has people on ground. So, you cannot just misbehave with a party like that. So, there is a culture to it. And he is clearly not aware of the culture. So, he will learn, the hard way.