by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos state, Chief Tunji Shelle, said on Saturday that the party would not adopt candidates for the various positions including governorship in the 2015 elections.
Shelle said at the South-West sensitisation rally of the party in Lagos that the President’s emergence as a consensus candidate was different from the situation in Lagos State.
“The President is going for a second term and the party decided to let him continue and finish the good job he is doing.
“In Lagos State it is different. The PDP is not the party in power,therefore, all aspirants must go for primaries as it is the tradition of the party.
“There is no preferred aspirant. The candidate that would emerge would be decided by the party delegates,” he said.
He said that nine aspirants were interested in the Governorship and that they all will be given an equal chance.
Mr Musliu Obanikoro, the Minister of State for Defence and a former Governorship candidate of the party, also reaffirmed the position of the party that primaries will hold while differentiating President’s Jonathan’s sole candidature.
“Jonathan emerged as a consensus candidate because of the need to continue with his transformation agenda. There will still be a national convention of the PDP to endorse him.
“Lagos PDP is known for its transparent democratic process and we will not allow that to die,” he said.
A governorship aspirant, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, also said that if primaries were not held it would be contrary to what the party was known for.
“Fairness and fairplay makes even a looser happy. Having free and fair primaries will remove rancour among aspirants and their supporters.
“Whoever emerges among us must be seen to have emerged fairly. The issue of Mr President emerging as our candidate is understandable based on his excellent job.’’
For Mr Jimi Agbaje, another governorship aspirant, primaries would strengthen the confidence of members in the party’s leadership.
“Democracy cannot survive without a level playing ground,” Agbaje told NAN.