- IFA is my Godfather
In an exclusive interview led by the publisher of Kosofe Post, Bilesanmi Abayomi, 2019 governroship candidate of the Labour Party for Lagos State, Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi, expressed his opinion on the validation of Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu’s election victory this week by the supreme Court of Nigeria among other issues.
Kosofe Post: Following the outcomes of the Supreme Court judgement. Do you welcome the verdict in good faith?
LP: Not at all, … We now have a Sharia-like, Military-like Judiciary, …. A Cabu Cabu Judiciary. In line with Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, a wait & get Judiciary !!!
Kosofe Post: Initially PDP alone with visible structures across the State and huge financial muscle could not defeat APC over the last 2 decades. So, what gave you the impression that LP will defeat Sanwoolu?
I was in PDP. I was a National leader, with my group, Redo Nigeria, having structures throughout Nigeria.
I, Prof. Adeniran, Mantu, Gabam, Dokpesi, et al, formed Concerned PDP Stakeholder to battle the fifth culumnist, Sheriff, we installed Makarfi Caretaker Committee to dwarf Sheriff.
But Tinubu has penetrated the leadership of PDP in all the LGAs, so it will be herculean for PDP to win Lagos.
Tinubu saw problem from Labour Party that’s why they orchestrated chasing away all our agents in Lagos State (not excluding a single booth). Definitely we are restrategising.
Deliverance of Lagos from Tinubu Cabal, Not Negotiable, No Retreat, No Surrender .
Kosofe Post: Don’t you think not having sufficient poll agents was due to lack of army of membership and finance?
LP: Hey! We had agents scheduled for over 13,000 voting centers in Lagos, even submitted thier names to INEC !!!
… Our agents were not allowed in the polling booths, they were chased away
This was ochestrated by INEC! Many of our agents called me, they wanted to force their ways into the booths, it would have resulted into a lot of deaths, and you know APC had machinery of power, and we had no fund to manage the big crises that will result.
Meanwhile, APC and PDP illegally produced thier own agent tags and they were allowed in the booths, but the LP agents were not allowed, the POs at the Polling boots said the alternative letter which INEC REC used to replace agent tags was illegal. It was INEC that had the Legal responsibility to produce and provide authentic agent tags.
The whole thing was planed! They had started targeting LP since the Anglican debate!
… Finance, yes, but you know LP has committed members who are not money mongers.
Kosofe Post: Without Godfather’s hardly anyone could make political success in Lagos State indeed Nigeria. Who is your Godfather?
LP: I have a Godfather, …”IFA”
Kosofe Post: Labour party In 2017 Election Local government elections made an impressive showing. How prepared is LP for 2021 LG poll?
LP: That was purely my handwork. It was my first project when I took over leadership of Labour Party in Lagos. I did it with the support of Makarfi.
Kosofe Post: Gov. Sanwoolu has extended hand of fellowship to you and other contestants. For the interest of Lagosians, would you join his administration and render your service?
LP: We in Labour Party are not just seeking relevance or share booties of Government. The only way we can work together is if they can sign agreement “under oath” that we will together implement the programs we have for Lagos, at least our 10 Cardinal Programs.
Kosofe Post: One of your agenda is to provide free education up to tertiary level. How do you think that will be possible when government is currently having challenges of providing qualitative basic education?
LP: This is the easiest to do of our 10 Cardinal Programs !!!
Awolowo did similar thing in the late fifties, Jakande also in the early eighties, when Lagos revenue was far below what it is now.
Don’t forget that tuition will only be free for higher institutions owned by Lagos State.
The truth is that about 90% of resource supposed to be channelled towards the masses, the hoi polloi, is drained to a cabal with a Godfather as the Commander. We call the “the Bashorun Gaa’s”, and we will deal with them the way Bashorun Gaa was dealth with in history.
Kosofe Post: Sanwoolu’s THEME agenda encompasses alot. Haven’t you seen some of your agenda been implemented?
Kosofe Post: How would you rate the performance of Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu’s so far?
LP: Woeful! … The worst since 1999.
Kosofe Post: Failure of snake ofspring to walk together makes them vulnerable to attacks. Don’t you think Lagos PDP problems are not actually designed by Tinubu’s but lack of unity between the coalition of united political parties and the consequential break away PDP heavyweights?
LP: I was in PDP, and I knew and I still know PDP inside out.
The ruling Party had and still has PDP accomplices in all the LGAs in Lagos State, so it will be difficult for PDP to win Lagos State, despite abundant fund.
Be mindful that strategically, we left some Redo Nigeria Members in PDP, and we have some in APC.
Definitely, to demystify Lagos, the Opposition must be United, robust, strategic and resilient.
I am leading 2 opposition groups, one is Principled Political Parties, there we have about 20 serious minded Opposition Parties; we also have People’s Lagos Action Now (PLAN).
Now that the stress of the Tribunal is over, we’ll have time to galvanise our objectives.
You know, my being in the Tribunal was not for Labour Party alone, it’s in trust for the opposition, including PDP, that why my reliefs in the Tribunal was not that I should be declared Governor, but that the Election be nullified, APC Candidate be disqualified and a fresh Election be conducted, which would include all Parties except APC.