A Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has said his exploits during the 2019 senatorial election on the party’s platform gives him an edge over the other aspirants, ahead of the primaries.
Mr Rhodes-Vivour, 39, told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday that among the aspirants, he is the only candidate with “the most recent experience in the field.”
“It gives me confidence going into the field,” he said, citing how he traversed the entire Lagos West ahead of the 2019 senatorial election, canvassing the people and meeting party members.
“The question is how our party is going to manage this process. If it is clean and fair, the will of the people will emerge.
“But if it is just mago mago [fraudulent], then you find a situation where you produce a candidate and the party will not want to work for that candidate because everybody will be angry.”
Mr Rhodes-Vivour narrowly lost to the incumbent senator, Solomon Adeola, of the APC at the 2019 Lagos West senatorial election, polling 243,516 votes to Mr Adeola’s 323,817.
Other aspirants for the PDP governorship ticket in the state are Ade Dosunmu, the party’s governorship candidate in 2011; Adedeji Doherty, former state chairman; and David Kolawole.
The others are AbdulAzeez Adediran, the convener of the Lagos4Lagos Movement, who defected from the APC earlier this year; and Jimi Karmal
Mr Rhodes-Vivour said his youthfulness puts him at an edge over the other aspirants because the party knows that the people are yearning for youth representation in power.
“The party is looking for somebody that is trusted, that is omo Egbe, somebody that can mix with all interests within the party,” he said.
“PDP is a pro-Lagos indigene party and I’m a Lagos indigene from a family of Lagos indigenes. But the extra edge I have is the fact that my mother is Igbo and my wife is Igbo. So the non-indigenes embrace me as their son and as one of them. That also helps give an edge.”
He said the party having a consensus candidate is “not possible.”
“How would you come to a consensus? It implies that all of us that bought forms are willing to do a consensus. Nobody wants a consensus, we want to go to the field,” he said.
“Who is going to decide on the consensus? All of us have spent time building relationships with delegates, the state structure all across Lagos State. We’ve been touring, we’ve been meeting them, we’ve been spending time with them, we’ve been selling ourselves to them.”
Plan for Lagos
Mr Rhodes-Vivour said if elected governor, some of his priorities include creating a multi-modal means of transportation in the state.
“It is not just paying lip service to it, actually putting in the work,” he said.
“So when you go to a jetty, it looks inviting. You have to create an ecosystem around that jetty as well that brings people there. You create a system where you can park and then get on a boat, go to where you are going, come back, get in your car.”
He said he would also imbibe and create a culture of transparency and accountability.
“That might seem small, but it comes down to everything,” the aspirant said.
“It comes down to the idea that we will break down the price of a bridge, compare it with how it was done in other countries in West Africa and East Africa.
“We are not coming to say we built you a bridge, we are coming to say we built you a bridge 10 per cent less than the price it was done in Ethiopia or Ghana.
“Because what we have now in Lagos is, you are getting a bridge and you are happy, but you could have had four bridges at the price they are building these things.
“And because Lagos State is a state that prides itself on how much they generate from its people, the social contract should be sacrosanct, .. the accountability. And when you face that culture at the top, it comes all the way down.”
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