The Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2015, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, on Saturday, said integrity in Nigerian
The Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2015, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, on Saturday, said integrity in Nigerian politics was at a price.
Agbaje, who spoke at a leadership seminar by the Latter Rain Assembly’s Mountain of Government and Politics in Lagos, recounted his travails during the 2007 governorship election in the state.
Following a controversial primary election, Agbaje had defected from the then ruling party in the state, Action Congress, to the Democratic People’s Alliance.
He said, “In 2007, we ran a very robust campaign in my party at that time; the ruling party in Lagos. It got to a stage when a number of us said the rules were not right and then the leadership called me and said, ‘Look, Jimi, you’ve run a good race. We will offer you deputy governor.’ I said, ‘deputy governor (ship position)?’ He said yes.
“I then asked, ‘deputy to whom?’ and the leadership gave the name and I said, ‘But the two of us would be from the same senatorial district.’ And the leadership said, ‘Oh, we’ve resolved that.
“I asked again, ‘How have you resolved it?’ he said, ‘We have called them in another senatorial district that you would be coming out from their zone.
“Every aspirant believes that he is a winner. Even if you are going to score zero, you still believe that you have seen that victory. So, I then said, ‘But sir, it’s me you want to cheat. Don’t sell it from that place that it’s not my home. Tell the other person to say he is coming from that place. And he said, ‘No, no, no! You are the one coming from that place.”
The keynote speaker, Prof. Derin Ologbenla, said it was unfortunate that Nigeria had abandoned the British parliamentary model for the federal structure of the Unites States in 1978 due to events in 1966.
Ologbenla, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Lagos, noted that though the difference between the two was small, the adoption of the federal system was a mistake.
“The parliamentary system created government and political oppositions. The job of the opposition is to criticise the government and propose alternatives to the government. But under the presidential system, there is no opposition as such,” he added.