- Emerging reports have it that there is a rancor between Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Senator Solomon Adeola, over the APC senatorial ticket for the Lagos west senatorial district
- Obanikoro is seeking to displace the incumbent, Adeola, who is the senator currently representing the district in the red chamber
- Adeola's second term bid was said to have been endorsed by leaders of the party including the leader of the district, Rabiu Oluwa, before Obanikoro formally declared his ambition
Former minister of state for defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Senator Solomon Adeola, have reportedly engaged in a disagreement over the All Progressives Congress’ senatorial ticket for the Lagos west senatorial district.
Obanikoro joined the APC in 2017 from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and is seeking to displace the incumbent, Adeola, who is the senator currently representing the district in the red chamber.
New Telegraph reports that Obanikoro was supposed to formally declare his ambition in Ikeja two weeks ago but suspended it on the instruction of the state former governor, Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
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A source privy to the development said: “Koro was about to declare his senatorial ambition last two Fridays ago at Ikeja but it was abruptly put hold on the directive of Asiwaju. Everything was ready for the declaration but he cant go against Asiwaju’s instruction, that is the father of all.”
It was learnt that Adeola formally declared his bid for a second term few weeks back at an APC Lagos west meeting and his aspiration was endorsed by leaders of the party including the leader of the district, Prince Rabiu Oluwa.
Adeola had initially embarked on a botched attempt to contest the Ogun governorship poll but retreated upon ‘directives’ from leaders of the party especially Tinubu.
According to some supporters of Obanikoro, the former minister deserves to return to Senate owing to his pedigree and grassroots in the state, and they argued that their principal was promised something before defecting to the ruling party.
It was learnt that Obanikoro’s aspiration has ruffled the party in the state, especially in Lagos west as the leadership appears divided on the ticket.
An associate of Obanikoro said: “Obanikoro is bent on taking the ticket and this is affecting the peace of Lagos west. He was in Osogbo some days back to see governor Rauf Aregbesola. You know Asiwaju is quite busy lately with national politics.”
Reacting to insinuations that he was using his senatorial bid as a launch pad for the 2023 governorship bid in the state, Obanikoro said in a recent interview that: “Nobody knows what tomorrow will hold. And to now jump to 2023, I think it is taking it too far.
“As far as I am concerned, I will enjoy the moment, representing the good people of Lagos state from Lagos west.
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However, a loyalist of Adeola alleged that Obanikoro’s audacity in moving from Lagos central district to Lagos west has external backings, adding that the leaders of the party have been seeking audience with Asiwaju to resolve the matter once and for all.
According to him, “Negotiations are on and we are looking at the possibility of involving Obanikoro’s son in the House of Representatives ticket, but its still a proposal.”
A party official said: “The tension is high in Alimosho and Lagos west because its now a two horse race fight between the duo for the ticket. Supporters of both aspirants are on a knife edge because they are all awaiting the final verdict of the national leader. Even other aspirants in the race have tactically chickened out.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported former minister of state for defence and Lagos state governorship aspirant, Musiliu Obanikoro, was warming up for the 2019 senatorial race in Lagos west district.
According to the report, the former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana started consultation and mobilisation in the ruling APC, ahead of the senatorial race.
Interestingly, Obanikoro represented Lagos Central in the Senate on the platform of the AD between 2003 and 2007, after resigning as Lagos state commissioner for home affairs.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu speaks about the local government election in Lagos - on NAIJ.com TV: