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Opinion Here’s why Obanikoro defected to APC

Obanikoro

It’s transfer season in Nigeria’s political playing field once more; and like you already know, Sen Musiliu Obanikoro has dumped the PDP for the APC.

It’s worth noting that Obanikoro joined APC since June of 2017–subject to a medical.

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He passed that medical last week and was formally unveiled as an APC signing at a packed ceremony in Lagos.

The former Minister of State for Defence described his defection as a ‘home-coming’.

Sen Gbenga Ashafa gives Obanikoro a hug as defection is finalised (Sahara Reporters)

He also said he was excited about returning to his family and friends after years of abandoning them for the PDP.

Platform for service

But there’s something else Obanikoro said that immediately caught the eye.

He said he’s joining the APC because he’s on a mission and the APC offers him a platform for the actualisation of that mission.

Here’s how Obanikoro puts it:

“So, my joining the APC is not by accident. It is to return to my people and seek a platform on which I can render service to my people, because leadership is about service and co-ordination of talents to achieve results.

“We have looked everywhere, and the only party that offers that platform for service delivery is the APC”.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola with former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro in Osogbo on Wednesday, August 2, 2017GovAregbesola and Obanikoro take brisk steps on way to an event (Osun state government)

 

Did you read that too? Here it is again: “To seek a platform on which I can render service to my people….We have looked everywhere and the only party that offers that platform for service delivery is the APC….”

It’s that simple. Obanikoro wants to run for Governor again and he’s been promised the governorship ticket on the platform of the APC.

Twice bitten

Obanikoro lost the last PDP governorship primary to Jimi Agbaje. Obanikoro lost the 2007 governorship race to the Action Congress backed Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Twice, Obanikoro has nursed the dream of becoming Governor of Lagos. Twice he’s had his dream cut short (2007 and 2015)–first as a candidate for his party and then as an aspirant.

Obanikoro probably thinks his fortunes would have turned out differently if only he were on the “right platform”.

Obanikoro and immerse selves in a kiss (Sahara Reporters)

Musiliu Obanikoro was elected senator for Lagos Central in 2003 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He defected to the PDP soon after.

The man has tried and failed to become Governor on the PDP platform.

Now 60 years of age, Obanikoro realises that to become Governor of Lagos, he “has to be on that platform…” that has produced Governors of Lagos in different brand names since 1999.

The platform on which a certain Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu calls the shots and sits pretty.

Falling out with Tinubu

“I thank Tinubu for his magnanimity. I am here because he is generous and has a forgiving heart. If it were other leaders, they will say ‘God forbid”, Obanikoro said during his defection party.

“Tinubu has accepted me back despite all the issues between us, I am grateful to him,”Obanikoro said.

Obanikoro is now friends with Tinubu
Tinubu, Obanikoro and foreign guests (Daily Post)

 The gist is that after he was elected senator on the AD platform in 2003, Tinubu took Obanikoro to Mecca and coerced him to swear he wasn’t going to defect to the opposition PDP in Lagos. Well, Koro did just that and ruined his relationship with godfather Tinubu.

Now he’s back; with the Lagos governorship office in Alausa firmly in his sights. Has he been promised another governorship shot on the APC platform by Tinubu sometime in the nearest future? No one can say for sure.

How well Obanikoro fares in the APC will depend on a host of factors.

But as he held aloft a symbolic broom last weekend and chanted APC slogans to plenty of drumming and dancing, you have to agree that Koro now believes he’s finally pitched tent on that platform that he thinks can translate his dream of Governor into reality.

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