In this interview, the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, Philip Aivoji, speaks to on the visit of the five aggrieved governors of the party to the state.
I donâ€™t think we should be worried. We donâ€™t have any problems at all. We are focused, we know the people we are talking to, and we know how to work it out and address it. We donâ€™t want anybody to come and win the election for us in Lagos State. We are the ones taking destiny into our hands, and weâ€™ll work to win. So, whatever the five governors say is immaterial. They are free to support whomever they want. So, we are not bothered at all. I donâ€™t think that we should even bother ourselves talking about it because the person who invited them said openly that heâ€™s disappointed, disgraced, and humiliated. So, what do we have to say again when God is already fighting for Atiku? We are for Atiku, we are for Jandor, and we are winning Lagos State.
Did they mention Jandorâ€™s name? Did they mention Atikuâ€™s name? As far as those who were there said they did not mention Atiku and Jandorâ€™s names, how can I now say that when I was not there? You (the press) interview those who were present; tell us what you saw. As far as Iâ€™m concerned, all five governors are just opportunists who are not grounded in politics. They all began in politics in 1998 and no politician of note since the UPN days would make such a suicidal move. Nobody dares the party and goes scot-free.
For me, Iâ€™m not bothered. Posterity will judge everyone. Iâ€™m in the party not because of anything or whatever. I want to deliver a state for the PDP. That is my interest and focus.
Yes. The voice of the people is the voice of God. It shows that Atiku and Jandor are popular in Lagos, and they can win the election in the state. The PDP members are in support of them. Anyone in this party that is not in support of the two candidates is on his own; such a person is not our member, and heâ€™s free to leave the party. No one forced anyone to join the party. We all joined on our own volition. Thereâ€™s a constitution that binds everyone together, and we must be people of honour and integrity. What amazed me is that the leader who invited them, who had been preaching integrity, turned out to be the other way around. We respect him; heâ€™s an elder, he has served before, and heâ€™s a retired general. But what I see is that most of them lack ethics, and discipline. Every profession has its own set of dos and donâ€™ts. Once you cross the red line, you know you are on your own. So, if the party isnâ€™t saying anything now, that doesnâ€™t mean it doesnâ€™t know what to do. Letâ€™s just be focused and win the election.
It shows that they are committed party members and people of honour and integrity; they know what they are doing. If any leader wants to derail, you tell the leader, â€˜Sir, you are wrong.â€™ That was the training we had in politics. Anyone I work with, no matter how high up he is, will have to be able to hear me tell him when heâ€™s wrong if he wants me to. Some of us are forthright politicians who are not sycophants, which is why you rarely see me speak. We are standing with Atiku Abubakar, and we know heâ€™s going to win. That is why we are not changing our minds.
There is no crack. What are they capitalising on? They have failed. The entire society has disowned them. People are suffering because the APC has failed them; there is no food. So, what are they capitalising on? You want to capitalise on five governors? Even the five disgruntled governors are afraid to approach the APC. If they go there, all of them will be destroyed together.
Well, Iâ€™ll only say what I know. Iâ€™m not a member of the national body, nor am I the national chairman. Iâ€™m not a member of the national working committee, so I wouldnâ€™t know how he handles it. What I know is that the five governors have gone too far. They are all leaders and mature people who have followers and would want to mentor people to be like them and contribute their quota to society. The way they are handling things shows they are not setting a good example, especially Governor Wike and the other man from Benue. Benueâ€™s governor has disappointed me because I believed he was â€œa child of God.â€
I donâ€™t think we should be worried. We need to work harder. Itâ€™s going to split not only the PDPâ€™s vote; itâ€™s also going to split the APCâ€™s vote. We are not worried because, at the end of the day, PDP will win the election. Talk about the Igbo people; we have them in our party. We also have supporters who are Igbo and will vote for our party. By the grace of God, we are going to defeat the APC in Lagos State. I mean it, and it will be so.
Peopleâ€™s minds have been made up; that is why you see APC jittery. Thatâ€™s why, some time ago, the vice presidential candidate of the APC came to Alaba to talk to people. At the end of the day, you will see a lot of Igbo and Hausa voting for the PDP. We know those people who are Hausa APC members; they are talking to us now and they want to decamp en masse. At some point, the APC will realise that they have no Hausa representatives other than a few members of their executive committee. Those are the people they have, not the Hausa people they punish and jail every day. They molest and arrest Hausa people who sell wares that cost no more than N5,000. After arresting them, they demand N50,000 from them or put them in jail if they fail to pay. Do you think they are stupid? They will not vote for the APC because the party will cause them hardship. Let them continue to deceive themselves. At the end of the day, you will see the majority of Hausa, Igbo, and those from the South-South voting for PDP. We are going to get more votes than we used to get in previous elections.
I will say that any Yoruba person who votes for Tinubu is a bastard. This is a man who has no integrity; heâ€™s not an Omoluabi, and everything about him is fake. This is a man who destroyed what Awolowo had built for Yoruba for years; he destroyed it overnight. This is a man who disgraced his fellow NADECO members till they died. People are convinced that anyone who votes for Tinubu has a mental illness or should have their mind examined. Look at the way heâ€™s campaigning. Can that person even administer a local government at his age? Nobody should make the mistake of saying anybody who doesnâ€™t vote for Tinubu is a bastard. Can Tinubu himself identify his mother? Can he tell us the name of his father? Who is now the bastard? Birds of the same feather flock together. So, anyone who votes for Tinubu is a bastard.
Lagosians should expect a government of peace, a government of unity, a transparent government, and accountable government, not a government that will just do whatever it likes. One person has killed the entire civil service in Lagos. I was once a commissioner in Lagos State, which had the best civil service but when Tinubu came, he trashed the entire system and turned everything upside down. We are going to do a lot of work to put it right. That is why I pray that Jandor wins the election. We are going to bring in people who know how to deal with issues, people who know how to do the right thing in government; we are going to put them in place, and things are going to work. I take my experience from the past governors Iâ€™ve worked with, like the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who achieved so many things while in government, including housing spread across the state. When Tinubu came in, he turned everything into his personal property. He acquired so much land in Ibeju Lekki and even in Badagry. The entire IGR belongs to whom? Everybody knows all these things. When heâ€™s bragging about the money heâ€™s going to give people, let him give the money; we are not serving money. I know the majority of Nigerians know the God they are serving. According to the Bible, some trust in money, others in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord, and anyone who believes in the Lord is the majority.