Competent sources yesterday disclosed that Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande have tipped an investor and socialite, Chief Tunde Fanimokun for the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The sources added that Fanimokun, the flag bearer of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, would offer a credible and viable alternative for all indigenes and residents who had been yearning for meaningful democratic change in the state.
One of his political associates said the ADC was keen to field a strong candidate in the gubernatorial contest in order to compete favourably with the leading political parties where the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP0 are leading the pack among a host of other fringe parties in the state.
Fanimokun, who retired as Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Public Service, was said to have worked under Alhaji Lateef Jakande when he was the state governor.
Specifically, the source claimed that Fanimokun was a top figure in the state service at the time, a development which he said to have recommended him as a credible and viable candidate in the 2019 governorship election. he disclosed the that Obasanjo had specifically sought Jakande’s view about Fanimokun’s candidature, noting that Jakande highly recommended for the job and hence the consequent seal of approval for the ADC gubernatorial slot for him in the state.
Another associate disclosed that Fanimokun, an economist and former Chairman of British International School, Lekki, had been nursing governorship aspiration for a long time, despite is vast interest in the private sector as an investor.
According to the associate, though Fanimokun is now running for governorship, he had actually made spirited efforts to be governor in years past but was unsuccessful.
It was not clear yesterday if his name had been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or was to be substituted as required by law.
Fanimokun’s entry into the governorship race in Lagos promises a lot of possibilities as the contest would be interesting to watch on account of his name recognition, popularity and array of his clout in Lagos State.
Fanimokun is a former President of Eko Club and member of leading social clubs and organisations in Lagos.
‘No Controversy over Choice of Ihedioha’s Running Mate’
The Peoples Democratic Party has denied reports of an alleged controversy over choice of former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Gerald Irona as Deputy Governorship candidate of the Party in Imo State.
Imo State Vice Chairman of the Party in charge of Orlu senatorial zone, Chief Aloysius Igwe gave the clarification while responding to a report alleging that some stakeholders were not consulted before Hon. Irona was selected.
According to him, Irona is a true son of Orlu zone, a good party man, a transparent leader and one with capacity to deliver the zone to the Peoples Democratic Party in 2019.
“Irona is a true son of Orlu zone. He is qualified to be Deputy Governor of Imo state by all standards. He is a true party man. His appointment as Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP is not out of place.
“As Orlu zonal Chairman of the PDP, I am comfortable with him. What is important at this point is how we can work together to forge ahead. Whoever feels there is a communication gap should look at the broader picture. Let us all sheath our sword and see how we forge ahead.
“The most important thing is that person that can help us win the election. Now that Irona has emerged, we must all rally round him and deliver the party in Imo State. Our focus at the moment is to win the election and that should be the interest of every true stakeholder of the party.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the PDP in Oguta Local Government Area of the State, Chief Fred Opiah frowned at the publication, describing it as sponsored to distract the party.
Opiah said, “As far as I am concerned, the choice of Irona is the best thing that has happened to the PDP in Imo ahead of 2019 elections. The persons that sponsored the publication must repent and face the truth. I don’t really know what they want. Hon. Irona has paid his dues.
“He is reliable and has capacity to deliver. With him, PDP is sure of victory in Orlu zone. Again, angels and men will bear witness that it is the turn of Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/ Oru West federal constituency to produce the Deputy Governorship candidate of the Party in the interest of fair play and justice.”
It would be recalled that an Owerri-based local tabloid in its Friday edition entitled “Imo PDP Deputy: Orlu stakeholders raise alarm over choice…” alleged that some stakeholders of the party in Orlu zone were not consulted before Irona was chosen as running mate to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State.