Fashola’s allies endorse Agbaje as battle to take Lagos from APC hots up


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Eleven years after Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos state, and Jimi Agbaje, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 election, were locked in political rivalry, the camps of both politicians are teaming together for the next general election.

In 2007, Agbaje, who ran under the Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), lost the governorship poll to Fashola of the then Action Congress (AC).
But all that is over.  Some key supporters of the two-term governor, who is now a minister, have pitched their tent with Agbaje.
Following the crisis in the Lagos state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), some allies of Fashola and Fouad Oki, factional APC leader in Lagos, defected to Accord Party.
The former APC members had accused the leadership of the party in the state of imposition and high-handedness.
At a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday, chieftains of Accord Party announced the endorsement of Agbaje, asking members of the party to work with him to unseat the ruling APC.
Joseph Beckley, governorship candidate of Accord Party in Lagos, said his decision to concede to Agbaje was in the interest of the party and to take the state to a better place.
Agbaje, who was present at the meeting which held at Airport Hotel in Ikeja, thanked the key politicians.
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He said Beckley accepted to concede to him because he saw a larger picture ahead and he knew it was a man with better chances that could solve the problems at hand.
“Beckley has magnanimously stepped down for me so that Accord can endorse me as their candidate for governor of Lagos state in 2019,” Agbaje said.
“It takes a man of character to have run for an office, got the ticket and to accept that there is a larger picture to look at, that there is a more serious problem on ground and that to overcome it, he has agreed to step down for a person with a better chance.
“I accept with humility the honour you have granted to us. We shall get to the government house and serve our people better than the way they are being served today. The freedom train is on the move. There’s still room in the train and it’s time to move on. It’s time for freedom for Lagos. We will get there in 2019.”
In the course of his campaign, Agbaje has been engaged in heated exchanges with not just Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his APC rival, but also Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling party.
Agbaje had once said he was determined to set Lagosians free from Tinubu, to which Tinubu taunted him that those talking of freedom should take up apprenticeship in vulcanising but Agbaje fired back, saying: “Pharaoh, let my people go”.

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