Businessday Ng –
Segun Adewale, popularly known as Aeroland, is the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Lagos West senatorial seat in the 2023 general election. He spoke to some journalists during the party’s unveiling of its candidates for the 2023 general election, across Lagos, to the media last week. INIOBONG IWOK, brings the excerpts:
The 2023 general election is some months away; what are the chances of the PDP in Lagos?
It is not as if the PDP has not been winning elections in Lagos State, I don’t want to personalise my comment that is why I did not talk when the governorship candidate of our party was talking. What often happens is that; in recent years, after voting, the electoral officials often pursue the election and at the polling centres results are changed.
So, it is not as if we have not been defeating APC in Lagos, we have. I can tell you that APC is not popular as people think in Lagos State; experience in the past is that elections are rigged at the collation centre. I am saying it in front of the camera; let them take me to court, because I have evidence.
Secondly, they have about 25 percent of the PVC’s which is often collected on behalf of the non-indigenes. So, the moment your name is not a Yoruba name, they would go to INEC and pick your PVC. This is done to disenfranchise the South-South, South-East people, which are our catchment areas.
With this, on the day of election, they would distribute the PVCs and some people would go and bear that name. Thank God for the new Electoral Act and thank God for Buhari, if that is the only thing we are going to benefit from his government. With the situation now election results would be transmitted from the polling booth.
This means that fraud will be checked drastically, and a lot of people in this hall would be honourable. Do you know why APC often tries to be draconian? It is because they know the election would be rigged in their favour.
They don’t care what anybody is saying about their policies, even if it is draconian because their strength is rigging elections at the collation centres. So, a lot of people would be telling me; I contested and failed several times.
This is not the situation. In 2015, they announced results in seven local government areas, which I won, but they delayed three local government areas’ announcement and manipulated the results in the collation centre.
So, I am very happy with this new Electoral Act signed by Buhari into law. I have to correct that impression from people that I am always losing elections, it is wrong; I have won elections.
The new wave now is the ‘Obidient’ movement; would that not pose a challenge to the PDP and the APC?
It is difficult to defeat the ruling party, if PDP could not defeat APC; it is going to be difficult for the ‘Obidient’ alone to do it. Our common enemy is APC. So, the ‘Obidient’ movement, everybody should come together and face the common enemy.
If we go to that election divided it is going to be difficult for us to defeat APC. At the end of the day, every vote for the Labour Party would be for APC. I keep telling them; you cannot come today, and decide that you want to take over Nigeria. Democracy takes time. If it is a revolution it can take up to six months.
I am begging the ‘Obidients’ that we have to come together. I am from Alimosho, I started the Labour Party in 2007; I did not want to join ACN then, at the end of the day what happened? They removed my name from the ballot paper, there was no Labour Party. We need to come together to defeat the APC in 2023.
I was popular in 2007, I was disenfranchised, I could not vote because the Labour Party was not in the ballot paper in my LGA, but people in other LGAs had it in their ballot papers. I told them this on social media, but I was insulted.
But we have seen Peter Obi’s popularity growing in recent months, especially among the youth and social media. Do you doubt this?
The constitution says for you to win the presidential election, you have to win 2/3rd majority of the states. Let’s ask ourselves, can Peter Obi get that number of states? So, tell me which states he is going to win.
In the South-West, Obi cannot win Ondo or Ekiti States in the presidential election. I am telling you, things are not like you are seeing them. The first shocker, what happened when they discovered that a lot of people were registering?
What they did was to stop registration. We need to form an alliance to defeat APC in 2023. That is my position. It is only with that, we can be talking of winning.
They dealt with me in the past. In 2011 I was announced to have won the senatorial election in my constituency, on my way to INEC office, I was arrested. The Labour Party is going to divide our votes in 2023 and it would favour APC.
With the campaigns just a few weeks away, what will the PDP be doing to get the votes of the non-indigenes in Lagos?
When the campaign starts our emphasis will be on the South-South and South-East, we are going to work with them. I can promise that it cannot be business as usual. That is why you see non-indigenes being part of the campaign council of PDP in Lagos.
For me to win an election I have to work with non-indigenes or I can’t win. So, it is a major factor now affecting us, but I keep telling them; that it would be difficult to win APC in the South-West because elections here have been monetised.
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