*Jimi Agbaje meets Afikuyomi at Intercontinental Hotel
*Recuits Agbakoba, Odumakin, CSOs
A forceful takeover of Lagos is the “consolation prize” being contemplated by the camp of Atiku Abubakar after a crushing defeat by President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential polls last Saturday, it has been gathered.
This was one of the resolutions of an emergency strategy meeting held by the Atiku team when it became apparent that President Buhari had won by a wide margin, the first being a formal rejection of APC’s victory as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku who scored 11,262,978.
Even as the PDP flagbearer is still mulling his legal team to challenge Buhari at the election tribunal, his strategists within the PDP are of the opinion that taking over Lagos, the nation’s commercial nevercentre, will enable the opposition party become an effective countervailing force to APC controlling Abuja, the political headquarters.
Recall that a similar bid was launched for Lagos in April 2015 by then President Goodluck Jonathan with the deployment of jetloads of dollars to induce voters after PDP lost the presidential polls to APC, but to no avail.
To actualize the Lagos takeover plot this time, we can confirm that a huge war-chest has been mobilized by the Atiku camp to finance ahead of the March 9 state elections a vicious smear campaign against the strongman of Lagos politics and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believed to have coordinated PDP’s defeat as the Co-Chairman of Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Council. Specifically, Atiku’s hatchetmen are to spread anti-Tinubu messages in the traditional media and social media, deploying any “means necessary”.
The first leg of the strategy meeting, it was reliably gathered, held at highbrow Intercontinental Hotel on Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos Saturday night where the PDP governorship candidate in Lagos, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, met with Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and a few others to perfect the plan to recruit a faction of Afenifere and willing human rights activists to create a facade that the anti-Tinubu campaign is the initiative of civil society organizations (CSOs).
The suppprt of the likes of Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Mr. Yinka Odumakin has been secured in this connection.
In fact, the inaugural press conference is to be addressed by Mr. Agbakoba and Odumakin whose relentless media offensive against Buhari had failed to sway Yoruba votes to Atiku across the South-West last Saturday.
Afikuyomi, described last night as a “Judas” after benefitting politically from Tinubu in APC, was said to have been part of the “Dubai retreat” hosted late last year by the Atiku camp after winning the PDP presidential ticket to draw up a “war plan” against Buhari.
To evade public scrutiny or being accused of “anti-party activity” by APC, Afikuyomi was said to have opted out of the Dubai-Abuja flight and rather adopted a decoy by flying to Lagos through Uganda.
Interestingly, Afikuyomi had been the chief coordinator of the second term bid by the outgoing Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos which crashed in the APC primaries held in October in 2018.
Furthermore, the involvement of another Ambode’s core supporter, Mr. Wale Oluwo, in the latest plot against APC interest in Lagos set tongues wagging again last night.
Oluwo, who resigned as the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy, has been described as one of the “cashiers” in the anti-Tinubu plot, having superintendented over the multi-billion Naira street lights projects exclusively under Ambode and has serially been fingered as the secret “emissary” between Ambode and Agbaje.
On quitting the Lagos cabinet last October, Oluwo declared support for Agbaje’s governorship ambition.
But Governor Ambode has consistently denied any links whatsoever with the funding of Agbaje’s campaign.
Party elders, it was further learnt, were incensed following startling revelations of mouth-watering patronage Ambode had doled out to Afikuyomi even while most of them were shabbily treated.
Listed among Ambode’s largess to Afikuyomi is an eye-popping mansion located in the highbrow Ikeja GRA, the furnishing of which was said to have cost nothing less than N400m.