Olajide Adediran, the Lead Visioner of a political group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Lagos4Lagos, has said the desire to emancipate Lagos State, give the people a voice in governance and take the state to the desired position informed his decision to challenge the status quo.
Adediran stated this in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay. He criticised the running of the APC in Lagos State, saying that he could not continue to watch the lack of transparency and sheer injustice in the running of the affairs of the ruling in the state.
Adediran said that it was undesirable for an individual to continue to foist his personal interest on all party members over the last two decades, vowing that his group was ready to change the narrative in 2023.
According to him, “How can somebody tell us to go there today, come here tomorrow and all of us are obeying, and just one person for two decades running; some of us believe we should not continue that way. What is that fear holding us back? If we don’t face that fear headlong we would not conquer it; that is what we are doing with Lagos4Lagos.
“You know some of us do not believe in stereotype or status quo. We want to look at what is in that left that people are turning from, and if you are determined about something it is enough to achieve a whole lot. If you look at what is happening in Lagos, it is unfortunate that everybody just feels comfortable. When I say everybody; I mean including the poor and the rich. The one you can call their friends and enemies.”
According to him, “Things cannot just work that way. Some of us choose to do something so that something would shift, if we refuse to do something we would pass on the baton to even the next generation.
”Speaking further, the APC chieftain lamented that Lagos State had failed to attain its potential and has become stagnated in the last decades despite its huge potential, promising that his group would change the narrative and bring about an inclusive leadership in APC in Lagos, and people-centred government in the state.
“We can’t just be comfortable with everything; what we hear is that Lagos is the most sophisticated state in the federation; undoubtedly, if our level of exposure and influx of people from all over the world is anything to go by, you would agree with me that it is the most sophisticated state but unfortunately, the situation in Lagos is best likened to herders and his cow.
When asked about the strategies his group was adopting to attain success in view of the peculiarity of Lagos politics, Adediran revealed that his quest to liberate the state was an effort of years of thorough research, stressing that the battle to liberate the state could not be won by an outsider but those within the ruling party in the state.
“What we are doing today is a product of thorough research, I am not an outsider, I have been around, even though I have not been elected, but I have been around understudying things and the way it is. And one thing I would say to you is that an outsider cannot fight this war,” he said.
He promised that his group would guarantee internal democracy within the APC in the state, as party members would have the power to elect those who would stand as candidates in election.
While lamenting that alleged impunity, which he described as rife in the APC in the state, Adediran said: “Today, we are dragging the structure of the party. We of the Lagos4Lagos are one part and the Tunde Balogun-led group is in another part. But the question I am asking from them is; this structure that you are dragging from us, when you had it hundred percent, did it ever work for you?”
According to him, “For the fact that you own all your structures in all the local government areas in Lagos State, but it has not happened that the structure is the one that would throw up candidates that represent the people. Somebody would still impose his own choice; just one man. So, what is the point fighting over that structure?
“If we have it, we have given election choices to the people; if you are popular in your locality why can’t you get the ticket? For instance; the party chairman could not produce his local government chairman in the just concluded local government election”.