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Jandor, hanging out dry in Lagos politics

Babatunde Adeleke

In Amit Kalantri’s ‘Wealth of Words’ he quipped, “An amateur magician with affection is more delightful to watch than an expert magician with arrogance.” No quote is more fitting in describing the friction between the gubernatorial candidate of the People Democratic Party and his counterpart from the Labour Party in Lagos at the moment. I hold no briefs for the two of them as I believe they are in a rat race to the bottom – they are running against unarguably the most performing first-term governor in Nigeria, this is as clear as daylight.  

On the part of Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, he is an arrogant magician yet he is no expert. Up against the hipalthough inexperienced Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, Jandor has shown an uncanny sense of arrogance, and pride. These, in my estimation, will end up ashis Achilles heel in the present political cycle. 

When the race started, Jandor was at the centre of the conversation, those zealous about a change of leadership in Lagos saw him as the key that could perhaps open a new door in the Alausa government house. Of course, he was in the PDP and that has been the only party close enough to the ruling All Progressive Congress in the state. I would have put him in second place for the guber race back then, however, theinitial rush is gone. Gbadebo is now topping the chart and he is now being backed to take the fight to the incumbent. 

Jandor has called himself an independent candidate although he is running on the ticket of the PDP. He has reasons to – his leader within the party, Bode George, has now deserted him. As it stands, he is effectively a political orphan. Bode George has his own grouse against Jandor and his candidacy. The PDP chieftain said Adediran flouted the agreement to make Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour his running mate — instead of Funke Akindele. He said Adediran’s decision to pick Akindele, the actress, as running mate forced Rhodes-Vivour to join the Labour Party as its standard bearer for the Lagos governorship election. 

Jandor called the PDP chief a liar at an Arise TV interview in November of 2022. This is just one of the several pieces of baggage that have followed the PDP flagbearer. Recently, he was accused by a social media critic and entertainer, JustAdetoun of rape, he is yet to respond to the accusation. I don’t know Just Adetoun much, but she mentioned that Jandor was proud, arrogant, and temperamental, and has a really short fuse. These adjectives, I agree with, on this campaign trail, it has been shown that Jandor will be the wrong choice to put in Alausa. 

In a new interview, he accused George of godfatherism, noting that it was why he left the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He further noted that some PDP elders including, Chief Bucknor Akerele had been sabotaging the party, while leading support for Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

“I was able to clinch the ticket without the support of godfatherism and after, Bode George sold Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to me and I refused because I left APC because of godfatherism; I cannot condone that in PDP. This is why he keeps eulogizing Rhodes-Vivour, talking about assassination attempts on his life.

“What is happening in Lagos is that I am fighting without any godfathers. Chief Bode George is always sabotaging the efforts of PDP candidates in every election cycle,” Jandor noted. He was asked if he would be willing to forge an alliance with Rhodes-Vivour, which would have been a sort of political salvation for him, he declined sharply, citing that he has been approached by the presidential flagbearers of both parties. 

He said, “I told Peter Obi that I don’t have a problem with an alliance but I told them we need to put our best foot forward. Analyse us. Rhodes-Vivour has a Supreme Court case which might work against us and we cannot go into this election because of these cases.”  He might have had a point there, however, if he is the best foot of the pair, then the two politicians have an issue and that is why they cannot smell Alausa. 

As it stands, even the choice of running mate is working against Jandor. He obviously picked out Funke Akindele the famed thespian on the grounds of her popularity, what he has failed to understand is that being popular within the cultural space doesn’t translate into votes. Perhaps he should read the book love doesn’t win elections by Ayisha Osori, it might provide a therapeutic getaway after his loss at the polls. 

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