Mr. Segun Adewale is the chairman of the Sheriff-led People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State. Adewale, popularly referred to as Aero Land, in this interview insists that he is the new face of the party in Lagos State. He bares his mind on issues affecting the party and pledges to work with whosoever the Supreme Court judgement favours. Excerpts:
WHAT is the state of the PDP in Lagos State?
To be sincere with you, we have a serious challenge from the opposition, APC and the problem is not really from within our party. Although we initially had issue as to who was the authentic chairman of the party in the state, but based on the ruling of the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt that declared Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the party chairman, all fraying nerves within the party became quiet and that was why the Moshood Salvador group decided to move to another political party, APDA.
From what we can see, it seems the APC is now the one fuelling the crisis in the PDP by asking the Salvador-led group to return to the PDP and now they are claiming to be PDP members after leaving the party for APDA in order to field candidates on another platform for the July 22 local government election. They went everywhere saying they have turned Lagos PDP to APDA.
I was one of those who refuted it. The APC has a hand in this in order to create confusion as to who is the authentic chairman of the PDP in Lagos and they will use that as an excuse to roll over us in the local council election because they know that we are formidable and very much on ground. How prepared are you for the council election since the law recognizes you as the chairman of the party in the state? What is giving us problem in coming out is because of pending cases. Settling down has been difficult.
If you say you want to represent the people and by tomorrow, the court gives it to Makarfi, what do you do? So, that is why we are waiting for the Supreme Court to expedite action on the case before it. If it is Makarfi, we will go and meet with Makarfi and start working with him and if it is Sheriff, we will stay with him and move on.
It has not been easy for me to represent the masses because if you talk, they will tell you, you are a factional chairman. We have problem with LASIEC but not with the chairman of the commission. I have plans to meet with her and petition her because we have since discovered that all our documents sent to her office have been hijacked by some people working at the commission. Most times, our files are usually empty. The chairperson of LASIEC keeps meeting with Salvador because she believes he is the chairman. Most people in Lagos will not vote for the APC. Regarding preparations, we are prepared and ready for the council elections. The moment you put the right people at the polling booth, you cannot lose elections because when you put the wrong people there, they will compromise.
You said that whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court, you are ready to work with whosoever the judgement favours? Of course! So, if it is Makarfi, you are ready to work with him? Yes. If Makarfi is declared the chairman, he is PDP and I will work with him as my leader. But how comfortable are you with the scar on the PDP that it is a party that had not been able to deliver and that it is a dead party?
I believe that the party is dead spiritually but the party will rise by the next generation and we are the generation.
Virtually all party leaders like Musiliu Obanikoro, Bode Oyedele, Ajose have left the PDP for the APC but I, Segun Adewale is now the face of Lagos PDP. It is up to me to revive the party.
We are working on a project on how to revive the PDP in Lagos state. We are enjoying the problem in the PDP because it will give us the opportunity to separate the chaff from the wheat. But we have not been seeing PDP posters anywhere around Lagos You will see PDP posters anywhere we have our candidates, you will soon start seeing them.
That one I can assure you. Why are you leading this crusade for a new attitudinal change in PDP tagged to be a corrupt party?
Who are the people that are corrupt?
Ninety per cent of them have gone to APC, the rest are trying to APDA and so that’s it. It is now left for those of who are left to bring about that change and like somebody said, if you desire a change in your life, you have to change your life before that change can come.
I don’t want people to pity me, I am in PDP, I will remain in PDP, we are going to re- engineer It and that’s what I am going to do. We would re- engineer PDP, the people that stole, they’ve gone. They’ve gone to join APC.