The main opposition party in Lagos State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has berated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for withdrawing his participation in The Platform Governorship Debate.
The Debate, scheduled to hold on Sunday, January 29, 2023, will be hosted by Pastor Poju Oyemade of the Covenant Christian Church.
The State Commissioner of Information & Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, had earlier in a statement on Saturday said that Sanwo-Olu will not participate in the Debate, citing a viral video showing a group of thugs shooting in broad daylight in Surulere area of the state.
Omotoso alleged that the thugs are believed to be henchmen of the main opposition party the PDP, adding that the decision of the Governor not to participate in the Debate was based on advice from competent sources, including elders and respectable Lagosians.
“”Following advice from competent sources, including elders and respectable Lagosians, we will henceforth shun any forum that may require us being together with PDP and its agents of violence.
“Consequently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu regrets to announce that he will not be participating at The Platform Governorship Debate of January 29, 2023.
“The Governor holds Pastor Poju Oyemade and the Covenant Christian Church family in high esteem and cherishes future opportunities to engage the congregation and render accounts of his stewardship to them as integral parts of the Lagos electorate.
“We will never be found in the company of those to whom the lives of innocent Lagosians mean nothing. Mr Sanwo-Olu won’t share a podium with them,” he had said.
However, in a swift reaction, the State PDP Publicity Secretary and Chairman, Media and Publicity JandorFunke 2023 Campaign, Hakeem Amode, said the intention of Sanwo-Olu not to attend the Debate was an excuse to save his face from impending embarrassment.
Amode alleged that the incident the Governor made reference to as the reason for his withdrawal was orchestrated and perpetrated by his party members.
According to him, the Friday incident is not a good reason for the Governor not to participate in the Debate, describing the Debate as “a more important occasion.”
Amode said: “The intention of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu not to attend the Governorship Debate organized by the Platform is nothing but an excuse to save his face from impending embarrassment at the debate.
It is disheartening to note that the incident referred to by the governor was orchestrated and perpetrated by his party members with these thugs shooting in two areas of the LGA before the campaign team of Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran Jandor , arrived at the local government.
“A responsible government that truly cares about the people is supposed to have received a briefing on the incident to know his party thugs were the ones who attacked the campaign convoy of our Governorship candidate.
“It’s an act of cowardice to use the Friday attack as an excuse not to attend a more important occasion such as the debate.”