Former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos West Senatorial District Primary to measure his power and political advantage but his dream to join the 10th National Assembly may have been cut short.
Not only did the office-seeker miss his latest political shot, but his son, Babajide Obanikoro also failed to obtain his second term bid at the APC House of Representatives primaries for Eti-Osa Federal Constituency.
The senior Obanikoro on Saturday lost his senatorial bid in a disappointing defeat by the former Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule.
Adebule won the hearts of the delegates at the Agege Stadium, defeating Obanikoro and a one-time Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa.
The Lagos West senatorial district seat became open after the incumbent senator representing the district, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, popularly known as Yayi relocated to Ogun West senatorial district to contest in the 2023 general elections.
In a more shotling twist, the junior Obanikoro’s hope to return to the House of Representatives was dashed by Oyekanmi Elegushi, brother to Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom.
Elegushi, with a superior vote of two may have crippled Babajide’s ambition to serve in the Green Chamber, depending on his next political move.
The Obanikoros had in the past enjoyed the support of the Lagos APC, one would wonder if their lackluster performances while in power did not help assuage the feelings of Lagos delegates.
Although, there is a rumour that Musiliu Obanikoro’s defeat is connected to a possible rift with the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, who is displeased with the former Minister of State for Defence for not publicly associating with his 2023 presidential ambition.
AN24 reported earlier that a credible source within the party stated that Obanikoro was not the party leaders’ choice to replace Yayi.
Obanikoro allegedly put up rivals for himself and his son within the party, which alas worked against their hope of representing the APC in the National Assembly.
The Obanikoros have a chronology of decamping. In the end, they might return to the old ways of jumping ships.
Obanikoro became the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture under the leadership of Tinubu in 1999. From being a commissioner, he became a Senator in Lagos from 2003 to 2007, when he ran under the party, Alliance for Democracy (AD) then. It was while he was a Senator that he defected to the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party. He ran for governorship under the PDP in Lagos against Babatunde Raji Fashola of the APC and he lost.
After the 2015 elections in which his former party, PDP, lost power to APC, he was said to have eaten the humble pie to beg the APC national leader, Tinubu, to be re-absorbed into the party and promised never to be disloyal to him.
Shortly after he left the PDP, his son, Babajide, also left the party in 2018 to join APC. The young Obanikoro said his coming to the APC was to be closer to the people and to contribute his quota to his constituency. He regretted that he had once had some differences with the APC as a result of his membership in the PDP.
Obanikoro, in his speech, said he had retraced his steps to be part of a progressive party promoting the development of the state.
When Obanikoro and his son declared their intentions to run for Senate and House of Representatives respectively, many people thought that they will be the first family in Lagos State to have both father and son in the National Assembly. But with their defeat at the APC primaries, that hope has been dashed already unless they defect to another party.
In the end, it can be said that the failure of the Obanikoros to clinch the APC tickets was predictable. However, it is unclear how the father and son will handle this disappointment.
Will the Obanikoros return to their vomit?