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Jonathan to reappoint Obanikoro minister for conceding defeat in Lagos PDP.

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A former junior defence minister, Musiliu Obanikoro, will be heading back to Abuja as a top cabinet member as part of a deal personally brokered by President Goodluck Jonathan, for Mr. Obanikoro to discontinue his legal challenge of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primary result for Lagos State, PREMIUM TIMES can confirm.
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Mr. Obanikoro was one of the biggest casualties of the PDP gubernatorial primaries, after resigning his ministerial position to vie for the party’s ticket in Lagos for the 2015 election.
He lost to Jimi Agbaje, a relatively less known candidate, who had the backing of the party’s most powerful leaders in Lagos.
Alongside Mr. Obanikoro, former ministers Emeka Wogu, Labaran Maku, Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Samuel Ortom, also lost their bids after leaving their posts to contest in their respective states.
Mr. Obanikoro rejected the Lagos results and filed a legal challenge against the declaration of Mr. Agbaje as winner, kicking off a row that has the potential to ruin any chances the party may have in snatching Lagos from All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015.
The logjam has finally been resolved amicably with the former minister accepting to withdraw his court case, at the same time fully support Mr. Agbaje as the PDP candidate, presidency sources have confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES.
On Friday morning, a relaxed and visibly pleased Mr. Obanikoro appeared on Channels Television programme, Sunrise, to explain why he agreed to drop his court case challenging the result.
Mr. Obanikoro said he acted in the interest of the party, and reflected on how the party needs a united front to defeat the APC and win Lagos after 15 years.
“But as I’ve said to you, we want to win Lagos. And the only way we can win Lagos is if we are united and people see us as being responsible and ready to provide leadership. For 16 years we’ve had a running battle between Lagos and the federal government,” Mr. Obanikoro said. “We want a government in Lagos that will engage the federal government constructively for the good of Lagosians.”
He denied agreeing to give up his legal challenge in return for a ministerial appointment, although he quickly added that he would be ready to serve if called upon to do so.
“Any time that you are called to come and serve the public, I think it makes sense to accept and do just that. I’m in politics, for goodness sake, for the good of our people, and if an opportunity presents itself for me to come and manage the affairs of men and women, why will I turn it down?” he asked.
PREMIUM TIMES can confirm that despite his denial, Mr. Obanikoro was given assurances from the highest office in the country that his personal interests would be well taken care of if he dropped his challenge.

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