Jimi Agbaje, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, has denied the raging rumour that he had abandoned the party in anger.
“I remain in PDP,” Mr Agbaje told the Press following an enquiry seeking to corroborate claims of his departure. “Disregard the fake news.”
Mr Agbaje, a career pharmacist who had sought to govern Lagos three times in the last four general election cycles, was reported to have left the PDP following insufferable attacks directed at him because he lost the recent governorship election in the state.
Mr Agbaje was roundly defeated by Jide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress at the March 9 governorship poll. He wasted no time in placing a call to congratulate Mr Sanwo-Olu and accept the outcome.
It was not immediately clear where claims of Mr Agbaje’s exit from PDP emanated, but Western Post, a regional newspaper, was amongst the earliest platforms to publish the disputed story Wednesday morning.
The Western Post report subsequently earned a footing on social media, where a flurry of pro-APC social media handles had had a filled day passing it around with biting commentary.
The paper said Mr Agbaje did not immediately indicate interest in another political party following the purported resignation.
Even though there was no specific source attributed for the purported resignation of Mr Agbaje from PDP, the report also managed to gain immediate traction even amongst PDP loyalists.
The former aviation minister later tweeted a retraction, saying he had Mr Agbaje on the phone and the Lagos politician denied leaving the PDP.
The debunked report came as the party was still reeling from the resignation of Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State who played a crucial role as a top PDP strategist in the presidential campaign.
Mr Daniel resigned on March 14, saying in a letter to party chairman Uche Secondus that he had seen it all in politics and had no immediate reasons to continue in partisan politics. He, however, said a day later that he was considering a request by his supporters to join the APC