Sunday, Jan 2021

As the 2019 general elections beckon fast, many of the principal players have begun to draw their plans to take the shine off one another.

This is a situation that is spreading like wild fire across the nation nay other parties. The Centre of Excellence State, Lagos, is not an exception, even with the wide popularity of its undoubtedly performing governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. Of course, no one can feign the touted idea in all quarters of the state, that a second term is sure for the Epe-born, accountant-cum-civil servant turned politician by his godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who single handed foisted him on the state and the Lagosians as the successor to the immediate past governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN. Feelers are now emerging from certain stalwarts within the Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Party, APC that it will no longer be business as usual. Their grouse is allegedly based on some actions and inactions being laid at the doorsteps of Governor Ambode. Another trite claim by these stalwarts and some party members is that, he had not carried them along since he sailed into power, adding that he was just busy doing the business of governance, as if it was not the collective efforts of members that put him in office in the first place; forget about his godfather at Bourdillon. Now that the 2019 election is fast approaching and his second term very much dear to him, he now believes he will need them once again to scale through to the Alausa Glass House for a second term. To many pundits, the claims of these members within the party are enough to lend credence to the fact that, Ambode was not a well-grounded politician, before providence and godfatherism shone on him to become the governor; just like the case of former governor Fashola, who is now the Minister of Power, Works and Housing. It is a known fact that in politics, when you are tossed into office as a political office holder, you must as a matter of unwritten policy carry along those who rallied round you to emerge victorious. This in the coming dispensation may turn out to be Ambode’s albatross, if all arithmetic, math and permutations of politics are brought to bear; because Ambode alone cannot do the job of mobilizing people during electioneering; and this is where these set of concerned members are waiting in the wings for the Governor when the cookie begins to crumble. But in the same development, Governor Ambode, sensing a likely disenchantment from these members when the time comes for him to solicit their support, he has allegedly been grooming and subtly building his own structure from within the same party, to circumvent the anticipated plans of these members should they want to vent their spleen on him. But, political observers believe that Ambode is not that politically sagacious enough to match that of the aggrieved members, who know the game better than him, come rain or shine. It is their job and they know how to swing the pendulum in the favour of whoever they chose to align with. Even the members he has been hand picking inside his cabinet and the party don’t even know themselves enough to navigate the volatile game of politics structure-wise. Most of them are either opportune to be in politics by fiat or by simply privileged to be in the good books of Ambode, who himself is more or less a political neophyte. Recall that this issue of a planned structure being mooted by Ambode, was amplified recently when he sent a list of SLG’s and Supervisory Councilors to be appointed by all the Chairmen of 57 local governments and local council development authority; a list that was rejected by most local government chairmen, on account of Ambode’s intention to plant his own men in these councils-nay-his own structure. It was gathered that few hours after the names of the new appointees were made public; crises began to loom in some local councils. Some of the local governments that rejected the list include Kosofe, Agboyi-Ketu, Mosan-Okunola, Oshodi, Isolo, Agbado Oke-Odo, Agege among others. Meanwhile, the latest council to be hit by crisis over the purported list is Ikosi-Isheri LCDA. The situation now in the polity and across all divides in the party, is that Governor Ambode may have a Herculean task in persuading these dissenting members towards his second term bid; even now that his political godfather, Tinubu, has a more tasking and difficult job at hand on account of the new job given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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