Sunday, Jan 2021

Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State as one of the largely sub urban LGA in the state is a relatively very distinguished area in the Lagos polity.

This assertion is certainly not just for its massive population with over 700 polling units, second only to Mushin’s over 800 plus. Also, because of being one of Nigeria’s largest Federal constituencies. For these reasons the area occupied a premium place in the Lagos State political calculations. Its ever-expanding population has over the years made every politician see the area as a major issue in winning a considerable vote in elections both at the state and the federal levels. In this regards political stakeholders at both the state and Local government levels are at one time or the other creating and developing strategies to sustain their political hold and relevance in the state. Therefore a political hegemony has naturally evolved in the area like many other clustered and significant political constituencies across the land. But, what makes Alimosho a relatively unique and interesting case study is its aforementioned distinguished features and landmarks. The current political hegemony in Alimosho got a zest during the reign of former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu when the then Commissioner of works, RaufAregbesola now Osun state Governor provided the leadership and the incentives to torpedo Ayo Akinyemi, Baba Elediye, Alhaji Orelope led leadership. The era witnessed an attempt to lay a foundation towards infrastructural development and growth of the area. A number of landmark projects were initiated to open up the wide terrain. More importantly, the era also brought about the influx of both old new politicians into The Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Group, BATCO, which later mutated to The MANDATE Group. Consequently, Asiwaju’s teeming political disciples who traditionally spring up as a result of his efficacious political dominion in the state especially the controlling leadership in Alimosho began to see themselves as a major force in the state political hegemony and strategically position themselves in the area’s political hierarchy for relevance and pecuniary benefits and accordingly devise means to climb up to and sustain at the top echelon of the hierarchy. In a demonstration of total loyalty to Asiwaju, the area was soon nicknamed ASIWAJU’S COUNTRY in order to maintain their political ascendancy and also to create an impression that wherever Asiwaju turns politically there they are. However, since Asiwaju and Fashola’s intervention in the area, none of the government functionaries, political leaders and stakeholders, who identified with the area have been able to make much meaningful impact like the current governor of the state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. Since his assumption of duty as Governor on May 29th 2015, Ambode has never left any one in doubt that he is committed to the progress of the state most especially the neglected sub urban local Government areas and in this, the infrastructural development and growth of Alimosho Area of the state is paramount. Made up of a Local Government Area and five Local Council Development Areas, Ambode’s government has hence become a resounding blessing for the people of Alimosho. To most political analysts and keen watchers, his giant strides here have greatly endeared him to the entire citizenry of this area and beyond. According to Olufemi Akanbi who wrote in the Vanguard of July 9th 2017 said; “having lived in Alimosho virtually all my life and I am getting to 60 years, I must say that the transformation that has taken place in the area in two years of Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration is unprecedented. I say this with all sense of responsibility as a man of God and a resident who has directly benefited from the Midas touch of the governor. At the inception of his administration, Ambode promised to run an all-inclusive government where no area is left behind in the scheme of things and true to his words, the hitherto forgotten Alimosho has been positively affected in many ways and the man at the helm of affairs in the Centre of Excellence is still poised to do more.” Truly, as Akanbi wrote in 2017 that Ambode was poised to do more; the governor actually lived up to the expectation of the people. He has continued to upgrade the quality and infrastructure. This is evident in the hundreds of kilometre of roads he has constructed across Alimosho's one local government and five local council development areas, where the Abule Egba fly over, Ijegun-Isheri-Osun-Isolo Road, Idimu-Ejigbo Road (Phase II), New Market Road, Camp Davies/Ishefun Roads, and the newly inaugurated 21 roads and two bridges in the area are very momentous. The roads and the bridges were unprecedented, and have tremendously eased commuting within the communities and across to the neighboring Ogun state. Evidently, with the current attention of the state government on Alimosho and the enhancement of the welfare of the people, the residents continue to express serious doubts that they may not have had it better if Ambode were from the constituency. Therefore if membership and leadership of the Alimosho hegemony is a function of the level of contributions to growth and development, Ambode has earned himself a place of pride among the people, with a distinctive leap far ahead of all entrenched leadership of the area. It is convenient to conclude that Ambode is second only to his leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Alimosho hegemonic political hierarchy today.

Comrade Michael Popoola Ajayi writes from Centre for Democracy and Socio-Economic Rights (CEDESER), Lagos

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