By Abraham Ogbodo
And so, Ambode couldn’t be forgiven his ‘sins’ by the godfather. He has been smashed like a gadfly and when the polls open someday in February subsequent yr to select a governor for Lagos State after the 2015/2019 electoral cycle, his identify shall be lacking from the poll paper. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who’s a part of the Akinwunmi Ambode administration in Lagos as managing director of Lagos Property Improvement Company (LSDPC) has been chosen by the oracle to exchange him.
It wasn’t as if a correct trial was carried out and Akinwunmi Ambode discovered responsible of great and unpardonable sins. He was simply unlucky to be on the scene right now. The cost, particularly, was that he had forgotten, since he turned governor about three and half years in the past, to ask the actual house owners of Lagos State to the eating desk. It was not additionally stated that he was consuming alone whereas others have been stored at bay salivating.
I ask for liberty to elucidate the fees towards Ambode. The prosecutors aren’t saying Ambode has failed as a governor of Lagos State. They’re saying he has not carried out as governor of All Progressives Congress (APC). In main the cost, the chief prosecutor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stated he was sending Ambode to the gallows to appease aggrieved social gathering stakeholders not state stakeholders.
Let’s set up the events in the case. It’s Ambode versus APC and never Ambode versus Lagosians. The idea right here is that Lagos and its estimated 25 million individuals are synonymous with APC stakeholders and nothing else outdoors the APC is required to put in a governor at Alausa in 2019. It’s an audacious calculus that ascribes no worth to variables. And all of it appears so properly wrapped up that the stakeholders have began singing victory songs. Whilst a mere APC candidate for the governorship election in Lagos State, Jide Sanwo-Olu gave an acceptance speech that seemed like an inauguration speech.
Perhaps Ambode is responsible. If he have been truly involved in mandate renewal, he ought to have acted like a monkey to catch a monkey. If in 2015, a band of public plunderers floated a Joint Enterprise Firm (JVC) to plunder Lagos and made him, Ambode, the CEO of the plundering firm, the overarching aims would be undoubtedly reiterated at the first AGM of the JVC to guage efficiency and set up areas of operation of the enterprise that require rejigging.
Ambode didn’t perceive his job description. He took it that he had been given powers of lawyer to behave in good conscience and in public good. He went forward to unfold the arising dividends disproportionately such that preferential shareholders had lower than strange shareholders whose funding in the JVC didn’t transcend their residency in Lagos. This was why the vote to take him down from the CEO’s seat couldn’t be defeated at the AGM. Actually, it was overwhelmingly handed with out vital opposition. It was 970,851 votes to 72,901.
It sounds humorous however it’s the actual solution to describe the diabolic economics that attended the APC governorship main by which the incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode was boxed into an underdog in a contest the place he was the defending champion. Quickly, safety yielded to conspiracy as everyone round Ambode, together with his deputy, Mrs Oluranti Adebule confirmed open hostility and a want to betray. The plan was not simply to defeat however humiliate Ambode and set up the level past rivalry that there’s certainly just one most chief in Lagos State referred to as, in easy phrases, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, and in superlative phrases, The Lion of Bourdillon, in addition to the Jagaban Borgu.
In the meantime, a lot had occurred behind the scene in the days previous the APC main in Lagos State to vary the narrative. Kings begged Tinubu to overlook and forgive. Governors additionally did. One from the North reportedly defied his Islamic religion and prostrated in anticipation of shifting the Jagaban to point out mercy. The transfer failed. The Presidency additionally pleaded to no avail. Mr. Dele Momodu, who claims unusual intimacy with the Asiwaju additionally tried utilizing his Pendulum column in ThisDay Newspaper. Like a palace orator cum reward singer, Mr. Momodu prefaced his plea with flowering description of Tinubu’s unmatched political prowess and contributions to the delivery of this democracy in 1999.
Nothing modified and towards all entreaties, Tinubu, like Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Issues Fall Aside drew his machete and struck down a boy who referred to as him father. If the parallel in Issues Fall Aside is adopted, it might imply one thing aside from Ambode has been ‘killed’ by Tinubu. Okonkwo by no means had relaxation after killing Ikemefuna. The worry of being thought weak or the want to determine his prowess past dispute stored pushing him from one misstep to a different till he received into the noose in his ultimate step to self-damnation.
I’m not saying it shall be so with Tinubu. However there are social and even cosmic penalties when fratricide occurs and I’m simply frightened if Tinubu, even with the detachment of an undertaker, would be in a stead to soak up the arising verdict of a troubled conscience. Perhaps, additionally like Okonkwo, Tinubu acted from worry of being thought weak. However it’s higher to be thought weak than to be thought grasping. The angle of the narrative that Ambode was ‘killed’ to service the greed of Tinubu has refused to dissolve regardless of the brewing propaganda of justification.
The conspirators are struggling badly to show that Ambode was sacrificed for the good of 25 million Lagosians and never the greed of 1 man. Large efforts and assets are being invested to transform the morbid professionalism of an undertaker to empathy. There are stories in the social and conventional media chronicling the sins of Ambode and why he deserved the remedy he obtained. The flipside is to infuse the motion of the Lagos APC with altruism in order that it will look as if the gang acted in safety of the public good and to not safe their stomachs.
There is definitely one trending tribute on Tinubu ascribed to Prof. Wole Soyinka through which the Nobel Laureate glowingly described Tinubu as the saviour of Nigeria. However in all parts; diction, fashion and construction, the tribute is so unwolesoyinka-like. It’s a concoction to push a fraudulent level. It solely tells the extent that hawks can go to show that they’re doves.
The travesty wasn’t solely in Lagos. Nationwide, the APC primaries to elect candidates for the 2019 elections have been skewed in pre-determined instructions. And the social gathering nationwide chairman, Adams Oshiomhole was in the thick having fun with the intrigues. In Lagos for example, Mr Clement Ebri, chairman of APC’s nationwide committee for the Lagos main all of the sudden turned an intruder in a course of he ought to be supervising. Whereas he was nonetheless struggling to make sense out of the abnormality of staging and concluding the polls as early as 10 am whereas he, Ebri, was solely prepared for the graduation of the train at about 2 pm, Chairman Oshiomhole introduced in Abuja that he had been duly knowledgeable, (he didn’t say by whom?), that the Lagos governorship main held and a winner was produced.
Prof. Pat Utomi has been lamenting as a result of whilst an aspirant, he didn’t know the place and the way the APC governorship main in Delta was held. He heard, like others, when the winner, Chief Nice Ogboru was introduced. In Imo State, chairman of the election committee, Ahmed Gulak was declared lacking. When he reappeared, he defined that he needed to go underground to flee being kidnapped by aggrieved gladiators in the contest for the subsequent governor of Imo State after Rochas Okoroacha.
However Lagos isn’t just like some other state. There shall be secondary after the main. The state isn’t solely cosmopolitan however retains the greatest in all the things. It’s the largest financial system in Nigeria and fifth largest in Africa. The most important and most profitable businessmen are in Lagos State. The most effective professionals are right here too. And so, what stands elsewhere might collapse beneath Lagos parts. So it shall be with the APC main.
In reality, to me, the actual query to ask is; how did Lagos State with all its excellent and distinctive features come underneath the conquest of 1 man? How might whole 25 million individuals be sleeping at the similar time? That is the similar query for willpower when the secondary and important polls open in February subsequent yr to select the subsequent governor of Lagos from the array of contenders.
Little question, Tinubu will nonetheless struggle and even more durable to win the secondary as a result of his continued tenability is determined by it. At the begin of the on-going democratic dispensation in 1999, he was extremely favoured by the Yoruba institution (Afenifere) towards the tide of fashionable sentiments, which put the late Funsho Williams forward of him in the contest for the governorship seat in Lagos. Upon ascendancy, he struck at the kingmakers by making a so-called Renewal Group out of the Afenifere and thereafter weakened their capability to crown political kings in Yoruba land.
Successfully, Tinubu has changed the kingmakers with himself. He has put in place a brand new energy equation that has him as the fixed coefficient in the Southwest. He selected Babatunde Fashola as his successor when he was leaving workplace in 2007 and selected Akinwumi Ambode to succeed Fashola when Fashola was leaving in 2015. He has additionally been selecting or trying to decide on in the remaining 5 states of the area and tried however failed in 2016 to broaden his frontiers into the North Central State of Kogi.
In all of this, one factor could be very clear and that’s the undeniable fact that the Southwest has slept on its power; a area so adored by others for its political resilience and class is abruptly being led by the nostril by one clever man! At present, the actual problem in the politics of the area and never solely in Lagos State is the anger towards Tinubu and a seemingly belated plan to get well the area from his grip.
Everyone is ready to satisfy in Philippi. This is the reason the 2019 basic election, or what I’ll name secondary after the main, shall additionally be a referendum on who, between Tinubu and 25 million Lagosians, actually personal Lagos State. Above all, the election shall mark a watershed in so many quarters nationwide, all issues being equal.
Ogbodo is Editor of The Guardian.