Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are excited about the ongoing drama playing out in the camp of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.
The crisis they say, is providing for them on a platter of gold, the Lagos State Government seat which they lost narrowly in the last election to the now deeply embattled governor of the State Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. Authoritative sources within the opposition say members are fervently praying that the Lagos State APC leadership remain adamant in its move to successfully oust Mr. Ambode and are once again singing, “I can see everything turning around”.
The development has re-energized the PDP’s candidate at the last election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje to come out from his shell and re-present himself for the coveted office. Mr. Agbaje narrowly lost the last election to Ambode – a seasoned technocrat, who though untested at the time, endeared himself to the masses by his intimidating academic and professional track record, untainted character and good public conduct. Ambode’s choice as the APC candidate was at the time, generally viewed by political analysts as an excellent move by the party’s controversial leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
A thoroughbred politician, Tinubu is respected for providing astute leadership as the governor of the State, but even more for his ability to groom worthy successors. When the renowned APC leader initially unveiled Mr. Babatunde Fashola, his then relatively unknown Chief of Staff, as the ‘Actualiser’, many derided his plan to hand over to a neophyte. The excellent performance of Fashola as the Executive Governor of Lagos State soon proved Tinubu right and earned him immense respect, an accolade that suffered a setback when he was accused of undue interference in Fashola’s government and envy of his protégé’s rising profile.
The Jagaban Borgu, raised more dust subsequently when he similarly anointed his erstwhile Accountant General, Akinwunmi Ambode as Fashola’s successor and fiercely supported him to clinch the coveted office. He dubbed Ambode ‘the CONSOLIDATOR’ and paid tribute to him as the man who bailed out Lagos State when it was starved of funds by then President Olusegun Obasanjo who withheld the State’s statutory allocation for many years.
Ambode no doubt has lived up to his high-flying credentials, endearing himself to Lagosians with his reputation as a man of few words and more action, clearly setting Lagos on a path of transformation into a rapidly evolving mega city.
Consequent upon Ambode’s performance, APC was cruising to a ‘no-contest’ easy win election while the PDP and its past gubernatorial candidate Jimi Agbaje remained under-ground and showed no interest in contesting the up-coming gubernatorial election in 2019 as it seemed clear that they had no chance of winning against the APC, at least, not in the next four years.
Unfortunately and very sadly, all these collaterals have in the wake of dirty political shenanigans within the APC, been thrown to the winds by the party, handing a lifeline to the PDP who cannot believe its good fortune.
The party’s calculation insiders say, is that the Otedola-Sarumi-Agbalajobi saga is playing out again, as people who had given up on their political interests, like Jimi Agbaje and even those with no known political aspirations such as billionaire businessman Mr. Femi Otedola, are waiting for the platter of gold gift from the embattled ruling party.
Interestingly, Ambode the man at the centre of the intrigue, is taking everything in his stride. Sources close to him say he has prevailed on his very incensed followership not to respond to all the cooked up negative stories and fake news being churned out daily by desperate politicians seeking to take his coveted office by all means.
The governor they say remains focused on delivering his mandate to the good people of Lagos State and is unwavering in his loyalty to his political mentor and National Leader of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Oladotun is a Lagos-based entrepreneur and public analyst