LAGOS 2015: AFTER FASHOLA, WHO NEXT?
GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE BABATUNDE FASHOLA
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is gradually chopping for surrogate of new breed governorship candidate that would take over from the present Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola in 2015. The kingmaker of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu has closely nominated his choice and humble son that would be voted for in the next governorship election in the State come 2015. One of the problems facing the new ACN is that equitable candidates are not elected into power over the years due to some devious and dubious process which some god fathers have embossed into the party, though it is national impasse in Nigeria’s political system. Though Babatunde Fashola’s administration from the first tenure witnessed massive infrastructural developments which prompted Lagosians to vote massively in the second tenure but only to be disillusioned by infamous policies of his government.
It is appalling that ACN as one of the leading opposition political parties in Nigeria that has directly confronted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and single handedly won all the South west states except one which the Labour Party (LP) occupies and one South South state too, but abysmally failed to stem the tide of promoting genuine democracy in Nigeria and also joining merger of political parties that would wrestle power from PDP in 2015 if the need arises. The last Lagos State Local Government elections could serve as an eye opener to long-lasting corruption where ineffectual and unproven candidates were conscripted on the masses without properly screening of aspirants in the party primaries. In fact primaries were directly conducted by powers that be in the party which the wishes of the people were truncated and destabilized. To some extent, some serving chairmen who never done anything in their first tenure in terms of grassroots development, that is infrastructure basically were all asked to return without considering the leadership implication in the party while opposition parties were grossly in squabble. The wishes of the people in Lagos State are not politically respected as a result of power brokers in the party. With the second tenure of Babatunde Fashola, many Lagosians no longer have interest in the ACN over some toothless laws being imposed in the state.
The fear of living in Lagos state is the beginning of many Lagosians relocating to their various states over unnecessary creation of law enforcement agencies to terrorize innocent and helpless drivers and commuters in the state. Even some of the capital projects being outlined for development might not be completed before the tenure expires in 2015.Some of the Local Government chairmen are only riding on Fashola’s achievements while using both local and national media to promote grassroots projects and prefer flying abroad in every holiday periods and nothing else. The system which ACN operates politically from the State, Local and Federal levels are supposedly corrupt to the core.
Babatunde Fashola has politically derailed from his electoral promises when elected into power for second tenure. Although two years from now is just a number but the political enslavement which the party has caused Lagosians is what many described ACN as a party for regional pursuit and nothing else. The ACN in Lagos State is not for the Yorubas only but also all tribes that reside in the state.
In 2007, precisely when the then governor Lagos state, Ahmed Bola Tinubu was in power till May 29 of that same year, many of the party loyalists whom they promised to be the next governor of the state like Chief Jimi Agbaje, Femi Pedro, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Sentor Tokunbo Afikuyomi were all disappointed and frustrated for not selecting any of the aspirants to be the governorship candidate but rather went to pick his choice candidate that complemented his projects left behind which almost turned the party into two while the heat of frustration led to the purported defection of Senator Obanikoro to the PDP and Chief Jimi Agbaye left for unknown political party and remain irrelevant to any party till date in Nigeria.
Both defectors contested on their parties but never won the governorship election of the state. Though, Tinubu had strong altercation with his deputy governors that saw his government as one man business without carrying them along in day to day activities of state except only one deputy governor that ended the government with him in 2007.Though Fashola brilliantly performed well in his first tenure by surpassing the projects of Tinubu which Lagosians saw him as the bonafide messiah of the state. But Fashola and Tinubu had internal frosty relationship when the latter never wanted him to return to power in 2011 governorship elections that almost torn ACN into two but quickly settled by party leaders not to loose the state to opposition parties.Fashola abysmally botched the trust which Lagosians had for him when he started implementing policies that are preposterous to the state that makes his government uncomfortable for the poor while the rich are great beneficiaries in all ramifications.
Consequently 2011, the so-called opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with other political parties fought tooth and nail to capture Lagos State from the ACN while the governorship candidate of the PDP then, Dr. Ade Dosumu had strong altercation and conviction with the support of the President Goodluck Jonathan that he would win the state but never carried his party loyalists along as a result of financial incapacitation. The major ACN problem is that the choice candidates are not elected rather imposed candidates on the masses without due party primaries process. Though the present Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in the state, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat has been penciled down for the next governor of the state for 2015 while other political aspirants eying the position are being taken to the cleaners. Will Fashola not contesting for any position in
2015 or better still remain silent in the political system?
The present Governor of the state stands a better chance of nominating a candidate for the election as a full grown learned fellow and a politician of such caliber.ACN has all the political strategies of capturing power from the ruling party with their media promotion from the print to the electronic while the political parties merge talks is being taken seriously by Tinubu while who would emerge as a preferred presidential candidate might scatter the vision if not prevented in time.Dr. Kadri Hamzat‘s father, Alhaji Hamzat is one of the strong ACN chieftains in Lagos State with clean political records. The fact remains that those political aspirants promised long ago to be the next governorship candidate are being eked out of the system through the kingmaker of the party’s arrangement. ACN has one of the strongest zoning arrangements that have frustrated some of the party loyalists in the state.
Undoubtedly, Fashola recently signed into law #499.105 billion for 2013 budget in Lagos State but Lagosians are pitifully living in abject poverty and palpable fears of law enforcement agencies that extort money from their victims. The likes of Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the present speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly is one of the governorship aspirants in the state aiming to contest for 2015, Dr. Muiz Banire is another strong legal adviser of the party whose pedigree is enough to win the heart of Tinubu who detects the pace of the party without qualms.Tinubu as is fondly called as”Jagaban Borgu” understands the party structure than any other political leader in the system. Though Senator Ganiyu Olarewaju Solomon is presently completing his second tenure in the senate but not politically anointed by the party leader.
Some of the governorship aspirants would like to spend their money in campaigning hoping that Tinubu would make them their choice candidates.
Tinubu’s wife could also be tipped for the office of the governor if the need arises. The party without number has failed to chop for credible candidates with creative ideas and visions except few ones that have demonstrated quality leadership in their various capacities.PDP or any other political party is not devoid of corruption because cabal policies have overruled the entire political system and nothing else.
Only time we tell if Dr. Kadri Hamzat would bring a difference from Fashola‘s administration after 2015. Tinubu must learn to nominate credible candidates not looters.
Written By GODDAY ODIDI
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