Why Tinubu must not have his way over Ambode

By Editor on 01/10/2018

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Ambode and Tinubu

In the next few hours from now, barring any further postponement or obstacles, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Lagos State, will file out to select the candidate that will represent them in the 2019 governorship election.

The stage is finally set for what, ceteris paribus, is going to be an epic battle between incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and his last but one predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Forget that Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the candidate whose name will be on the ballot by the time the boxes are placed on the dais for Monday’s voting, the real contestant is the Jagaban Borgu.  

Unfortunately, the fate of the entire 20 million, plus, residents of the nation’s economic capital, and the tens of millions others, whose entire livelihood or substantial part thereof, are determined by this strategic entity, has boiled down to the interest of just two people. Tragic, to say the least.

Let us say from the outset and without equivocation that we condemn this ugly scenario in its entirety. Nowhere else in modern democracy is the interest of the people so subsumed, imperilled and sacrificed on the altar of a tiny group of vested interests.

But it is even worse in the instant case. Here, we may even be talking about one man as that vested interest. There has never been any doubt about Tinubu’s overwhelming influence since the time he became governor, not only in Lagos, but the entire South West.

At a point, it was such a glorious story to tell about how the Asiwaju of Lagos and Jagaban Bourgu, was able to withstand the moving train that threatened to crush his government and his own political machinery. If that had happened, it would have been a great tragedy for Nigeria as a country, because it would have meant the political trajectory that it birthed, would have been stymied or lost in transition.

But that Tinubu, confronted the government of then President Olusegun Obasanjo, which showed great capacity for mindless impunity, horrifying and unconscionable butchery of every known modern day democratic practice and ethos, and ultimately won the war, set him apart as a sort of political Genie.

If he had not won that war, he would not have forged ahead to build the political edifice that housed those who plotted the earth-shaking crash of the behemoth, called the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and halt its many inanities. It means that the former ruling party, which had at various times, boasted that it would rule Nigeria for 60 years and later increased it to 100 years, would have still been in power till date.

Never mind the outcome of the change Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) and how Nigerians are coping under it. The greater picture is that by that feat alone, he had proved that a government, no matter how powerful it appears, could be removed from power by the people, given the right attitude. Nigeria and Nigerians owe him so much for that.

But, beyond that import and the accompanying personal fulfilment, there must be a compelling impetus to put a leash on the excessive feeling of self-worth and importance to the extent of playing god. That is the issue here.     

Unfortunately, it appears too late already to mitigate the parlous situation of things as the horse has practically bolted out of the stable. There is no way, it seems now, of making the Jagaban back down without the attendant public perception of disgrace.

Nonetheless, Tinubu must not be allowed to win on Monday, for the simple reason that it will create a huge dent on the gains Nigeria’s democracy has made in this regard, if not taking the country to the starting point.  

We are not rooting for Ambode, because he is not guilty as charged, but we feel that the larger picture holds a more compelling argument. What the public has been told before now is that Ambode, has not been oiling the political machine that brought him to power and allowed most of the components to corrode. Tinubu, in his public statement, on Sunday, in which he formerly endorsed Babajide Sanwo-Olu, added that the major reason is that the governor abandoned a 25-year development plan put together by some leaders in the state, in which every governor that would be backed by them is sworn to.


Image result for sanwoolu

Ambode and Sanwo-Olu

These ordinarily, in politics, should be serious error, but not a fatal one that cannot be ameliorated in some ways. Besides, these allegations are quite recent. Tinubu, himself, had only recently, told the world that Ambode was doing well. Not only him. A few weeks before the bubble burst, the entire members of the National Assembly from the state held a press conference, where the governor was again eulogised. The lead speaker at that outing, was no less a person than Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of the Jagaban. Now, at what point did they realise that Ambode was not following the original masterplan of the state?

Again, the war Ambode is facing today is not new. His predecessor, Raji Fashola, also faced the same attack, only that it was not stretched to the same level as the present one. The question that has not escaped public scrutiny is if Ambode must go because of the reasons given, what was the offence of Fashola for being similarly attacked four years ago?

Therein lies the underlining suspicion that Tinubu and his cohorts are being economical with the truth regarding their real intentions. There is more evidence to induce the belief that the attempt to chop off Ambode’s political neck is tied to personal reasons than public interest.

That must never be allowed. There is even a greater danger. It is given that the situation is bad already. But the worst is also the possibility of skewing the process towards arriving at the success of the Ambode must go project.

The governor, himself, alluded to this on Sunday, during his world press conference in Lagos, when he told the whole world that he was not aware of the list that was going to be used for the election on Monday. He also said that as a registered member, he has not been issued an APC membership card, which could be the legal instrument for the voting. He now concluded by wondering rhetorically the fate of ordinary members if he, as a governor, could not be issued with such a vital document.

There have been talks that Tinubu has the entire Lagos APC in his palms and that Ambode, has no chance against him. Good for him. But that assertion be tested also. It must not translate to denying some members of the party the opportunity to vote. That is the only way to ascertain if Ambode is really that bad and helpless as being projected.

In the end, we believe that Nigerians and the world, should not watch as Nigeria’s democracy inch further the edge of the precipice. We have already watched a lot of bizarre macabre dance in the polity in recent times. Times and history, must have taught us by now that developments that collapse a nation often do not happen in a fell swoop. Most times, they are a collection of small, sometimes, perceived inconsequential occurrences, but which gradually, but persistently fester until they snowball into a major cataclysm.

The Tinubu-Ambode affair, is one of the danger signal. Democracy must not be put in the hands of one man. Such is more dangerous than military rule.




Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on October, 1 2018

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