There is an old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That saying is very applicable to the plight of the APC as it positions for power its candidate in the forthcoming Lagos State governorship elections Akin Ambode against his opponent Jimi Agbaje of the PDP.
This is because for a long time the APC has been the ruling party in Lagos state such that it won’t be inappropriate at all for the party and its henchmen to adopt the nickname of the Fulani Mafia when it dominated Nigeria with the arrogant slogan and rationale – Born To Rule.
The botched June 12 election of MKO Abiola put an end to the rule of the Northern Oligarchy under that infamous slogan when the nation conceded power to the South West and Obasanjo was elected president in 1999. It is apparent such loss of power after a long misuse of it , is looking the APC in the face in Lagos state in the forthcoming guber elections in the state and the reasons are its style of governance and distribution of political largesse and influence. These have somehow created a powerful and wide network of relations, sons, daughters and hangers on who have held important positions and wealth from being in government for so long that they think they have become a dynasty of Lagosians ‘ born to rule ‘, like the defunct Fulani or Kaduna Mafia.
In a democracy such as Lagos claims to be, such dynastic or crony governance must be thrown into the dust bin where it surely belongs given the calibre and pedigree of the electorate in the state. This coming guber elections is a grand and God-given opportunity for the people of the state to call a halt to the personalised style of leadership of Bola Tinubu who handpicks political office holders for the three rungs of government in the state from his opulent hideout in Bourdillon Street in Ikoyi .
Party appointments and positions have become intertwined with government bureaucracy and positions such that a serving public servant was selected as running mate to the party’s candidate Akinwumi Ambode. How can a serving civil servant become a party’s No.2 overnight if she had not compromised her work ethics as a non -partisan civil servant who is to be seen and not heard?
To show how the APC has fused party and government it was rumoured that civil servants in Alausa were not happy with the selection of Ambode at first hence their placation with the selection of one of them as Ambode’s running mate. Where is transparency and political accountability in all these?
The answer lies again in the way the people of Lagos state vote in the guber elections in Lagos in February. If they vote for Ambode and his running mate again then they are voting for servitude from the Boudillon Mafia which is drunk with power and believes it will rule Lagos forever . If they vote for Jimi Agbaje which is the sensible thing they will be voting for their freedom from the bondage of the Bourdillon Mafia which thinks, wrongly of coursethat it has Lagos in its pocket and Lagos resides and sleeps in Bourdillon.
Lagos is a very cosmopolitan and prosperous state and Lagos city is the commercial capital of Nigeria in spite of the existence of Abuja. Its governance should be based on the availability of the appropriate political human capital elected at the polls on merit not selected on the born to rule formula that has stunted growth for almost two decades. Clear vision and insight, earned political skills and capabilities are what PDP candidate Jimi Agbaje brings to the coming guber elections.
These are talents that the ruling Apc has shown it lacked for these long years it has ruled Lagos State and surely with the selection of Agbaje’s opponent it has shown it has run out of ideas. The people of Lagos state should show the party the honourable way out by voting it out of office and electing Jimi Agbaje in next month’s elections. Surely there can be no alternative to freedom of choice which Agbaje brings to the elections.
Gbadebo, a public commentator writes from Lagos