Last month one thought Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State had no contender within the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Players within the party watched him till he picked the party’s ticket to contest for a second term in office. As usual in Nigerian politics, party loyalists and admirers rejoiced with him.
The celebration was like he had won the election already. While that was going on The Mighty Bola Tinubu and a political capitalist pushed forward his anointed candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
One would thought it was a joke until Sanwo-Olu held a press conference where some powerful APC boys and girls of Tinubu attended.
Sanwo-Olu even claimed that all the Local Government Chairmen in the commercial city are behind him, making the seating governor speechless. Wherever he was at the time.
Politically, it means Ambode had been running the affairs of the state with potential political enemies from within.
But who are they, if Tinubu said yes?
That’s expected. Because Tinubu had always been known never to support, for second term, someone he presented (first term).
At the time of filing this report, Tinubu was quoted as instructing Ambode to step down for Sanwo-Olu.
Ambode and the challenges ahead:
Tinubu isn’t the only enemy of Ambode at this time, APC has also reportedly left Ambode in the jungle. That was the same party that sold the governorship ticket to him.
Moves to pacify Tinubu has not worked either. If Tinubu supports Ambode, APC WILL surely support.
Why the pressure?
The structure of APC belongs to Tinubu, the former governor of the most political vibrant state in Nigeria.
When he says YES, no one can say NO in Lagos politics. He’s not God, but a political god in Lagos.
But we at infomediaNG sees a political drama playing out in the days ahead.
We saw how it was like a war for former governor Babatunde Fashola to win a second term ticket.
Tinubu wasn’t ready to support him, until Lagosians were clamouring for Fashola to contest as an independent candidate, his infrastructural development made electorates in Lagos stood by him.
Since Tinubu is the giver and taker of political offices in the state that has the highest number of educated people and elites, he wouldn’t to endorse any of his political sons on a platter of gold.
- He wants Abode to fight for it.
- He wants Ambode to beg for it.
When this happens, it’ll be easy for Tinubu to open a new political agreement and roadmap in Ambode’s second term in office.
That’s strategic and a good calculation for Tinubu to have absolute say in the second regime of Ambode if things are finally sorted out.
But in case Ambode isn’t ready to stand down, then Tinubu will be pushing and supporting another candidate that’s ready to give in to Tinubu control.
What chance has Sanwo-Olu
If Ambode’s road-map with Tinubu isn’t forthcoming, Sanwo-Olu has a chance.
And already Sanwo-Olu has gotten the backing of the Mandate Movement in the Lagos APC. He wasn’t a popular candidate until his governorship interest and ambition.
Most importantly for him is the support of The Mandate Movement he got. The movement is led by the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was Ambode’s political godfather.
The chairmen of the 57 councils had also declared support for Sanwo-Olu.
Reports say both the state and national leaders of the party met on Wednesday and mounted pressure on the Lagos governor to accept the decision of the state party leaders.
It was gathered that Ambode, however, told them that he would prefer to go ahead with the direct primary option of the party in the state.
“Ambode was told to step down and forget his second term ambition. He was told to publicly endorse Sanwo-Olu as his successor. He was promised a ministerial appointment after the APC might have won the presidential election. He was even told to pick a ministry of his choice.
“But Ambode seemed not to be pleased with the directives of the leaders as he declined the ministerial dangle. He also told them to allow the APC primary process to continue as planned. For now, the meeting is still continuing and there is no compromise in sight.”
“We told him that he might likely lose if he decided not to fight back, but he just smiled,” an insider said.
Already, there are three aspirants in the state:– Ambode, Sanwo-Olu and Dr Femi Hamzat.
Can Ambode rely on primary?
Primary is expected to hold September 25, but insiders said APC is planning to shift it to September 29, 2018.
Ambode is pushing for direct primary, while Tinubu’s camp are pushing for indirect.
Ambode has a chance if it’s direct primary.
“His infrastructural development projects were enough to earn him a second term.
“Tinubu should not use politics to spoil the development going on in Lagos. Ambode has done enough to get a second term,” a member of Ambode pro-demonstrator Mr Charles Akube said in Lagos.
What’s the implication ahead of 2019 elections
If APC gave the ticket to Sanwo-Olu and Ambode joined another party, action we don’t see him taking, the number of votes Buhari is expecting in Lagos in 2019 Elections will be badly affected.
But considering the antecedents of Tinubu on how he dealt with some of his political foes in the state, Ambode may not be bold to toe that path.
InfomediaNG will bring you the analysis as events unfold in the state.
What is your thoughts about what’s happening in Lagos at the moment?
We’ll like to hear from you.