By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
This Saturday, July 22, Local Government Elections in Lagos, may not reflect a conventional election to bring leaders on board to manage the affairs of the 57 local councils in the state for better governance and development. National Daily investigation reveals that this Saturday’s council election is historically preparatory to rebuilding the collapsing political dynasty of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tnubu, widely celebrated national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, which has been under siege since the Buhari administration.
National Daily investigation further reveals that two major factors may influence the voting behavior of the electorate in the Saturday LG poll. These include the sterling performance of Governor Akinwumi Ambode in the past two years and sympathy votes for Tinubu to enable him consolidate on his grassroots power base. This is expected to empower Tinubu to negotiate strongly with political actors in the mainstream body politic towards a review of the power equation in any political party he identifies with in 2019. Apparently, the outcome of the polls is predictable considering these two factors.
The political sensitization has been spreading life Australian Wildfire that Lagos remains the major power base of Tinubu in the midst of the seeming conspiracies in the past two years to dismantle his political dynasty and discomfit his leadership.
Invariably, legion of Tinubu’s grassroots soldiers who superintended the 57 local councils in Lagos some years ago as Executive Secretaries were noticed to be ‘recalled’ for the APC chairman and councillorship tickets for the Saturday LG poll.
National Daily investigation found that the legacy some of them left in the past may not guarantee them victory inthis Saturday’s LG election but they are mostly shielded by the Tinubu and Ambode factors.
Monumental protests and threats trailed the primary elections processes which several aspirants described as undemocratic and grossly manipulated but the APC political machine was able to consolidate the party structures and proceeded with the LG election even without some of the discontent members, some of who crossed over to other political parties for tickets.
Meanwhile, at different interactive fora, many APC stakeholders and candidates were observed to reiterate the use of the Saturday LG polls to rebuild the Tinubu political dynasty, reaffirming their standing on Tinubu’s mandate.
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Moreover, APC the State Chairman in Lagos, Chief Henry Ajomale, had on Tuesday, vowed that the party would emerge victorious in all positions at the polls as a befitting gift to Governor Ambode and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Ajomale, at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House, Ikeja, while presenting flags to the Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanship candidates, remarked that the party has worked hard in the last few months to ensure total victory for all its candidates at the polls.
Ajomale had declared inter alia: “Nothing is going to stop us. By the grace of God, we are going to win the elections. Come Saturday, get ready and use your available opportunities and your leadership role to win for our candidates and we know, for His Excellency, the Governor, and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, our leader, we must win the elections as a gift to both of them.”
Governor Ambode also complemented Ajomale’s political calculations in Lagos State. Ambode had affirmed that a win for the party in all the elective positions would also sustain the virtues which Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu stands for.
“This course is a course for the Asiwaju dynasty. So, we stand up today to say that we are here to defend that dynasty in totality,” Ambode had declared.
These historic declarations are not merely vacuous. Many stakeholders in the Nigerian project perceive Tinubu as a victim of circumstance in the APC-government since the party won the 2015 General Elections and subsequent inauguration of the Buhari administration in May 2015.
There are innuendoes that the former Lagos Governor who was in the vanguard of the negotiation, formation, then, struggle and victory for power at the centre, in the emergence of APC has not got a fair share since the party came to power. There is wide belief that the one celebrated as national leader has been subtly eliminated from the decision making process of who gets what, when and how from the commonwealth after his immense contributions to the success story of the APC.
Meanwhile, there are emerging indications that 2019 power contest may be another historic era in Nigeria’s political development. Political leaders have been rebu8ilding their grassroots power base across the country in preparation for possible new alliances or reinforcing the existing alliance within their identified power bloc. Thus, the Lagos declaration may not be an absurdity.