Lagos is not one of the biggest states in Nigeria but it is the decisive state when it comes to politics. Lagos is, so to say, the heartbeat of the Nigeria’s polity.
The political scenario in Nigeria, more especially in Lagos, continues to evolve by the day with the highly prized 2019 election clearly in view. As iconoclastic political philosopher, Harold Laswell, defined politics to be “a game of who gets what, when and how“ the truth inherent in those words sits well with the reality already playing out in Lagos at the moment where clashes of interests leading to next year’s big contest are thickening by the day.
The big question is: will Governor Ambode seek re-election as Governor of Lagos state under the ruling APC? This question comes as a result of an allegation that he no longer has the backing of key APC leaders, 57 local council chairmen and the National leader of APC Bola Tinubu. With such a development, if true, the governorship race looks effectively split among three contenders within the party.
Governor Ambode on the one hand, ObafemiHamzat, a former commissioner for science and technology, and BabajideSanwo-Olu speculated to be the preferred choice in the party’s inner circles. It is widely reported that there is a rift between Ambode and Tinubu; however Ambode came out days ago to dispel the rumor, saying “there is no fight anywhere”. Though this scenario is not new to Lagosians as a similar situation played out during BabatundeFashola’s struggle to get a second term in 2010/2011.
Now the battle for who gets the APC’s ticket has been thrown to the battlefield leaving the contenders to test their popularity through “direct primaries’’. Conventionally, second term tickets are given by consensus arrangements: the incumbents are allowed to continue unopposed. Fashola was adopted after so much drama; Abdufatai Ahmed of Kwara state as well as Ajimobi and Amosun of Oyo and Ogun all came through the same process respectively.
Also, there is a norm of changing deputies in Lagos politics. Even if Ambode emerges as the APC flag bearer, would he have to replace Dr. IdiatOlurantiAdebule with another candidate as his running mate as we’ve seen previously in Lagos politics? His predecessor, BabatundeFashola changed from Princess Sarah AdebisiSosan to Princess AdejokeOrelope-Adefulire, while Bola Tinubu changed deputies several times between 1999 and 2007. He had three of them: KofoworolaAkerele-Bucknor (1999-2002), Femi Pedro (2002-2007) and Abiodun Ogunlewe (2007) in his eight-year term.
Therefore, with serious speculations of Babajide Sanwo-olu (now called Sanwo-Eko) commanding huge support from party members, will Ambode be the first 4th Republic Governor in Lagos state not to clinch a second term in office?