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lagos And Political drama.

UNarguably, the fulcrum of the
country’s economic power, Lagos State
which until recently was fully imagined
as the enclave of the All Progressives
Congress, APC is witnessing what could
be its most competitive election since
1999.
The state has since 1999 been in the
political grips of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed
Tinubu, who governed the state
between 1999 and 2003 and subsequently bequeathed power to a
handpicked successor in the person of
his former chief of staff, Mr. Babatunde
Fashola. Handpicked successor Though Tinubu’s alleged imposition at that time stressed his former party, the
Action Congress, AC, but the outpouring
was quickly contained and the party
moved on to victory, triumphing over
the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s
Musiliu Obanikoro and Jimi Agbaje of
the Democratic Peoples Allliance, DPA.
Agbaje was reputed to have made a
fashionable campaign but without a
solid structure he was shoved aside by
the dominant AC and PDP.
Ahead of the 2015 elections, one crucial
factor that shadowed the thinking of
political stakeholders was the matter of
religion.
Tinubu and his successor are both
Muslims and with the trenchant call for
a Christian to succeed Fashola, Tinubu
was quick to move ahead of the
agitation and picked the one time
accountant general of Lagos State,
Akinwunmi Ambode to succeed
Fashola.
The primary contest was keen and laced
with many subterfuges as many of
Tinubu’s disciples in his new political
platform, All Progressives Congress,
APC rebelled.
The contest for the party’s
governorship ticket turned out to be a
democratic exercise contrary to the
imposition many supposed it would be.
Tinubu and Ambode worked for their
victory. Asiwaju as he is popularly
called, worked the phones, cajoled and
begged and had his way despite the last
minute push by some core associates
of Fashola to position Olasupo Sashore
as the APC candidate.
At the end Fashola and even the long
time governorship aspirant, Senator
Ganiyu Solomon accepted Ambode and
it is thus interesting that the APC is
going into the election as a united body.
In the PDP, party leader, Chief Olabode
George remarkably was on the same
page with his perennial foe, Tinubu on
religion and sought for a Christian
candidate.
In his search he also reached a
rapprochement with his former party
rival, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe and
the two were able to woo Agbaje the
2007, DPA candidate to cross over to
the party.
Grassroots mobiliser
But Obanikoro, himself a popular
grassroots mobiliser who had left office
as minister of state, defence to again
seek the governorship was unyielding.
With the support of George and
Ogunlewe, Agbaje got the ticket to
Obanikoro’s fury.
Obanikoro’s fury turned into toxic
condemnation of George who
retaliated in Lagos boy fashion until
outside party elders intervened leading
to Obanikoro’s withdrawal of his court
action and acceptance of Agbaje. The
icing for Obanikoro, however, is his
possible return to the cabinet as a full
minister.
With the APC and PDP going into the
election with near unanimity in their
respective camps, the stage is thus set
for an unprecedented political
showdown in the nation’s economic
power base.

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