Posted on Fri 5 Oct 2018, 10:49 AM

Even if you achieve all those and more than anyone can ever imagine but fail in realising that you are not the first neither will you  be the last governor of Lagos state, you may have lost everything and prepared yourself to be cast into the bin of detested governor of all times. 

Dear Mr. Sanwoolu

I join the multitude that has congratulated you on your victory as the preferred aspirant to fly the flag of the APC ahead of the forth-coming governorship election in Lagos state.  Most residents of Lagos and others who have the slightest understanding of what transpired in the state within the last three years and five months, are not surprised that you won, rather the shock is in the nature of the victory. A situation where your opponent, who is the incumbent, struggled to secure just about  8% of votes cast, is not just humiliating but devastating. I chose to ignore all issues being raised and rely on the figures as declared by the Chairman of the team sent by the APC National working committee to supervise the primary.  

While you may be celebrating this, I am persuaded to remind you of an adage in Igbo land. The  moral will not be lost on the Yoruba culture, I am sure. My people say that 'a slave who sees where and how another slave is being buried with ropes on the legs, should know that his day for such treatment is certain.'

At about this time in 2014, a certain Akinwunmi Ambode was thrown into the political theatre with all the naivety ever found.  It was so bad that he could not grant a five minutes interview because of what appeared like lack of coordination in front of the camera or audience. No doubt Ambo as  was chanted then, was standing on an intimidating resume. But, we must admit that assessing the validity of such document requires some expression from the holder. When such ability to elucidate appears weak, it becomes a matter of  conjecture as no individual may have the authority to defend another's claims without the risk of standing on sinking sand.

Ambode's perceived shyness would have been a challenge but for the huge APC structure he rode on. While Jagaban himself was busy with campaigning for the party's presidential candidate, the governor then, Babatunde Fashola, drove the home front. He literally took Ambode's arm, and visited every community and settlements in the state until electoral victory was secured.

Unfortunately, Governor Ambode felt that if he wipes off the name of his predecessor from the history books as former governor in Lagos state, the godfather will perpetually be pleased.  So he launched out in full force and venom that ridiculed the initial picture of a meek leader he painted prior to the polls. 

Dear Mr. Sanwoolu, if you were around here during the celebration of Lagos @50 in 2017.  You would have noticed how long it took before Fashola's passport-size pictures were 'smuggled' into the huge beautiful banners that adorned the streets and highways in the state.  That was after public condemnation about the neglect of the immediate past governor went to high heavens. This is just the least of the evidence of how Ambode's administration attempted to humiliate and possible destroy any remembrance of the man that handed over power to him. 

There is a view that Gov. Ambode read the mind of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and concluded that fighting Fashola and all that represent his administration, was all he needed to remain the darling of the godfather.  Events of the past few weeks which culminated in the disastrous outcome of the primary is the best judge of the wisdom or lack of it inherent in that thought.  

One other thing I will like to remind you of, revered candidate, is that there was a man in charge at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, before May, 2017, when he was sacked by Gov. Ambode. If you become governor of the state by May, 2019, it will be within your responsibilities to appoint and to fire the Chaplain since the worship centre is annexed to the State government house. Therefore, Gov. Ambode may not have violated any law by disengaging Venerable Femi Taiwo but he took the exercise of his power into a dangerous zone. 

As governor, please be mindful of fights you get into. Do well to avoid confrontation with superior beings as you will need them in time of trouble. 

Reports say the reason for removing the cleric bothers on his failure to 'properly and adequately' recognise the governor's wife during a church service in the Chapel. As if that was not arrogant enough, the clergyman and his family were thrown out of his official residence in less than 48 hours of being asked to vacate his office.  To think that the man behind this callous act is the same that swore to defend the laws of the land would have been very disappointing; but with the record of state sponsored demolitions carried out against court orders within the last three years, defense of the rule of law simply assumed a different definition. 

The real issue here is that while Ven. Taiwo was being disgraced along with the alter he represents, the governor was in bed with his later day foes, or so it seems.  Now, several months after when the centre could no longer hold, Gov. Ambode could not run to the alter for shelter. Even if he did, the alter rejected him and his sacrifice because he defiled the holy place with impunity.  

I will leave you with these for now sir. 

Do well to construct new roads and rehabilitate damaged ones.  You have an opportunity to kick start the Fourth Mainland Bridge.  The popular monorail may convey its first passengers within your reign. The Lagos Badagry highway is there to be registered in your name as the governor that completed the project. The biggest refinery in the country might begin operation in Lagos under your watch.  Take a chance and see how many of these and more you can accomplish. 

Even if you achieve all those and more than anyone can ever imagine but fail in realising that you are not the first neither will you  be the last governor of Lagos state, you may have lost everything and prepared yourself to be cast into the bin of detested governor of all times. 

Thanks

Uzonna Ononye writes from Lagos.

 

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