Aftermath of Edo 2020: Apc Must Begin Genuine Reconciliation from Lagos State


It is obvious: the chants that reverberated all over the streets of Edo State, remained on the lips of both the aristocrats and artisans,   prominent decision-makers and even cut across the diaspora has all to do with the deliberate and inconceivable injustice meted out to former Lagos State Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode. The deafening cries and revolt that swept through the streets of Benin; the vehemence that resisted 31,000 policemen, 21,000 INEC officials, a consortium of other paramilitary forces can no longer be taken for granted. Significantly, this lacuna is symptomatic of a huge unresolved problem. Like it was in the 1787 French revolution, which was a period of social and political upheaval that shook France and reached its climax in 1789, so it is now with the APC government. This government can no longer suppress the truth. The APC machinery as a result of repeated injustice, stolen mandates, repression of weak colleagues and subjugation of the people’s will is no longer seen as divinely ordained; widespread discrimination, growing dissatisfaction with long tolerated feudal godfatherism has resulted in bourgeoisie and peasant resentment. The growing popularity of performing governors within their ranks who end up being forcibly excluded from governance plus the increasing yearnings for social reforms appears to be their undoing, leading to demand for immediate and genuine rapprochement. In that botched 2018 primary in Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the supposed national leader of the APC inexplicably manipulated the process and used raw power and political gangsterism to oust the youthful and well-loved governor of the State. He brought in his protégé. Not only that, Mr. Ambode who remained cooperative throughout the scourge instead of forgiveness and redress was hounded, blackmailed and cast into political oblivion. No question asked about his wellbeing which compounded his supporter’s restlessness. Resentment of the Asiwaju was therefore inevitable as they began to see him as morally bankrupt whose only lust is political power. Furthermore, Tinubu, because of his far reaches pursued Ambode to Abuja and prevented his nomination as serving Minister. To date, he has never sent or spoken to him as a normal father should do. That bad attitude which registered in the minds of Ambode’s supporters nationwide is exactly what provoked this societal pressure and dissatisfaction with Tinubu style of politics. How could a loyal APC member, a former governor who begged and prostrated with his loving wife be so treated with disdain under a democratic setting? This is a tragedy that has now consumed Tinubu’s man Friday, Adams Oshiomole—and even his own career. They say what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander; therefore, if Tinubu’s wife is good to go for three terms in the senate, Ambode or any other should not be prevented. That’s why Obaseki and the people of Edo State seeing that crass injustice as an eye-opener stood their grounds and manufactured the slogan “Edo no be Lagos”. . Today, First-time governors have gotten a reprieve following Obaseki’s victory; it has also generated intense consciousness on our electoral process and wiped off godfatherism. Be that as it may, the Buhari administration must seize this opportunity to bring back participatory democracy and nail the coffin of Tinubu style of politics. The Buhari administration should as a matter of urgency genuinely compensate Mr Ambode Akinwunmi for his loyalty and cooperation with the party. With the despicable Oshiomole out of the way, genuine reconciliation can now begin. The first port of call should be with Mr Ambode who has contributed meaningfully to the development of Lagos State; the hallmarks are there. For the first time, in many years, the major road artery leading to the exit of Nigeria, the Murtala Muhammed Airport highway was reconstructed; the dreaded Oshodi got a facelift; the notorious Oyingbo axis reformed; so is Yaba bus stop, the waterways and Aja and its environs. Epe is now in a class of its own. Such a man cannot be excluded from participatory democracy. Just as Buhari shunned pressures and allowed a free and fair election in Edo State, he should now wrap it up by bringing Ambode back to reckoning. Sanwo-Olu may have been caught in the crossfire for fear of the Asiwaju. He needs an enabling environment to work, but we urge him to be himself and remain neutral; with Mr Ambode issue addressed only then will the ghost and injustice of the 2018 Lagos State APC primary will be laid to rest.