Tinubu Renews Battle With Fashola Over Lagos Guber Candidate

As the 2015 election is getting closer, many people especially Lagosians are concerned about who governs them 1n 2015 and beyond.

It is not debatable that the present governor of Lagos state, Governor Raji Fashola (SAN) will be kissing the Alausa Ikeja Government House goodbye come next year; however, it is strongly believed that he also wants his anointed to take over from where he stops. This, we heard is really causing disaffection between him and his political godfather Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Cityrovers.blogspot.com reliably gathered that last week the All Progressive Congress (APC) leadership held a closed door meeting where the issue of who gets the party’s ticket was discussed.

According to a reliable source, a misconception between the former Lagos state governor and APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who desires the former Lagos state Accountant General, Akinwunmi Ambode, while Fashola s rooting for incumbent Commissioner for Works, Quadri  Obafemi Hamzat to succeed him.

One of the leaders in the meeting who claimed anonymity revealed that there is serious conflict of interest between the dual APC political flag bearer which is supported by their backers. The source described the matter as a subtle crossroads “the party must carefully address; otherwise, it is capable of scuttling the chances of the APC in 2015.” Feelers from the meeting point to the fact that the APC would not face one, but three major challenges in arriving at who will succeed Fashola in 2015.

First, one of the two gladiators (Tinubu/Fashola) will have to shelve his pride and abide by the dictate of the other.   Secondly, the party would also have to carefully address and take into consideration the ambition of other determined aspirants and stakeholders, who are jostling for the seat of power in 2015. Some of them are poised to play the spoiler, “if that becomes necessary,” the source said.  Thirdly, it would be in the interest of the APC not to overlook the ripple effect of the outcome of the recent Ekiti State governorship election on other Southwest states which the party controls.  “This is particular so in Lagos, where citizens are perceived to be getting weary over some of the policies of Governor Fashola, which, they claim, are too draconian and unfriendly to the common man on the street.”

  According to findings, tens of thousands of ordinary Lagosians, including artisans, commercial bus and motorcycles drivers and traders “are no longer in terms with the APC.

  Coming to the brass tack, the debate over ‘indigeneship’, religion and capacity remain the three major factors that are clear to determine the next governor of the state. One of the party member said:

“These are not what the leadership of the APC could easily overlook. Otherwise, there may be the repeat of what happened in 1991, when the governorship candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), the late Sir Michael Otedola, took advantage of the disagreement between the candidates of the popular Social Democratic Party (SDP), Dr. Femi Agbalajobi and Chief Dapo Sarumi, to emerge the governor.”

Presently, the Christian community in Lagos is deaf to any arrangement other than that Fashola’s successor in 2015 must be a Christian whatever the party platform such may come from.

The Christians hold that it is enough of Muslims ruling in a state where the percentage of members of the two religions is almost the same. They posit that Tinubu, who became the governor in 1999 and served for two terms, is a Muslim, and his successor, Fashola, who will complete his second term in 2015, is also a Muslim.  Both men have enjoyed maximum and unrelenting supports from the Christian community throughout their tenure. But while the public is being made to believe that it was the Christian community, particularly the Lagos State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), is the brain behind the idea, “the fact is the debate over a Christian governor started within the party itself by some disgruntled members who felt that Christians were being sidelined, ”another source said.

According to source: “Zoning and religion have become the politics of the day in Nigeria and here in Lagos, every citizen in the country has his visuals intact and his ears are still functional, so they know what to d this time around. “It was a subtle agitation that started within the party, sold to the Christian community and it is not what the party could over look.”  Explaining how the issue of religion is most likely to affect the chances of Ambode and Hamzat, the source said that the first aim and objective of any political party is to win election.  “No matter how perfect your policies and programmes may be, it is only

When you are in government they could be implemented,” the source said, stressing, “it is, therefore, imperative for the party to give this issue serious consideration.”  The source continued: “There is no doubt about the capability of Hamzat to succeed Fashola as governor; likewise Ambode. They were both intellectually sound and have all that it takes to go for the job.  “However, politics, in the Nigerian context, and the way it is being played currently, goes beyond looking at capability. Capability must be combined with acceptability.

  “Moreover, at this point, Fashola cannot determine for the leadership of the party who will replace him in office, in a situation where we are still battling to correct some of the negative impressions his policies have rubbed on the citizens.”

The source said the Muslim community itself has not, at any point in time since the debate started, come out to dismiss the demand that Fashola’s successor must be a Christian.

  “While the leadership of the party, from the side of Tinubu, is considering acceptability and capability in line with the dynamics of Nigeria’s politics of present, the other camp may be naïve, which if not carefully managed, could cost the party its chances of retaining control of the state in 2015,” the source said.  Another respondent, noted that as a

matter of fact, whosoever the APC would present for the 2015 governorship poll must not be seen from the perceived pride and aloofness of the outgoing governor, whose policies have been branded too elitist and anti-masses.  “The APC needed a radical departure from what we have at present to what will combine the interest of the masses and the people,” the source said.

  The indigeneship of both aspirants have been disputed from various quarters since their aspirations were made known through their channels.

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