Come Thursday, December 4, 2014 or at most the morning of Friday, December 5, 2014, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Lagos State will emerge.
The man or is it a woman, who is likely to succeed the hard working Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) will emerge on that day. But who is that man likely to be amongst the 12 men and a woman who have paid the N5.5 million Expression of Interest and Nomination Form (the form is free for women).
Is it Akinwunmi Ambode, the former Accountant General and Permanent Secretary in Lagos State, who many believe would emerge winner by virtue of the suspicion that he had been anointed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Certainly, from all look of things, Ambode is the aspirant to beat. His defeat at the primary will be a major upset and probably redefine godfatherism in Lagos politics in particular and Nigeria in general.
Or is it Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly who has been in this governorship race since 2011 and who has done everything possible to clinch the governorship ticket of the party.
Could it be Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, the incumbent Senator representing Lagos West senatorial district who has been eyeing the governorship ticket since 2007? He is also prepared to tackle any opponent delegate for delegate and money for money.
How about Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat, the incumbent Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, who many believe was prompted by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola but was later dumped by him (Fashola).
Could it also be Mr. Supo Sasore, the former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State in Governor Fashola’s first term who, many believe, is now enjoying Fashola’s backing?
What about Dr. Leke Pitan, the Commissioner for Health and later Education in the two tenures of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the governor of Lagos State. He is said to be backed by the Mandate Group, the political group of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which was headed by Governor Rauf Aregbesola before he moved to Oshogbo in 2010 and which is now being headed by Dr. Muiz Banire, who has almost shouted himself hoarse that the leadership of the party must provide a level playing ground for all aspirants.
Will members of Mandate Group vote for another aspirant against Tinubu’s directive? The primary election of this Thursday, December 4, 2014, will tell.
How can we forget Dr. Tola Kasali, the former Commissioner for Rural Development and later Health in the cabinet of Tinubu in his second term as governor of Lagos State? He was also there in 2007 and was later appointed Commissioner for Special Duties in the first term of Governor Fashola. Could he upset the apple cart? We doubt it very much.
Not forgetting Mr. Tayo Akinmade Ayinde, the Chief Detail of Tinubu, when he was the governor of Lagos State. The emergence of the man took many by surprise. Some are even insinuating that he may be Tinubu’s ace. There is also Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the young lawyer whose handsomeness belies his intelligence and vibrance. Could he spring any surprise? We doubt it very much.
Hon. Lanre Ope, a former member of Lagos House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003, is another governorship aspirant that we are sure will not pull any surprise. Ditto, Mr. Kunle Disu, a Lagos businessman and former husband of Mrs. Derin Disu, the former Chairman of Lagos Island and later Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Central Business District.
What about the only female aspirant, Mrs. Adetokunbo Tobun-Agbesanwa, who, many believe, is probably positioning herself for a juicy political appointment. We like her guts but we know she will not pull any surprise.
Last but not the least, is Mr. Abayomi Sewanu Sutton, from Badagry division of the state who believes Badagry has been shortchanged in the political scheme of things in the state. Certainly, he is just another in the pack.
We hope the best candidate emerge in this tough political quagmire.
– TOLANI ABATTI