Editor's note: Mr Ogundimu Bello, an entrepreneur residing in Lagos, warns that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is gradually tilting towards self-implosion if the party fails to address the issues raised by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in his recent conference.
The already charged political atmosphere seemed slightly calm early on Sunday, September 30, 2018. Political gladiators were in the trenches getting ready for the state primaries. This was punctured at about mid-day with an announcement that the incumbent state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode had called an international press conference. Most of his followers expected the worst. They believed he had been pushed to the very wall and was beating a hasty retreat, having been given a soft landing.
What a bomb! Ambode used the opportunity of the press conference to shine light on how some stakeholders in the party were talking from both sides of the mouth. Whilst these stakeholders had decided on direct primaries to give as many party members as possible the opportunity to elect those who will carry the party flag, they had also decided to disenfranchise these same party members whose interests they claim to be serving.
Ambode made a passionate and spirited case to convince doubters. He also took a dig at his opponent, calling him unfit for the position. This hit a polarizing spot in the social media. Some hated him for it. Others were moved with compassion. Everyone on social media is now a PR, communications and political strategy expert. Unfortunately, this is the crisis of social media, at least as far as political awareness is concerned. The narrative has shifted away from the substantive issues around members’ disenfranchisement and is shifting towards what Ambode should have or shouldn’t have said about his opponent. This shifting narrative should be a worry for APC members.
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Why are APC Members Being Disenfranchised?
The entire APC leadership infrastructure in Lagos state has been mobilized against the governor. The 57 leaders and their deputies, the leaders of the House of Assembly in the state and the party leaders at the local government have all queued behind Babajide Sanwo-olu. So also has the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the chairman of the party in the state. With this groundswell of support from these political gladiators, why is the party seemingly fearful of a contest between both candidates, to the degree that they are blackmailing the governor to step down?
APC members also need to ask the question; if Jide Sanwo-Olu is the credible candidate for whom Ambode is being sacrificed, why is he worried about going to the polls against Ambode and why are his political benefactors bent on humiliating and destroying Ambode’s legacy in Lagos state? The answer to this question perhaps lies in the ‘un-sellability’ of candidate Sanwo-olu, who at this point is struggling to hold on to a credible track record going into the polls.
The stakes are high. PDP is quietly watching events unfold. They must think this is the best time to take Lagos, the prized possession. Unfortunately, the APC leadership seems to be unaware of its imminent self-implosion. Issues have been raised from that press conference which will give members of the party something to chew. While Bola Tinubu may be looking to make another return to Lagos House Alausa as father of the party through a certain Babjide, the party members upon contemplation of the situation, just may resolve to pull an Absalom on him. Well, that is if indeed they are allowed to exercise their rights.
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