The Press Conference has been necessitated by the urgent need to stop Lagos State from continuing to be a pawn on the chessboard of an individual to be pushed around at will for the purpose of “self-centred pedestrianism”.
Democracy is a concept of collectivity for the greater number of the people to have a voice and a choice to freely choose who they wish to govern them. Democracy was never a conceptualisation of domination to be merchandised by a few powerful individuals in the society who choose to arrogate to themselves the power of life and death over a people.
The political atmosphere in Lagos State is currently but unnecessarily overcharged due to the shenanigans of one individual desperate to maintain a political stranglehold on the state. It is common knowledge that for the past eleven years it has become a tradition for the political pendulum of the state to swing according to the whims and dictates of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is an expert in the politics of imposition. The situation in Lagos State is beyond what well-meaning Lagosians should leave to the internal intrigues of the ruling Party. It is not about what Party we belong or don’t belong, or which ideological tendency you believe in or don’t believe in. It is a collective responsibility of all to ensure that Lagos State is liberated from “a circle of certainty” that seeks to perpetually determine the political destiny and destination of the state without recourse.
It is public knowledge that recently both the traditional and social media have been awash with the rift between the incumbent governor of Lagos State and Asiwaju Tinubu due to the former’s second term bid and the alleged disapproval of the latter. Our main concern here is how that rift is overheating the Lagos polity and is sure to negatively impact on governance in the state. Although both sides are still struggling to live in denial, but it has blown into the open that there is a tangible credence to the political hiatus between the duo.
The fundamental reasons why committed democrats, activists and regular Lagosians must rise up to the occasion are;
1. If it is true that the cause of the current brouhaha was due to the refusal of the governor to avail the state’s political sharks access to the state’s treasury, then it calls for serious concerns by all Lagosians. We’ve asked the question for the umpteenth time what caused the current witch-hunt of the governor, mostly what we have garnered from independent findings was that the governor is allegedly being tormented because he did not dance to the tune of some powerful political forces in the state who allegedly demanded that the funds being used for developments in the state be shared among them. An issue like this is beyond Intra-Party matter because it is the very soul of the state that is at stake. It is generally acknowledged that Governor Ambode has done tremendously well in the area of infrastructural development, security, workers’ welfare, and so on. Many erstwhile inaccessible areas of the state have been opened up due to persistent road construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Vehicular and pedestrian bridges crisscross the state. Lagos tax payers are witnesses to the good uses to which their commonwealth is being put. If that is the sin of Governor Ambode, then we urge him to continue sinning.
2. We find it not only preposterous but also reprehensible to hear that the governor is allegedly being threatened with impeachment by the state Assembly should he continue to pursue his second term bid. This is a blatant bastardization of democratic norms and practices. The security implications of such a threat is better imagined if happens or allowed to happen. For instance, in three years as governor, we are not saying he has been perfect or did not commit errors, but his achievements far supersede his failings which has endeared him to many Lagosians who are rooting for him. Therefore, should the alleged threat to impeach the governor be executed, this may lead to an intractable and prolonged breakdown of law and order should Lagosians choose to resist the injustice. This is the larger picture that we all must see and act decisively to end the culture of political impunity, domination and imposition in Lagos State.
Today, whereas in Lagos East and West, Senatorial aspirants are fighting for tickets while in Lagos Central nobody can dare contest the seat apparently reserved for the wife of Senator Ahmed Tinubu – ie Pastor Senator Oluremi Tinubu – who is going for third term consecutively. What legislative prowess can be adduced to the latter to merit a perpetual relay between Lagos Central and the upper legislative chamber? That is what politics of imposition, domination and intimidation engenders. It is being alleged that it is Senator Remi Tinubu who masterminded the sudden emergence of Mr Sanwoolu as the anointed governorship candidate of the Lagos powers that be. It is being alleged that he is a mere decoy for the real power game that is unfolding. We have it on good authority that he is being imposed to be governor for one term and thereafter pave the way for Senator Oluremi Tinubu to become governor. That is the level of disdain to which the hegemonic political dynasty of Lagos State holds Lagosians.
Lagos State cannot continue to be in the pocket of Asiwaju Tinubu. 2019 provides an auspicious opportunity for a mass political revolution by Lagosians to liberate the state from continued political and economic enslavement. Lagos State with a population of almost 30 million people is a mini Nigeria and cannot continue to pay homage to the insatiable appetite of a political tarantula.
We shall kick-start a process of the political revolution in the state immediately. The first stage of the revolution is to mobilise a minimum of fifty political Parties in Lagos State to adopt Governor Ambode as their governorship candidate. A contact and liaison committee has been set up to actualise that project.
However, fortunately names of some credible Lagosians are being mentioned as being interested in throwing their hats into the ring of the governorship race in Lagos State notable among of whom is Mr Femi Otedola. Lagosians will be presented with a constellation of formidable, credible and resourceful Lagosians who will help generate not only a fresh political atmosphere but new ideas to move Lagos State forward from the old order. Having been a successful businessman and a political virgin, so to speak, Femi Otedola might just be the Messiah to break the almost twenty years of the tarantula’s stranglehold on Lagos and Lagosians. The “baba sópé” political malaise that has bedevilled Lagos State for so long has to be permanently disabled to enable Lagosians freely choose their political leaders, not only at governorship level, but also National Assembly, the state Assembly, LGAs and LCDAs. From councilorship to governorship, it’s time for Lagosians to refresh our political leadership. Various young people in different political Parties like KOWA Party, PPA, AA, Accord, et cetera are coming out with young, intelligent and patriotic Lagosians who are full of new and productive ideas that will help Lagos State. Kindly identify them and vote them in order to vote out this moribund political order. Lagos is not a family heritage bequeathed to any individual and, therefore, cannot and should not be treated as such.
We are confident that more credible Lagosians untainted by corruption and maladministration will still join the race to Alausa, it provides the most auspicious opportunity for us all to remove the political albatross of Lagos State for good. This is a collective responsibility of all Lagosians and a sacred project to which we must unidirectionally commit ourselves.
Moreover, LADFOCE as an umbrella organization for the five organisation that formed this coalition will effectively utilize its structures in all the Wards, LGAs and LCDAs of Lagos State as effective machinery of mobilising Lagosians for the mother of all sociopolitical revolutions in Lagos State. The crowd you see here today are a few of our cadres drawn from all the Wards and local government areas of Lagos State. If Nigeria must experience real and positive change, it would start in Lagos with the 2019 general elections. The Lagos behemoth shall be dethroned and Lagosians shall be set free. It is a non-negotiable process to which we have committed ourselves and there is no going back.
There has to be time when the people must rise and say “enough is enough” and stand their ground. That time is long overdue in Lagos State but never late. The time is now!
Together, let’s do it!
Comrade Mark Adebayo,