It is a matter of public record that we Lagosians did not choose Babatunde Raji Fashola to run as governor of Lagos State. Granted that he exceeded our limited expectations. Then again, we did not choose Akinwunmi Ambode. Former Governor Bola Tinubu did. Once elected, Ambode became our Governor not Tinubu's governor. It is most strange that grown men within and outside the media would choose to belittle Governor Ambode because of the perceived (or even proven) animus between him and his estranged sponsor. The insult and the joke is on us all. Those who choose to lionize Tinubu because of his detestable excesses cannot claim to be democrats. I bundle them up with the likes of Dr Ibrahim Gambari who shamelessly expresses his preference for strong men as opposed to Strong Institutions.  

Why would adult men, old and articulate enough to be former heads of state, choose to lend their intellect to build up a personality and style only comparable to Idi Amin, Jean Bedel Bokassa and our own Sani Abacha? It is obvious that those who should have aided Lagosians and Nigerians in cutting Tinubu to size have rather taken the easy path of joining the winning formula. That is even if it entails a pact with the devil. Tinubu cannot by any stretch be bigger and more powerful than the rest of us, not with all the money in the coffers of Alpha Consultants. With these goings-on, my sympathy goes out to Gov Ambode, who is being messed up on our behalf. Even if his nomination among the APC party faithful was rigged, WE THE PEOPLE of Lagos State voted for him. We could have voted for the PDP candidate, unless Tinubu and Co are trying to prove that we did not and that they rigged him in. I do not believe that. Gov Ambode deserves to be respected and allowed ample opportunity to try his hand on a second term as Lagos Governor. If he loses a fair primary process, it would be a different matter. However there is this current song and dance that once Tinubu is upset with him, then his political trajectory must be treated as dead. This is obscene.  

I am ashamed of this trend whereby intellectuals cave in to the machinations of the Tinubu political organization. Our newspapers and columnists are complicit. If we do not take back possession of our polity, perhaps twenty years from now we may still be scratching our heads wondering what happened. Whereas this federation remains as dysfunctional as ever, we cannot achieve any growth in progressive governance if Lagos is reduced to a mafia estate. God forbid that while we are at it, Tinubu were to die today, the same people who had never learnt true democratic principles, who went along with the current situation, would suddenly recover their mojo and behave like people let out of a dungeon. The system would probably implode with devastating consequences. Lagos is too "big" and important to be governed with FEAR of one man as the overriding organizing principle. If we continue along this path, why would we expect anything good out of Borno, Yobe, Zamfara or Osun for that matter? . There is a huge debt that Lagos and Lagosians owe the rest of Nigeria especially since we have not yet parted ways.  

The select few who populate the  editorial boards of our news media should rise to the occasion and do the needful. This sucking up to Tinubu just has to stop.  

There is an unstated warning in all this. The PDP and other local opposition parties must be watching with keen interest. 

Oduche Azih, 

Lagos 
 

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