#EdoDecides2020: Weep not for Ambode ~ by Charles Ogbu
Those who are mocking ex Lagos Governor – Akinwunmi Ambode – on the basis of the Edo election are missing the point.
First, the Edo governorship election was more of a plebiscite on Adams Oshiomole than a contest between the PDP governor Godwin Obaseki and the APC Pastor Ize Iyanmu.
So in essence, this isn’t Obaseki defeating Iyanmu. This is Edo people retiring the former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole for his arrogance and overbearing god father status.
In fact, there is a sense in which it can be argued that the APC candidate could have won more votes if not for the liability that Adams brought to his campaign.
When you add that ill-adviced video by Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT), you would understand that the duo of Oshiomole and the Lagos BAT brought nothing but ‘minus’ to the APC candidate.
That video of a man who foisted a semi-literate 16th century-brained coup plotter on a 21st century ‘nation’ addressing himself as “the leader of all democrats” rankled so many people and helped cement the resolve of Edo people against the APC.
So in a nutshell, what Edo people have shown is that no force, no matter how powerful can undermine the resolve of a determined people.
Asorock decided not to interfere in their characteristic way probably to cut Oshio and BAT to size. The US Visa ban may have played a role too.
Lagos State under Ambode was an entirely different case because for one, it’s always difficult, if not impossible, to rescue slaves who see their chains as some beautiful bracelet.
The Lagos electorates, with the exception of a few, are quite in love with one man determining their fate. Or so it would seem.
Again, there is the ethnic plurality factor with Tinubu portraying himself as a Yoruba nationalist, thus appealing to the ethnic sentiment of the Yoruba indigenes who live in constant fear of allowing non-indigenes control Lagos.
So there was very little an Ambode could have done. Not with Tinubu’s strong hold on all the party structure in the state, the state legislature which was ready to summarily impeach the governor, Aso Rock support as well as a well oiled non-state actor such as the Lagos State Road Transport Union ever ready to act as his stand-by instrument of violence each time the need arises.
Or why do you think the road transport union in Lagos is treated as the 4th arm of govt?
Who do you think flew the union leader MC Oluomo abroad for treatment after he was wounded in a pre-election clash in the run-up to the 2019 poll?
To uproot Tinubu from Lagos will require a combination of factors including federal might. This might just happen in 2023 if the signs are anything to go by.
But for now, Edo is indeed not Lagos. Just as Lagos is certainly not Edo.