By Kareem Babawande
The Politics of Lagos has always been peculiar and for all those who consider themselves political watchers, yesterday’s declaration by Jide Sanwoolu sent a clear signal; “This is the incoming Governor of Lagos State”
A conspicuous political heavyweight at the event who’s attendance has caused a stir on social media, with various platforms trying to decode the meaning of his presence at both the declaration of the incumbent Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and that of Jide Sanwoolu yesterday was Senator Gbenga Ashafa. A known loyalist of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
All politics they say is Local and you will agree with me that 24 hours is a very long time in politics. As at 10th of September when the Governor went to Abuja to pick his nomination form and declare his campaign for a 2nd Term Open, there was no clear signal from Bourdillon as to the direction of the party in relation to Governorship in Lagos State. Ashafa, who represents Lagos East where Ambode comes from, had a responsibility to attend that event. The sitting Governor was declaring and the Senator from his district should have been there.
Secondly, considering his pedigree as a Lagosian born in the Luther-Bamgbose area of Lagos Island, Ashafa’s presence at the declaration of Jide Sanwoolu’s declaration was a clear pointer of the need for him to enjoy the acceptability of the people and also a clear signal of where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is heading.
Recall in 2007 when Fashola was to emerge as the Governor? He was perceived even in the political establishment as very rigid and unlikeable. Gbenga Ashafa a civil servant at the time was appointed the Chairman of the campaigns Think tank and was charged with taking him round till he was accepted by the establishment and the people. Fast forward to 2014 during the campaign of Ambode, Same Ashafa was the first to take Ambode to meet all the Traditional Rulers in Ibeju Lekki, which was used largely to establish the roots of Ambode in the Eastern Senatorial District.
Gbenga Ashafa is used to confer legitimacy and acceptance by the establishment. Dear Lagosians, Jide Sanwoolu is your next Governor except the PDP’s Otedola is strong enough to put up a fight. But I doubt much. If you don’t believe me, you can put a bet on it.