by Farouk Martins Aresa
Where is Ambode from? You will not know until after the election. By then it may have become irrelevant. Tinubu has already won because the debate is no more about his greed and how he conquered success. It is now about Igbo PDP and Yoruba APC in Lagos. The silver lining may be that any Nigerian, like Tinubu, no matter what part of the Country you come from may be appointed and elected over the Lagosians as a civilian Governor. It can only happen in Lagos!
Ndi-Igbo may have to think twice before they vote against Ambose. If it turns out that Ambose, like Jonathan is more related to Igbo than Agbaje, they will have themselves to blame for voting against their own in Lagos. Politicians not astute Oba, would do anything to get votes. In Nigeria ethnicity is a sure bet and a convenience politicians resort to in order to defeat their opponents.
The incident between Igbo leaders and Oba of Lagos is unfortunate. No matter what the motive is, Oba has no business supporting political party or threatening an ethnic group. There are ways to play neutral and not antagonize. Oba Adetona of Ijebu-Ode is a good example of how to play cordial and remain uncommitted. Politicians go and come, Oba is a lifetime appointment. Even Ooni blessed Jonathan. There is no long term benefit for Oba, only short-term advantage.
When it looked like Fashola was going to revolt for his second term, it was the same Oba of Lagos that tried to settle the problem between Fashola and Tinubu. Lagosians were actually mad when it was reported that Tinubu said he installed him as Oba of Lagos and could uninstall him. There is no worse insult from Iragbiji than that. The Omo-onile has never been disputed.
Igbo bragado draws Yoruba reaction of fear. Rivalry among Igbo and Yoruba candidates will only work in favor of Tinubu to entrench his reign of corruption. Lagosians are more worried about domination now. So Lagosians with Yoruba see Tinubu as a savior, stuck in their throat.
Ambose is neither from Ondo nor Lagos. If he is Yoruba, he must have Oriki. He has none unless one is quickly invented for him. If his name has a meaning in Yoruba, it must be from one of Yoruba cousins in the North, East or old Western Region. While we are trying to figure out what it is, Ambode will be already crowned like Tinubu, his mentor. By the time Tinubu became Governor, his high school in Aroloya and his real Iragbigi origin became irrelevant.
If you do not believe in ethnic sparring, you are a new comer to politics. Otherwise, it does not make sense to get distracted from Tinubu’s avarice and impunity in Lagos during election by a fight between Igbo and Yoruba candidates. The real fact is that many Nigerians are so diverse, they are like our minorities. It is difficult to say one is a pure Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Many of us are none of the above but may be willing to be used as a distraction for individual gluttony.
All Tinubu has going for him right now is that he is Yoruba and as long as he is, Yoruba do not care about whether he controls Lagos. Remember that Lagosians are minority in their own State. Even if most of them vote for Agbaje, their votes are not enough. The bottom line is that if Yoruba have to choose between Tinubu’s candidate Ambose, and Igbo preference Agbaje; it is not difficult to figure out who their choice is. What if Ambose turns out to be Igbo or Hausa?
However, after the election and Yoruba find out that Ambose is not even from the West, there will be a loud cry. The cry will be a joke because Tinubu does not care who he anoints as the Governor of Lagos State as long as he can control him to deliver all the resources and income to his pocket. He is always looking for a faithful servant. Some of you may remember that he had denied that Ambose was his candidate at one point when it looked like Lagosians would revolt.
All that is forgotten right now since he can brag with impunity that he crowns him the way he anointed Fashola. Many of you may know that he brought Fashola from nowhere when he knew that this same Agbaje, Obanikoro and other Lagosians were too independent to abide or take his orders. So he groomed Fashola from a law firm to become civil servant as his Chief of Staff. Whenever Fashola veers off course, he calls him to order. The rest is history.
Those of you that know Ambose very well and know where he comes from will be talking later but after the fact. Just like those that know Tinubu comes from Iragbiji never said a word until he became the Governor of Lagos State. By the time his friends and those he grew up with tried to expose him, they had become political foes and most people did not take them serious anymore. Oyinlola, the past Governor of Osun spoke out but after the fact.
Now that Tinubu’s greed is no more the pressing issue for Yoruba in Lagos State but the fear of Igbo candidate. They must remember Osun State. The salaries of civil servants have not been paid but some arears were paid just before their elections. Suddenly all the great initiatives of Governor Aregbesola are no more propagated or implemented by unpaid civil servants. The state is broke, even worse off now than before the election.
Where has all the money gone? Well, Tinubu got paid! Aregbesola has no more money to implement his programs. It must be said in fairness, that Aregbesola is very conscientious and passionate about his State. But no matter how good you are, if you follow bad company as a leader, it will hurt the people you care about. Tinubu does not give one heck of a damn, as long as he gets paid. Just wait until Ambose gets in, Lagos State will even pay more to Tinubu.
But note that when Yoruba create a Frankenstein like Tinubu, you never know when he is coming back to bite you. You may have left your duty for Buhari to tame. Therefore, it does not matter anymore where Ambose comes from. He is a Nigerian. Yoruba may be disappointed that any Nigerian can rule Lagos, not only any Yoruba. After all Lagos is a “No Man’s Land” they say.