Lagos: Tinubu’s Absence Divides Party


By Bayo Bernard

Before the former Lagos state governor and All Progressives Congress, APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu boarded his private jet, Dassault Falcon-900DX (VP-CBT) three weeks ago to Abuja, the nation’s capital, all was well with the state chapter of the party.

While on the less than one hour journey to Nigeria’s seat of power all that dominated his mind was how to rein in, or as some put it, to whip into line all APC lawmakers in the National Assembly to support the candidature of Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, as President of the Senate and Speaker of House of Reps.

Now that some party stalwarts in the state are spoiling for war over some very pertinent issue that affect their interest, the magazine learned that the former Lagos helmsman has hurried back home.

The first issue that shook the party to its very foundation is the list of commissioner nominees for the governor elect, Babajide Sanwo Olu.

Some party stalwarts had complained that they were sidelined by former Governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola and Remi, the wife of the ex- governor, as they were not allowed to make any inputs to the list.

Sanwo –olu was at a time an aide to the former First Lady, who’s believed to have nominated him to replace the incumbent, Governor Akinwuni Amdode.

Of note is the protest of the Governor Advisory Council, GAC, a body made up of some eminent persons in the state, over the manner the list of those to work with Sanwo-olu as commissioners and special advisers was put together.

The matter was yet to be resolved when the APC went into shock over the quarrel between Senator Olamilekan Adeola Solomon, representing Lagos West in the Senate  and managing director of Lagos Signage and Advertising Agency, LASAA, Bolaji Sanusi.

The crux of the matter is the request by Senator Solomon, popular as YAYI, to the LASAA boss, to allow his bill boards used for the just concluded election remain until 2023.

Sanusi had reportedly turned this down on the reason that it amounted to abuse of privilege by the senator.

In a letter LASAA has directed the Senator to remove the billboards within seven days.

“These structures remain what they are -illegal deployment and a request for them to remain standing smacks of impunity” Sanusi noted.

The letter seemed not to have gone well with the senator who, the magazine learned has promised to deal with the LASAA boss.

On his part, Sanusi has rebuffed YAYI, he confided in some aides that he will not allow the boards to stand as soon as the deadline expired.

The LASAA boss is very close to Tunji Bello, the current Secretary to the state government, SSG.

Senator Solomon is an associate of ex-Governor Aregbesola, whose benevolence has allowed him to be returned to the National Assembly for two consecutive periods despite the fact that he’s not from Lagos state.

The Senator is from nearby Ogun state.

The fact that Bello and Aregbesola are close confidants of the APC leader, analysts say explains the deep seated acrimony in the party.

Recall that recently too, Governor Ambode and governor-elect Sanwo-olu were said to have disagreed on how to set up the transition committee.

Close watchers of politics in the state had warned that the APC will enter into crisis in Tinubu’s absence because there is no one to take his place as the Alpha and Omega of the APC in the state.

“His absence will always leave a vacuum because there is no clear successor,” an APC chieftain in the state told the magazine.

Meanwhile, those close to the politician, the magazine learned also suggested to him to name, among his associates who will superintend the affairs of the party, or hold forth for him while away in Abuja.

It was learned that he simply dismissed the suggestion, besides he told some close aides that what was paramount to him was to make sure that what happened in 2015 did not repeat itself, when the opposition party, PDP cashed on the crisis in APC to take control of the National Assembly.

“That’s my mission and whatever it takes we will make sure our candidates become the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Rep,” he must have told those close to him.

Also recall that Tinubu few days ago threatened to expel anyone who opposed the party’s choice for the offices from APC.

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