Jimi Agbaje And Lagos Governorship Project By Ayodele Ayoola

However, unlike in some instances above where the godfather-godson relationship connotes ‘call to service’, godfatherism in Nigeria practically-yet-pathetically depicts politics of money whereby the godfather shamelessly demands financial and accompanying obeisance from the godson in return for some specific favours. Sadly, in our country, godfatherism is now synonymous with arson, intimidation and, sometimes, assassination. Essentially, therefore, when godfathersm not only upsets public peace but also becomes “a symptom and a cause of the violence and corruption that together permeate the political process”, I am totally opposed to it. When godfathers use their privileged positions to corner the resources of their states into their personal pockets, then, governance has become something else. When godfathers willfully subvert the will of the electorate by allocating elective and appointive offices in ‘as the master pleases’ fashion, then the country is in a mess. When the “conventional civic sense of godfatherism of presenting credible candidates and granting them mentoral support to enhance good governance” becomes impudently jettisoned for entrepreneurial and predatory sense of politics, then, count me out!

It often amuses me to hear some politicians’ classification of selves as progressive politicians despite their glaring autocratic and anti-people credentials. In the real sense of it, who is a progressive? A Tunji Adebiyi who served Lagos State with all of his might and zeal only for the officiating priest at his burial to plead for contributions so that the children he left behind could complete their education? What manner of progressive will use people to attain power and position only to abandon them at the end of the day? Of course, that’s one area in which I disagree with anti-Bola Tinubu bashers who, in spite of genuine or perceived political frailties, has done pretty well by empowering his followers!

I may be wrong; but, on a ‘progressively’ good day, would a progressive politician like the late Obafemi Awolowo have, under whatever guise, gone cap-in-hand to solicit Olusegun Obasanjo’s help? Would a progressive leadership worth its nomenclature have attempted to lure, let alone admit, an Olagunsoye Oyinlola or a Segun Oni into its fold after the havoc they wreaked to progressive camps in Osun and Ekiti States? And, if one may ask: are the progressive legislators in the National Assembly not part of the rots that have become the defining characteristic of the Nigeria’s “Third Arm of Government”?

Still in the spirit of ‘progressive’ politicking, why did Agbaje leave the ‘progressive’ camp? Specifically, why did he leave the now-deceased and effectively-buried Action Congress, AC? Ambition? Or the quest to serve his people and leave them better than he met them? If ‘service’ is the answer, then, why did the ‘progressive’ leaders in AC allow such a valuable asset to ‘progressively’ exit its fold? Looking at it from another angle, were Agbaje to remain with these ‘progressive’ elements, would the party be having the nightmare that has now become its lot, following his choice as the PDP governorship candidate? On the other hand, if he had chosen to remain with this ‘progressive’ camp, would his democratic credentials have remained intact? Would he have remained democratically relevant? Would he have been able to find his voice? Would his dream of serving his people in truth have remained alive and kicking? What manner of development is it that leaves a greater percentage of its residents overtaxed, overburdened, pauperized and penurious? Whose Lagos is it where “God forsaken criminals” can “go to any length to achieve their set goals of wielding political power and nothing happens? Interestingly, Lateef Jakande, the first Executive Governor of Lagos State and one of the architects of modern Lagos State, is still alive. We may therefore wish to ask him if Lagos State, as it is at the moment, represents the dream of its founding fathers. For God’s sake, this ‘progressive’ camp should stop deceiving the now ‘can see’ Nigerians!

Power comes from God. The good thing about democracy and politics is that God uses the people, though the ballot box, to effect the desired change. As mortals, we can continue to discuss and fine-tune our strategies but, in truth, no progress can be made unless we are prepared to confront the myriad of problems presently facing us as a people, as a nation and as a state. For this reason, as February 28, 2015 draws nearer; and, as the choice between light and darkness; and between hypocrisy and sincerity stares Lagosians in the face, we all need to bear in mind that, for a better, safer and future-secured Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje as its Governor is the answer!

So, what if a ‘progressive’ losses Lagos governorship seat for a true progressive to take over?


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