OGBENI JIMMY AGBAJE IS AS PEOPLE-ORIENTED AS RAUF AREGBESOLAJimi Agbaje And Lagos Governorship Project By Ayodele Ayoola

It may sound carnal but, as a Christian, the importance of ‘what if’ has never been lost on me. For instance, what if God chooses to destroy the world by flood again? What if a whole congregation chooses not to serve God again or a group of worshippers gets excommunicated from the church? What if, in dubious obedience to some devious predictions, Nigeria disintegrates this year? What if President Goodluck Jonathan, in spite of his perceived or confirmed cluelessness, wins the February 14, 2015 Nigeria’s presidential election? What if the table turns and Lagos State is off the grip of a mafia that has held it by the jugular for the past sixteen years? Walahi, the people will be better for it, more so as they will have been rescued from the bondage of political banditry.

Truth be told: I am not a member of any of Nigeria’s political parties but the choice of Jimi Agbaje as People’s Democratic Party, Lagos State governorship flag-bearer in next month’s General Elections has not only circumstantially changed my perception of Nigeria’s ruling, purportedly Africa’s largest political party but has also made its leadership in the Southwest Region earn my respect. In truth, Agbaje’s choice couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time than this, when the state is yearning for true development. A fine gentleman and a visionary leader with rich knowledge, courage, grasp and appreciation of Lagos State’s religious and cultural diversity, JayKay, as he is fondly called, is an urbane politician and a great mind who is always willing to do his best for humanity. A peep into his ‘Masterplan For A New Lagos’ is an attestation that the pharmacist-turned-politician knows his onions and that he means well for Lagos State. He is a leader who, if elected, possesses the ‘can do’ spirit capable of clearing the Augean’s table as well as redirect the state onto the path of greatness. His government will no doubt bring about the gathering of the state’s currently-scattered resources and their even distribution in a way that will leave all satisfied.

If, in Olusegun Obasanjo’s opinion, a leader is one who must “have the knowledge, vision, understanding, will, competence, integrity, courage and transparency, and engender trust, confidence and respect to lead” a “team without fear, favour or undue familiarity”, then, I see a Jimi Agbaje-led government not cowering to the dubious caprices of some principalities in a way that will jeopardize the hopes and aspirations of the electorate. Unlike some self-serving cult gods, Agbaje is not a leader who, for any reason, will reduce governance to a family affair just because he must remain relevant. He will neither wait drowsily nor watch idly while those he is elected to govern are slavishly driven out of where they struggle to make ends meet without providing them with alternatives on how to eke a living.

JayKay is pro-masses. He never delights in pleasing self at the expense of his followers. I have been told stories of how, following the abracadabra that attended the Lagos governorship election in 2007, rather than unceremoniously throw his campaign staff into the labour market, he used his monthly salaries as Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, JayKay Pharmacy, to pay their salaries as well as cater to their needs. And that lasted more than four straight years. According to my source, Agbaje would rather inconvenience himself than allow those around him to suffer unjustifiably.

My source also revealed that Agbaje was such a democrat who would never embarked on a mission without seeking input from members of staff, however lowly placed. A vivid example was when the now-rested Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, vice-presidential candidate slot pointed in his direction. Several meetings were held with his political constituency, including members of staff and, on each occasion, Agbaje would listen attentively and take notes. At the end of the day, he gladly preferred to “be in the cold for another period of four years” to hazarding the souls of those who’d all along stood by him. That is why I consider All Progressive Congress, APC’s insinuation that Agbaje would sack workers if elected as a baseless, lazy, ridiculous and satanic attempt at giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It’s arrant nonsense; nothing but all bunkum and balderdash! It is one of the antics of a drowning leadership that is striving hard to source some lifeline. Indeed, I see a Jimi Agbaje government actually exploring and effectively exploiting “all avenues to create more jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youths” currently “suffering under the APC government.

Speaking for myself, I have nothing against godfathersm as long as it tilts towards the betterment of the citizenry. Essentially, if it is well-intended, godfatherism could turn out to be the water at Marah. For example, the Biblical relationship between Moses and Jethro; and between Samuel and Prophet Elli in the Bible revolved around godfatherism. Karl Marx was an ardent believer in the principles of and tenets of godfatherism. The late a Senator Edward Kennedy was one of those Americans who godfathered President Barrack Obama to victory. Fidel Castro godfathered Raul, his younger brother while Hugo Chavez godfathered Nicolas Maduro. Here in Nigeria, the military godfathered Olusegun Obasanjo from the prison to the presidency while Obasanjo in turn godfathered the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, later, Goodluck Jonathan, as his successors.




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