Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode and Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu

The monarch launched his royal campaign for the re-election of the governor in the same controversial style that presented Ambode as the purported next governor of Lagos.

Two years before the general elections, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu has started to prepare the ground on behalf of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state against 2019 gubernatorial elections.

The monarch launched his royal campaign for the re-election of the governor in the same controversial style that presented Ambode as the purported next governor of Lagos.

So, whoever is nursing ambition to run for governorship position in Lagos would have to keep his aspiration till 2023 as the paramount ruler of Lagos has literally barred all governorship aspirants in the state from contesting against Ambode in 2019.

 

While many royal fathers in the country shy away from politics or pretend to be fathers to all politicians irrespective of their political parties, the Lagos Monarch always seizes the opportunity to campaign for his godson.

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Lately, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has been enjoying this needless royal campaign.

Oba Akiolu seems to believe Ambode's administration is one of the best things to ever happen to Lagos and since the progress of Lagos is tied to the heart of the governor, the monarch feels no qualified aspirant should exercise his or her franchise in the 2019 elections.

In his usual fashion of dropping controversial sound bites, the monarch at the 21st Convocation of Lagos State University said:

Few days ago, one of the aspirants greeted me. After greeting, he alleged that I halted his ambition. No one should come out in 2019 and declare his ambition,”

And the reason for the premature campaign is because Ambode is on top of his game and the monarch wants the aspirant to save rather than waste their money on the elections they would not win.

“The only way to avoid not wasting their money is to support Ambode and his deputy to rule Lagos for the next six years."

 

Oba of Lagos has always proved to be the royal father of all, but since Ambode became a prominent figure in the governance of Lagos, the monarch has unapologetically shown his partisan side.

To the monarch, the campaign is just a good attempt to support the man he believes would move Lagos forward, but to issue a directive stopping qualified aspirants from exercising their franchise because someone is performing well is sickening and disheartening.

It is even more disheartening when such directive comes from a royal father of the people with cultural and political differences.

Honestly, it is not a nice attribute of a nice statesman.

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The Oba's public campaign for the governor started in 2014 when he announced Ambode as the anointed one at a book launch. It was nine months to elections but the Oba didn't care if the announcement was premature or not.

Oba Akiolu did not just endorse Ambode amid the controversy surrounding his claims of indigineship, the monarch also called the bluff of APC as a political party and the party members.

 

"The APC can go ahead with their primaries but the elders of the state have met and agreed that Ambode should be the next governor of Lagos.”

Fantastic ! the next governor is usually  “sworn in” even before election is held. Whether the party holds the primary elections or not and whether you vote or not does not matter.  All that counts is the elders’ consensus not your votes.

This has obviously been the tradition in Lagos politics and it is the least we expect the royal to fling at us with reckless abandon.

The “attack” on the Ibos and the controversies surrounding the hasty endorsement of Ambode during  the 2015 elections build up almost cost APC the election due to protest votes.  

Moreover, there is no gainsaying if certain politicians say the Oba truncates their political ambitions. Statements like the one made at LASU convocation is truly capable of killing and burying people’s political ambitions.

 

For instance, towards the end of the Fashola tenure, an Oil Magnate in 2014 moved heaven and earth to become the next Governor of Lagos State. He celebrated his birthday for seven days, called Islamic groups and Churches to pray for him to become the governor of the most prosperous state.

He sponsored Agege Day and did so many other things to endear himself to the people. He went as far as bringing out the muslim name we never knew him with just like Babatunde Fashola came up with Raji.

But the moment Oba Akiolu announced Akinwunmi Ambode nine months to elections as the next governor, the oil magnate lost his ambition.

It is natural to like someone and always have the tendencies to display one’s affections for the person. It is absolutely reasonable for the Oba of Lagos to be pleased with someone who is bent on moving the state forward and encourage the person to do more but it isn’t a noble thing to stop others from achieving their dreams.

 

Before Fashola was Tinubu and no one ever knew Fashola would go far in turning Lagos around. Ambode is here and Lagos is presently enjoying his work. He won’t need much campaigning if he fulfils his campaign promises.

So, Kabiyesi please help us keep Ambode focused on his work so that he won’t falter on his effort to move Lagos forward. If he impresses Lagosians, I promise you you won’t have to campaign again for him before he gets re-elected.

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