- Folake Sokoya
Politics of the South West appears to be taking a different dimension. It is you either connect with the people who got you elected or you shape out of power.
This was the unprecedented demonstration of political will and power in Lagos State in the immediate past under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The Accountant Governor had primed his commercial and mercantile interest far above his political survival and he paid dearly for it. He could not even run past the Primaries of his own political party (APC) than to test his own popularity with the people; and even a year after office, he is still gasping for breath.
Incidentally, Ambode’s Undertakers have gradually relocated to Ogun State. Same deceits which shoved Ambode unceremoniously out of the Lagos Government House has transmuted and taken a new identity in Ogun State under Governor Dapo Abiodun, gradually easing out the political class and even disconnecting from the army of local competencies in the state Civil Service.
While it is the prerogative of a Governor how he wants to run and the mode of his project awards and funding, a new thinking in Political Administration suggests building a synergy of local competencies and economic empowerment to the people. That is almost becoming the new normal, and where that has been adopted, it has turned out a great political capital. Such political leaders have their names etched permanently in history.
Governor Abiodun just like his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun has taken to outsourcing more than a fair share of contracts and road rehabilitation to his friend from Lagos. This is utterly dangerous; just like it backfired against Ambode in Lagos; and inspite of the number of roads built by Amosun there was a great disconnect between him and the political class and ultimately the citizens, there are grave chances that it will backfire against Dapo Abiodun too. Not even in a hostile Opposition Political environment.
There were two common denominators in the Ambode Must Go project in Lagos State, Laralek and Visionscape. Both were alleged to be Ambode’s conduit pipes to rob the people of their tax payers money and put many people out of job. Laralek complimented this perspectives with substandard jobs, making out for the funding for elections from profits.
If Ambode could not survive in a highly cosmopolitan Lagos State, Dapo Abiodun’s survival in an organic political environment such as Ogun with various entrenched local interests. will be a political case study. For instance, the Egba people have a witty anecdotes which suggests that their (Egba) Land is usually not slippery during the rains, but in the dry Season. How the outsourcing of road construction projects to “an outsider” will take Abiodun past the dry season of local politics remain to be seen and might eventually become a political thesis of note.