In the year 1980, the hugely successful Swedish pop group ABBA released the song, “The Winner Takes It All”. The song’s chorus speaks of how the winner of a contest goes home with the grand prize while the loser is left with nothing and “has to fall” as a consequence of not winning. Recent events in Lagos, Nigeria bring the song to mind and it is likely that in this case, the loser will indeed fall no matter how hard they try to avoid the inevitable.
After the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the just concluded presidential election in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shifted its sights to the upcoming gubernatorial election in Lagos State and is hoping to annex Lagos as a consolation prize for not capturing the grand prize of the highest office in the land. Even as the PDP prepares to contest the results of the presidential election in court, the party is holding emergency meeting after emergency meeting, strategizing how to take Lagos and the party appears to be willing to fight dirty if need be. Information leaks from the Atiku/PDP camp reveal that they have opened a huge war chest of millions of dollars to finance their planned onslaught on Lagos. Part of the money is being used to run a vicious smear campaign against the APC in general and against the party’s national leader and strongman of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They are bearing a deep-seated grudge against him for his pivotal role in President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory against Atiku Abubakar, and are ready to do anything.
The first of the PDP’s strategy meetings toward this ignoble cause was reportedly held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Victoria Island and had in attendance top chieftains of the party. One of the decisions taken was to recruit members of Afenifere and other prominent leaders of civil society organisations and it appears that they have successfully been able to secure the support of Yinka Odumakin and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba. Another strategy agreed upon was to use every means possible to incite Igbos and non-Yoruba ethnic groups resident in Lagos against Bola Tinubu and the APC.
Strangely, it was reported that in attendance at the meeting were many men who had been beneficiaries of Bola Tinubu’s kindness in the past, including the likes of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and Mr Wale Oluwo. Senator Afikuyomi had been one of the leading coordinators of the failed bid by outgoing Lagos governor, Akinwumi Ambode to secure a second term; a bid that publicly collapsed after Babajide Sanwoolu emerged as the APC’s candidate in the party primaries after having been “anointed” by Bola Tinubu. Wale Oluwo had served as Commissioner for Energy in the Ambode administration and resigned presumably in protest at his principal’s rejection by the APC. Oluwo is believed to be one of the main financiers of the PDP’s anti-Tinubu push and it is believed that he is doing so with the support of Ambode. Ambode has denied this publicly but it appears that even the APC leadership in the state have evidence of this and will humiliate him even more after his tenure ends in May 29 this year.
No matter what the PDP tries, Bola Tinubu has Lagos on lock and barring a miracle will see his man Babajide Sanwoolu trounce the PDP’s Jimi Agbaje in the March 9 gubernatorial election. The PDP camp is quite jittery as it appears that Agbaje recently went to a prayer mountain for supernatural help and was told that the only way he would beat Sanwoolu on March 9 is if he somehow gets Tinubu to endorse him over Sanwoolu, an event that is almost impossible. Bola Tinubu is an unstoppable juggernaut in Lagos State and will most likely be celebrating his birthday on the 29th of March relishing his victory at the presidential level and at the Lagos State level. Being a man with a large heart and open door policy despite having suffered many betrayals, the Jagaban is likely to have Agbaje in attendance at his birthday party and he will embrace him even after defeating him yet again. Don’t be surprised to hear the ABBA song “The Winner Takes It All” being played when that happens. Surely, the loser has to fall and it will not be Bola Ahmed Tinubu.