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Warning! Why Tinubu Should Not Fight Two Battles ~ Victor Ganzallo

For the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, this period in his political career appears to be the watershed to everything he has ever been and aspires to be. He is aspiring to rule the most populous black nation in the world which, if he succeeded, would see him become one of the most powerful men in the history of Nigeria. Don’t forget, he has been instrumental to the emergence of a president, a vice president and several governors; not to talk of legislators, both at the federal and state level and countless other political office holders.
As it stands right now, despite other high profile aspirants disclosing their intent to run, Tinubu remains the major factor, the only name on the lips of political watchers and those with more than a passing interest and knowledge of Nigerian politics. He appears larger than life and about the man to beat since openly declaring his plans to contest for the highest office in the land. Aside declaring his aspiration, he also has been walking the talk, traveling the length and breadth of Nigeria, consulting with different political and ethnic groups and key decision makers with a view to getting their blessings for his presidential aspiration. As at the last count, over a hundred different groups from different parts of the country have sprung up, mobilizing support for him.
However, there seems to be one Achilles heel Tinubu must be wary of, concerned about, even. It is the first time he is seeking to go to the center as it were and Lagos, his home-front, may be very vulnerable for the first time since he asserted himself as the political godfather of the state. It is an open secret that Tinubu is the godfather of Lagos politics nay the southwest. Everything he has achieved politically has been possible because of the way he has been able to build and retain formidable lieutenants and foot soldiers in Lagos and beyond.
It will be very instructive for Tinubu to have Lagos and the people he has supported to run the affairs of the state to be politically stable and united in order for him to concentrate on his presidential ambition and pursuit. To have Lagos in a political turmoil or state of apprehension may ultimately cost Tinubu and the APC more than they can imagine right now.
Recently, a statement emanated from the apex decision making group within the Lagos APC, the Governance Advisory Council, GAC, purportedly denying any plan to replace the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. To a very large extent, this is a governor that has been outstanding, both in the area of governance and also his relationship with the rank and file of the party. He has proven to be focused and result-oriented in spite of the myriad of challenges confronted by his government, chief amongst which was the outbreak of the Covid pandemic and the EndSARS protest that rocked the state to its foundations.
Talking about replacing a performing governor at a time that Tinubu needs to concentrate on the big job ahead is ill-advised and could spell doom for him and the APC. It will be akin to fighting two battles at the same time, which isn’t advisable at all. Already, there are concerns within the party as some of those who are meant to be in the inner caucus of the governor have become overly ambitious, with some of their names being thrown up as his possible replacements.
Replacing Sanwoolu at this time may also be tantamount to empowering the APC’s political adversary, more like sending a message that all isn’t well within the party to outsiders, a position that the opposition can exploit as a campaign mantra.
With an unruffled Lagos, the job of concentrating on the centre by Tinubu will be easier. He wouldn’t have to spend long nights in meetings with party elders and key stakeholders, deliberating endlessly on whom to replace the governor with. Also, he wouldn’t have to be worried about factions within the party whereby those who have bought into the Sanwo-Olu vision would see it as having been cut short and hard done by.
The energy that will be dissipated with the activities of replacing Sanwo-Olu should rather be concentrated on Tinubu’s presidential ambition. Let Lagos continue with Sanwo-Olu in the driving seat. The campaigns are yet to start but what remains indubitable is that the journey to Aso Rock is going to be a tortuous, arduous and windy one that will require plenty of concentration and hard work. Tinubu would not want an avoidable and debilitating distraction, obviously.
-Victor Ganzallo

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