A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has urged former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, to learn from Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who defeated ‘godfatherism’ with his reelection in September 2020.
According to Olajengbesi, godfathers can be unseated as power only belongs to God and not any mortal.
The PDP House of Representatives aspirant from Oriade/Obokun Federal Constituency in Osun State in 2019 was reacting to the comment of Ambode on Tuesday that youths should get their Permanent Voters’ Cards ready for the 2023 general elections.
Ambode’s Facebook post on Tuesday has since sparked fresh public discourse as to whether he wants to run for office in 2023 but he has not declared any intention.
“By breaking his political silence since he was kicked out by the godfathers of Lagos politics in the build-up to the 2019 governorship election, Ambode maybe aspiring something in 2023. Whilst he has not declared that he wants to return to office, time will tell if he wants to vie for any political office in the country.
“However, one consensus in the court of public discourse is that Ambode’s political turbulence in the 2019 governorship election showed how godfathers had monopolised the political space in Nigeria,” the lawyer said on Wednesday in a statement titled, ‘Ambode should learn from Obaseki, godfathers can be unseated’.
Ambode, who came into office in 2015 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, was kicked in 2019 after he fell out with APC leader and strong man of Lagos politics, Bola Tinubu, who had anointed Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the next governor of Lagos.
Though Ambode had gone ahead to contest the party primary, he lost to Sanwo-Olu who was staunchly backed by Tinubu.
“But Ambode chickened out unlike Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who, in 2020, fought his former godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, and won,” Olajengbesi noted.
The statement added, “The ex-APC national chairman had vowed that Obaseki won’t return as governor after a term of four years but Obaseki’s indomitable spirit did not quit after the APC governorship ticket of Edo State was handed over to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was Oshiomhole’s anointed candidate.
“Obaseki swiftly moved to the Peoples Democratic Party, clinched the ticket of the party and his returned to office, thanks to the objectivity and non-partisanship of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“If Obaseki, with the overwhelming support of the electorate, was able to dislodge and shame the godfathers of Edo politics, Ambode, with the acceptance of Lagosians, can wrestle the soul of Lagos from godfathers who have literally turned the state to their private property.
“Overall, Ambode’s political fate in 2023 will be anchored on so many things but one indispensable leadership attribute Ambode cannot afford not to have a full dose of going into 2023 is courage; courage to dare the godfathers, courage for freedom from the shadows of the self-imposed kingmakers. Godfathers can be unseated, the only power that be is of God, not any mortal.”
The PUNCH had earlier reported that a former spokesman for the PDP in Lagos, Ganiu Taofik, said Ambode has some chances to return as Lagos governor in 2023 if he joins the PDP.
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