If after watching Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s world press conference, which concluded a few minutes ago and you still did not think he is unworthy of a second chance, then, you are corruptly limited in your understanding of the inherent issues that are standing imposingly against this churlish governor.
Let’s start with his demeanor. It was very ungubernatorial. There is no debating that. His utterances were totally uncouth, childish and boorish. He left even the undiscerning without any jot of doubt that he is what he currently is: a bull in a china shop – evidently frustrated.
For the short period that the news conference lasted, coupled with the fact that the question and answer session might have been ‘arranged’ as it is always the style, I was glued to the screen observing only his countenance and the environmental nuances and all I saw was a man very well determined to destroy whatever it was that he met in the party and the government in the name of a second term, which is not a right but privilege.
Of course, it clearly does appear that he is unable to distinguish between right and privilege and by crossing the line of decency whilst struggling to make his warped points, thus unrestrainedly throwing impossible darts at his opponent, says a lot about who he truly is. He has been misconstrued all along. Whoever prepped him for that session is a disaster in public relations and image management.
Imagine a governor saying an opponent from the same party, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was once at a rehab? The same Ambode alleged to have a case file at a psychiatric centre during the 2014 campaigns and the entire party formation rallied round him? But he had the indecency of reckless abandon to land such a hard punch.
He didn’t stop there. He also regaled us with the story how Sanwo-Olu once spent fake dollars in the US and was arrested. But how come he was quick to forget he allegedly defaulted in the payment of a mortgage, aside other immoral details of his escapades that were considered unbefitting of a governorship candidate but ‘killed’ for his ambition to thrive?
For me, Ambode just confirmed a saying in Yoruba that where a family still savours a modicum of peace, do not celebrate; it is only so because the one child in that family with questionable paternity is yet to attain puberty. So, Ambode is willing to watch APC die, because the party that gave him the opportunity to be governor, when he was the least qualified asks him to stand down this second term?
Put differently the fact that Ambode is the sitting governor of Lagos State, he is on every count at a disadvantage in this battle and those with him are sure losers. Lest he forgets, the party can on account of this poorly conceived press conference expel him and that would be the end. What would follow is an impeachment and heaven would not fall.
Whichever way, he has brazenly declared a war on the party and should not expect the party not to fight back. Running to Abuja is in itself an error. Abuja didn’t make him governor. If he had expected that those who made him governor the first time would listen to Abuja to grant him re-election, then, he is both a joker and a learner.
It is common knowledge that Abuja can barely stand his benefactor, Bola Tinubu, the man who did not know him from anywhere before making him governor. So, conceding such a sensitive decision to them would mean, Ambode wouldn’t need to check with his estranged benefactor again on anything. He would simply bypass him and take orders from Abuja since he owes his second term to them. Honestly, he has proven to be unworthy of that seat, let alone, secure a re-election.
That press conference was meant to be his ace. He had a rare opportunity to not only secure more public sympathy, but reset the mood in the APC. But he blew it all and set the stage for a battle he had long lost. He is naturally a terrible person. He just proved me right.
Everything about his disposition justifies this position. He is an ungrateful lot and innately dreadful. His desperation is akin to that of the anti-Christ and has taken a step that would destroy everything he ever stood for. Never again would the name – Ambode – resonate in the annals of the body polity. Too petty to be called governor.
Importantly, the person to pick the greatest lesson here is Asiwaju Tinubu. Perhaps, Babatude Fashola’s words on marble: ‘May our loyalty never be tested’ would begin to convey instructive meanings to him. He did not know Ambode from anywhere, but he bought into his idea just because one of his trusted allies, Prince Eludoyin, recommended him.
Today, even the said Prince Eludoyin is no longer in talking terms with him. Ambode must be a helplessly terrible lot. Yet, for a man he could not vouch for, Tinubu left those who had been with him since 1999 and went for a total stranger. Good for him!
Pray he comes out of this unhurt, he must have learnt his lessons the hardest way. Please, make no mistake – Ambode has gone on this offensive, because he probably has something with which he plans to finish off Tinubu and co as he forges ahead in this battle. He doesn’t plan to go down alone. He intends to drag one or two persons with him.
Therefore, the days ahead promise to be interesting, and even more so, this current Lagos drama offers a rare lesson in political godfatherism. I know Ambode has so many hidden supports unknown to the Tinubu group, including Abuja and some former governors and their allies alike, but I also know for sure that this is one battle Ambode cannot win and I can hedge my biggest bet ever.
He is not even anywhere close to the inner caucus that ordinarily delivers the most intricate political assignments in the state. Indeed, Ambode does not know or cannot explain how he even emerged governor of the state. Some people delivered that job and that is the ace that Tinubu and his clique have over him.
Sadly, Ambode is too deceived by his current place of advantage to know that he is not an asset. Even if he quits the APC and leaves for another party, a character like him with awful attitudinal disposition is not what anyone or party can put forward as a poster face. His rebellion will only heighten the stakes and increase the frenzy of intrigues in the state; it would change nothing about the status quo, ultimately.
Even if Asiwaju’s empire would be rested eventually, it is not now let alone an even worse character like Ambode with utterly defective human relations that would orchestrate that! The earlier he knows this, the better. But then, we shall wait to see how you’d pull this off tomorrow, Governor Ambode, since you see not your palpable failings but overrated stellar performance amidst this crass elevation of mediocrity.
By Olawale Olaleye