A former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has spoke on the refusal of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to back Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode’s second term bid.
Tinubu endorsed and worked for the emergence of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the APC governorship candidate.
Reacting, Bode George lamented that Lagos was in the firm grip of an individual.
He told Punch: “I have tried to resolve within my mind whether I was dreaming or in the realm of outer space. It is unbelievable. It is absolutely shambolic. When it started gradually, some of us were shouting. They said, ‘Don’t mind Bode. It is because he is in the opposition’. Now, the chickens have come home to roost. How can you, as an individual, determine the fate of the largest state economically in this country with the largest population? How did he do it? Did he use juju to slam our people? It’s a joke.
“You put this young man, (Governor Akinwunmi) Ambode, there and, suddenly, you say he isn’t going back. When I said it, people thought I was joking. During the First Republic, no politician had the authority to determine who should go to the toilet, who should be Speaker, or who should be this or that. Is it a private company? Lagosians should wake up. It is only the almighty God that we all depend on and look to; but for an individual? No!
“The time has come that the right-thinking people, those who love this state, must come out. He has defied every definition of democracy. He is like an emperor. It is so disgraceful. This is my state; I was born here. I am in my mid-70s now and I have never seen anything like this. We were all young kids when Papa (Obafemi) Awolowo was running the Western Region. It was a collective responsibility.
“But now, it is the government of the emperor, for the people of the emperor and by the people of the emperor. I can’t believe it. And people are still jostling because the kind of money he has made within our state is disgraceful. This is a challenge also to the (Muhammadu Buhari) government in power. How can an individual be talking about corruption? You saw the salvos released by Ambode. Have they been investigated?
“Look at what has been happening with Alphabeta. I said it almost 10 years ago; nobody listened. It is a fast track to destruction. I am praying that God almighty will work in the minds of the electorate. They have been a bit responsibly calm, but it’s getting to the precipice. What is the guarantee for the future of the children, the downtrodden? My father was a civil servant in the middle class, but we struggled; we went to the university. From his sweat, he built us up.
“I am appealing now. That power has come with the electorate to take a decision. He wants to impose this (Babajide) Sanwo-Olu. Tomorrow, if the Sanwo-Olu wants to start doing something else apart from what he wants based on the needs of the people, if it runs foul with him, he will then start plotting to throw him away. That was what he did with (former Governor Babatunde) Fashola.
“Now, Ambode came, he threw him out because he knows that he handpicked the members of the House of Assembly who would listen to his dictates. It would be a shame. I am calling on all Lagosians, indigenes and non-indigenes, to rise up to the occasion. Let us, for the umpteenth time, rise up and exercise our power. Otherwise, someday, people will get fed up and they will remember what I’m saying today.”