OPINION: Development Blueprint Or State Capture? By Femi Mimiko

Whence is this Blueprint being thrown up by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a la Chairman Mao’s Red Book, as the basis of extant imbroglio in the ruling party in Lagos? Who designed it? Who approved it? When is it due for review? By the way, how many of those talking about it as if it were the holy book, have seen it?

Forget the Blueprint facade. The unfolding Gov. Ambode reelection issue revolves around STATE CAPTURE – a few powerful mandarins had seized control of Lagos for upward of 20 years. They have deployed every imaginable tool, legitimate or otherwise, to hold Nigeria’s most viable State down. It is convenient now to talk of Tunde Fashola, as if they never made an attempt to abort what the gentleman was doing.

Of course, Lagos has been the worse for it. Democracy is lying prostate. An overwhelming majority of Lagosians remain extremely poor, and live in subhuman conditions, even in the face of humongous resources, much of which, by subterfuge, suspiciously ends up in private pockets! Small wonder those who never set up any factory anywhere prior their involvement in Lagos politics would boast obscenely, ‘Osun does not have my kind of money!’
Akinwumi Ambode doesn’t come across as perfect or an angel, but we shouldn’t confuse the narrative. What he has done ‘wrong’ is to have chosen to stand up to the formidable, pretentiously progressive political party machine in Lagos. For those who own, run, and put same to use, it does not matter whether a Fashola, or an Ambode is performing or not. Ambode has to be stopped and taken out, for daring the lion. Simplicita! Now, how does it constitute progress – when the particularistic interest of a few party apparatchiks supersedes that of the masses of the people?

Ambode may not get anywhere with his current effort, especially given what I think is a bad outing at his so-called World Press Conference. It came across as poorly coordinated, choreographed, and too pedestrian, for a governor on the type of mission he has taken upon himself (they couldn’t even get enough microphones!).

Even so, it is good enough that someone is willing to challenge, and shake off the crushing weight of this cathedral of fraud in place in Lagos for so long. No formation lasts forever anyway. After all, somebody in the past did everything to undermine an Afenifere that he once acknowledged made his emergence in the political firmament possible in the first instance. What goes round comes around, they say.

The truth is that there is no self-respecting individual that would remain under such a yoke that they are won’t to place on a ‘governor’ in that place forever. As it was with Fashola, so it is with Ambode, even when they may seem to have handled the challenge differently. That is the sense in Fashola’s ‘may our loyalty not be tested’ thesis.

Again, as I noted earlier, let the contradictions play out rapidly, and irretrievably. That is the route to Shaka Momoh’s seminal inquiry, ‘When will Lagos State be free of one man’s messianic mentality? Who will liberate the state from Bola Tinubu’s suffocating grip?’

Femi Mimiko, mni, is a professor of political science, a respected educational administrator, and a former vice chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, a state-owned university named after a former governor of Ondo State, Nigeria. He tweets from @FemiMimiko.

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