By Biyi Adebisi
The purported move by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to replace Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu with Alhaji Hakeem Muri Okunola, current Head of Service in Lagos State, thereby restricting Sanwo-Olu’s administration to just one term is, by all definition, a dangerous and unwise political move by the leadership of the party.
Although the purported move has now been dismissed by the state chapter of the APC, the step, if ever contemplated, is a patently perilous presumption that Lagos is safe for the party.
For a fact, the political stranglehold of APC on Lagos is fast loosening up, giving way to random defections of stalwarts and allies. The Lagos-4-Lagos movement is an obvious example.
Statistically, Lagos APC must be down to close to 55% of its former political strength.
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Of this low following, there are those who, on the surface, are in but who, definitely, do not wish the party well.
It is no news that leaders like former Governors Babatunde Fashola and Akinwumi Ambode as well as Dr Muiz Banire are not completely in sync with the party.
Also the division that the presidential aspiration of the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, may throw up is difficult to calculate.
The obvious summation from all of the above is that Lagos APC is not sitting comfortably as far as victory in the 2023 governorship election in the state is concerned. Therefore any attempt to upturn the apple cart may cause the opposition in Lagos to snatch victory from the party.
True, no man is indispensable, but, unless extraordinary situations emerge, it is unreasonable to dismiss a winning team.
Muri Okunola is politically a neophyte.
It is politically incorrect to disrupt the administration of Sanwo-Olu who has become the poster boy of the APC administration not just in Lagos but also nationally.
The argument may be made that this same infamous act of the leadership of APC in Lagos was used to cut short Ambode’s tenure and replaced with Sanwo-Olu’s. Yes, this is true. But, in fact, it was wrong then and it is wrong still.
If a political party prides itself in applying wrongful and unjust practices in selecting its principal officers, at one point, that same act will become a painfully regrettable one.
Besides the very act itself is essentially a gamble. Like in all gambling, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Can the Lagos APC afford to gamble and lose in this season?
If for any reason Tinubu loses out in the presidential race and Lagos is also lost to the opposition, then it is game over for this generation of APC leaders and followers.
A word is enough for the wise: Lagos APC should allow a sleeping dog lie.
The dangerous suggestion that this unnecessary proposed change is for religious reasons should never be allowed to disrupt the unique and enviable unity and peaceful religious accord that has existed in the state and the entire South-West from time immemorial. We must, in the interest of all, perish this thought and focus on issues that can never divide us.
The unassailable fact is that Sanwo-Olu remains the best governor in the whole country even across party lines.
He has made Lagos second to none in terms of projects execution and administrative performance.
Lagos deserves the best of the best and God has divinely provided this in the person of this humble, unassuming and yet avidly assiduous man, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Lagosians should come together to support this governor to do more.
•Adebisi is a public affairs analyst.