Ambode’s Defeat: A Price of Pride
Nigeria News takes a look at the acceptance of defeat by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his congratulatory message to Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos must be applauded for eventually accepting defeat and congratulating the winner of the state gubernatorial primaries on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Though you may say, Ambode ought to have done this long ago, it makes democracy interesting. It goes down in history that Ambode will be the first civilian governor of Lagos that would not win the second term in office. Except that he crosses to another party now and win against APC. Either way, he would have made history.
Perhaps the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode had listened and taken to advice when the state All Progressives Congress cautioned him over the import of Visonscape, a waste management company, the governor would have retained his seat.
Perhaps, the Visonscape had done a quality job that could shut the mouths of wailers and critics, Ambode would have had good reasons for the termination of PPP waste management idea of his predecessor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
Perhaps, Ambode had listened to his godfather, Bola Tinubu who advised him to bury the second term ambition, the governor might be pacified with a senatorial ticket.
But Ambode threw caution to the wind, possibly because of millions of social media wailers, many of whom were not card-carrying members of the APC that made him feel popular.
Now that the Tuesday’s primaries had shown how unpopular he is, the governor would have learnt a bitter lesson.
While Mr Clement Ebri led NWC panel statement over the Lagos primaries went viral, that the exercise never held, I took it as a rumour because I observed there was an election.
Although the process of the exercise was not perfect, there was a primary in which Ambode voted in Epe, Sanwo-Olu voted in Lagos Island and Tinubu voted in Alausa, Ikeja.
How can a NWC summarily annul an election on such puerile grounds as its preference for a secret ballot for the primary election which is entirely an intra-party affair? I was proved right, as the party chairman Mr Adam Oshiomhole overruled it, describing it as a rumour.
Lagos spoke very loudly. Babajide Sanwo-Olu got over 900,000 votes, compared to a little above 97,000 for the incumbent Akinwunmi Ambode who refused all entreaties to avoid this ruinous path by stepping aside. It was a massive, unprecedented rejection of the phenomenon called Ambode.
It was an embarrassing outcome for a governor who wasted all his goodwill and mismanaged his public image. He perhaps is guilty of what Prof G.G. Darah would gleefully refer to as self-combustion.
Mercurial Darah had several years ago said that of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, when the dark goggled dictator, Sani Abacha had accused him of an attempt to bomb his own house at Anthony Village.
Whether Ambode concedes at this point or not doesn’t matter again. History now has it that he was heavily trounced.
That was his lot because he refused to tow the humble path, so he must carry the cross of his massive rejection, alone.
What kind of governor would have all his aides, including his deputy and 95% of his commissioners vote against him?
After this humiliation, how does he hope to manage his cabinet? How about the regular weekly state exco? How about governance? Would he still be his boisterous, bully self or will this outcome help cut him to size? Would this rejection signpost what is to come? Or would the party overlook his flippancy and move on?
Ambode unwittingly made himself a subject of study for political scientists and communication students. A deconstruction of his persona may be needed as a compass going forward. He needed to be studied to add to the body of knowledge on power, the place of pride and arrogance as the avoidable fragrance.
He has only himself to blame for his ill luck. He is an accidental leader.