Abike Dabiri for Deputy Governor: An Ambition Foreclosed

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Abike Dabiri

With the shocking vaporization this week, of the second term ambition of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who conceded defeat in the Lagos State governorship primary held Tuesday, October 2nd, to Babajide Sanwoolu; and the consequent change in the political dynamics of the state, a number of dreams and aspirations have become stillborn. And popular broadcaster turned politician, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, comes to mind. For long, her friends had told those within earshot that she is the anointed deputy governor in the next dispensation.

Abike, who spent three consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, had fancied her chances of eventually becoming the first female governor of Lagos State given her closeness to the lord of the Manor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the rotation of power among the five administrative divisions that make up Lagos namely Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe, Lagos Island and Ikeja. Tinubu emerged from Ikeja; Babatunde Raji Fashola represented Lagos Island while Ambode represents Epe. The thinking, among other variables, is that it would be the turn of Ikorodu by 2023. However, as the saying goes, 24hours is a long time in politics. Those close to the Ikorodu-born politician said she thought she would be made deputy governor preparatory to succeeding her boss. But a recent fallout with Tinubu may have foreclosed that ambition.

We gathered that though Abike has mended fences with her godfather, and has lobbied and reached out to powerbrokers within the party, it seems she is no longer in contention for the deputy governorship slot which may have been ceded to Dr Obafemi Hamzat who stepped down his ambition for Sanwoolu. Hamzat, a former Commissioner for Works, is expected to be announced as Sanwoolu’s running mate in the next few days apparently to compensate the Justice Forum which he represents and to add grit and gravitas to the APC governorship ticket. For now, Abike, currently the Special Adviser on Diaspora Affairs to President Muhammadu Buhari, is at a crossroads as to the direction her political career would take from here. And she does deserve some pity given her sweaty sacrifices especially as the unofficial compeer at the party’s rallies.