Given how former governor of Lagos Akinwunmi Ambode was practically chased out of the government house by the state’s political machinery, many of his aggrieved associates must have thought he would laugh last with indications emerging that he might be appointed a minister in President Buhari’s cabinet. But if recent developments in the polity are anything to go by, the dark-complexioned dude might not even have a chance to laugh at all.
Elements of the Lagos APC said to have the listening ears of godfather of Lagos politics Asiwaju Bola Tinubu are said to have erected roadblocks to stop Ambode from being confirmed as a minister were he to be nominated as expected. This is despite a resolution by the national chapter of the APC to offer all defeated governors in the last elections ministerial slots.
Reviving the debate around Ambode’s origin which gripped the airwaves during his campaign for the governorship in 2014, the group insists he is not from Lagos State and is therefore ineligible to serve the state in the capacity of minister. Numbering corruption, disloyalty to the party, and nepotism among his alleged crimes as governor, they vowed to collect their pound of flesh by nuking his ministerial ambition.
Sources close to the matter revealed that rather than carry the party members along, Ambode gave them short shrift and appointed his people to plum positions. Juicy contracts were also allegedly dished out to Ambode loyalists willy nilly while only crumbs were reserved for the party mainstays who helped to sell his candidacy to a skeptical Lagos populace.
Those in the Ambode camp who thought that if Lagos rejected him he would find a home in Ondo however got the shock of their lives as the APC in the Sunshine State have all but disowned him for doing the same thing to them when he was courting the Lagos number one seat. The chickens have come home to roost as Ambode is caught between a rock and a hard place, unwanted by either of the groups he could lay claim to.
As the Lagos and Ondo chapters of the APC pass him back and forth like two tennis champions hitting the ball into each other’s side of the court with unflinching resoluteness, the man who once held sway over the most populous state in the country has become a relative bystander in his own state. He is now depending on President Buhari to prevail on party leaders in either state to allow his nomination to go ahead.