Senator Afikuyomi’s Political Wilderness

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Tokunbo Afikuyomi

In 1999, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi’s profile had risen when he was elected as a senator on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy, AD.

Afikuyomi, who was appointed to committees on Aviation, foreign affairs, women affairs, public accounts and Federal Character, would later become a force to be reckoned with in Lagos, having served two terms in the Senate.

Besides, he was close to the former Lagos State governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, as well as the then President of the Senate, Alloysus Wabara.

But all this ended in 2007 when he decided to play Oliver Twist. How?

Afikuyomi, who probably got carried away by his rising profile, had nursed the ambition of becoming the governor of Lagos State, while Tinubu had declared his interest in Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.

He was not persuaded by the voice of reasoning, so he dumped the party and aligned with the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), a relatively known party in Lagos.

But his ambition to become the number one citizen of the state remained a mirage.

Worried about his dwindling fame and political relevance, he swallowed his pride and sought forgiveness from Tinubu, who reportedly influenced his appointment as a commissioner in the administration of Fashola. Though the development had drawn the ire of many in the state, the rotund, dark-skinned politician saw it as service to his fatherland.

After he was sacked by Fashola, he worked briefly with a former governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as a special adviser. But he didn’t stay too long before moving to London.

Afikuyomi, again, flew another kite, as he plotted his comeback to the Senate to replace his successor at the Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, who himself had unsuccessfully planned to succeed former governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Since then, he has again been left in the wilderness, politically.