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Ex-Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro, Rescued from the Wilderness?
He had a meteoric rise in the banking industry. As the then Managing Director of First Atlantic Bank, now defunct, dark and handsome Femi Pedro was the toast of many in the private and public sectors.
Suddenly, his name began to reverberate across the political circle in Lagos State, courtesy of the then Governor of Lagos, Senator Bola Tinubu. By fate or design, he later became the deputy governor of the state. The romance between him and his former boss set tongues wagging in some quarters but not for long as Lagosians were alarmed at the news of a crack in the much-envied relationship, a development that was received with mixed feelings in the political circle in the state. The former banker was alleged to have disagreed with his boss over his choice of a successor in the twilight of the administration.
While Tinubu, now a national leader and presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was scheming for Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who was then his Chief of Staff, Pedro was nursing a personal agenda. He had allegedly allowed his personal ambition to bring him into conflict with the powerful Tinubu. Many were unable to understand his reason for this political miscalculation. Some saw it as advice from his hangers-on that took advantage of political naivety.
Frustrated, he resigned his appointment and pitched his tent with the Labour Party. However, critics maintained that he took the decision, believing that his bread would be buttered at the party. Unfortunately, the party machinery refused to grant him the much-expected ticket to contest for governor in the state then.
This is believed to be one of his regrets in his political career. He was left in the cold and wandered all alone in the wilderness.
A few years after, certainly after some introspection, he retraced his steps back to the Tinubu camp, following consultation with some party heavyweights who had the APC’s chieftain listening ears. This was shortly before the 2015 general election.
Though he is yet to successfully regain relevance in the political circle of the state, things seem to be looking up for him, particularly after he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in 2018.
To give vent to his rising profile, he was, last week, appointed into the Council of the Governors’ Advisory Council, the highest decision-making body of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos.
With this, many political observers feel that the ex-banker may have finally been rescued back from the cold.