Lagos 2019: Shasore, Hamzat On The Prowl, How Safe Is Ambode?


Olasupo Shasore, SAN

Olasupo Shasore, SAN

Lagos is not just the Apha state by name. The mega city political turf is tough and the stakes are high. Political tendencies spare nothing to grab the juicy state deploying all manners of Machiavellian tactics, high power politicking and intrigues.

The enormous potential and strategic importance of the state to the nation’s political architecture must have prompted the ex- president Goodluck Jonathan to take the battle the den of lion of Bourdillon in 2015. Like a club guy, Jonathan stormed Lagos at the weekends to boost PDP’s electoral fortune..

The generalissimo of Lagos politics was given a run for his resources. He emptied his arsenal to enthrone his godson in Alausa . That is the nature of Lagos politics and most essentially the beauty of democracy.

Democracy is all about making choices. While political watchers in Lagos are fixated on the incumbent Akinwunmi Ambode  who is eagerly seeking to retain his plum job in 2019,  Olasupo Sasore (SAN), a former Attorney General and Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, an ex-works commissioner in the state recent invasion of the political space threw spanners  into the political  permutations of power brokers in Lagos.

The ex-commissioners who slugged it out with the incumbent in the last governorship primaries are said to be tipped as ‘credible alternatives’ to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode whose popularity has reportedly waned among the populace and party apparatchiks.

Hamzat, who was in charge of infrastructural masterplan and execution in the government of Babatunde Raji Fashola  trailed Ambode in the last primaries. He garnered 1,201 votes while the incumbent governor scored 3,735 votes.

Obviously, a lot have changed between 2014 and now. There is a palpable tension within the ruling party and many political war horses who claimed they had been neglected by the present administration are eagerly waiting for the governorship primaries to show strength and relevance.

The implication of the polarization is that there would be more delegates to poach from the political bloc that voted for Ambode in the last primaries whom many now accused of high-handedness.

Aside this, there are strong indications that Ikorodu district under the Lagos East Senatorial district might ditch Ambode at the primaries. Though they belong to the governor’s district, but they are said to be angry with Ambode over the over-concentration of infrastructure projects in Epe axis to the detriment of Ikorodu.

Therefore, the traditional strongholds of Mushin , Ifako , a section of Alimosho and other parts of Lagos West Senatorial district are expected to  boost the chances of Hamzat at the primaries. Hamzat’s father is strong grassroots political  figure in Lagos west.

The former Works commission will pontificate on his achievements when he was in the saddle to get the sympathy of the delegates. He is expected to promise fair deal for all interests within Lagos APC. Things appear to be looking up for him.

Another heavyweight whose name has been thrown up as likely contender for Lagos top job is Olasupo Sasore.  Who is Sasore? What would it do differently? How far can he go? These are part of the questions that trailed Sasore posters that emerged on the social media last weekend.

But Sasore is not a neophyte in the game. The lawyer upset the political terrain in 2014 ahead of the APC governorship primaries. He invaded the race like hurricane dwarfing aspirants who joined the race ahead of him.

Sasore was feasible all over Lagos. His posters and other campaign materials flooded every conceivable space in Lagos. He set the race on fire. He appeared like  a meticulous strategist with the way prosecuted his campaign and endeared himself to Lagosians.

The former attorney-general has a lot in his kitty to market himself to delegates. The lawyer who is known to be very hardworking and resilient would most likely regaled party delegates on how brought innovation to government under Fashola and revolutionalized  the justice sector in Lagos.

Sasore, was a vocal proponent of granting  of ‘special status’  to Lagos at the 2014 Confab. He led Lagos contingents to the conference. The senior advocate is being promoted as the true face of continuity by a powerful influential caucus in the Lagos APC.

Political observers are watching with keen interest how the intrigues will play in days ahead.