Senator Bola Tinubu and Governor Ananyo Owelle Rochas Okorocha are the two men to watch out for in this Saturday’s governorship Poll.
The duo share something in common:
Their names are not on the ballot, yet, the governorship election in Lagos and Imo is strictly about them. They don’t have a dog in this fight. They are the dog in this fight. And make no mistake, this is a fight both men are prepared to win at all cost or die trying because in truth, their defeat will mean their political and financial obituary. And their victory, a successful elongation of their fraudulently acquired empire. Something the masses of both states will do anything to avert.
For Tinubu, the result of February 23rd presidential and National Assembly election where his ruling party, the APC only managed to win Lagos by a very small margin with his political alleluia boys Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and APC Lagos governorship candidate Babajide Sanwa-Olu both losing their respective polling units, brought him face to face with some of his own ugly political reality. Ugly reality such as the fact that in absence of INEC-enabled rigging, manipulation, voter suppression and govt-sponsored violence in PDP strongholds, the self acclaimed Jagaban will likely lose his polling unit and certainly lose Lagos, a state he ran for eight years as governor and has continued to run by proxy till date.
Having realized that the average Igbo person bows only to reason, dialogue and persuasion and that threat strengthes, rather than weaken them, the Bourdillion landlord has since resorted to using notable Igbo personalities to court Igbo votes in a bid to save himself from political Golgotha. A smart but not so smart move because in reality, Ndigbo don’t follow anyone, not even their leaders. Their leaders follow them. It is their leaders that must read their mood and act accordingly. In the just concluded Presidential Poll, Ndigbo didn’t vote against Buhari because their Apex socio-cultural group -Ohanaeze Ndigbo- asked them to. Rather, Ohanaeze simply read their mood and acted accordingly. So the notion that Igbos will vote you because one of their own asked them to is a very wrong notion.
The two leading candidates for the Lagos govt house, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC and Jimi Agbaje of the PDP are both Yoruba. Ordinarily, Ndigbo living in Lagos will vote for any of the two they consider fair minded and just. But threatening them or sending thugs after their business is the fastest and most guaranteed way to lose their support and ignite the spirit of suicidal resistance in them.
In the March 9th governorship Poll, the average Igbo voter resident in Lagos will never vote Sanwo-Olu or Agbaje simply because some business man turned Senator-elect from Nnewi South in Anambra state asked them to. And it certainly won’t be because some rogue socio-cultural head enjoined him to. It will only be because they reasonably feel he is a just man who will be fair to all.
Now, back to the emerging Tinubu in Imo state, Rochas Okorocha who just like the Lagos Tinubu, is an expert in political gangstarism, thuggery and brigandage, having forced the returning INEC officer in the last National Assembly polls, Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi to declare him Senator elect, according to the INEC returning officer himself. One needs no crystal ball to see that the smooth talking but crooked governor will see Imo burn to ashes if only his puppet son-in-law, Uche Nwosu could rule over the ashes in continuation of his familiocratic style of governance where the state govt is of his family, for his family and by his family alone.
The biggest mistake anyone would make is to underrate how far this two are willing to go to have their way.
Will they succeed? Will they fail?
The next 48 hours will reveal the answer.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.