Sustainability And The War Of Attrition; Who Leads Lagos Next?




By Onakpoberuo Onoriode Victor

Lagos is like no other state in Nigeria, it is indeed the center of excellence, whichever way you want to review from. In terms of significance, after the presidential election, I should say the governorship election of Lagos state ranks second. Yes Lagos is one of the states in Nigeria, but in recent years it is beginning to assume the form of a thriving Company run by a smart, well educated forward looking CEO. . It is almost impossible to fail as a governor in Lagos, especially when you have been an active part of the governance structure.

In 2011 I voted BRF. He was the rave of the moment as far as excellence in public service may be assessed. The success of the BRT buses, redesign and construction of several general hospitals and the reorganization of Oshodi were my considerations.

Governor Sanwolu has been a part of the governance of Lagos and has inherited the success wand by default which has led to the rapid expansion of the development plan of Lagos state. Under his watch Lagos is fast becoming a functional and responsive global city. He appears young and characteristically may be described as a visionary, people’s leader.

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If it were 2011 I would have gone to sleep, predicting his victory with a wide margin to his closest opponent, but this is 2023. Before 2023 there was the #NotTooYoungToRun, there was #EndSARS and there were wide spread anger against the APC. This anger has been further excersabated by the recent poorly implemented cash redesign policy of the CBN and fuel scarcity.

Governor Sanwolu has also inherited much of this anger. This is his nightmare. It is not just anger at any specific leadership decision or policy by him, but it is rather a generalized anger at anything or person associated with the APC. It is because of this generalized anger especially from youths that the other opponents can even have a semblance of leadership credibility, although with severe draught in historical review of relevant experience suited for the office of governor of Lagos state.

There are therefore two main blocks of voters; the #traditional and the #revolutionary voters. While the traditional voters refer to those who are critically observing the development trends in Lagos and are voting for sustainability, the #revolutionary block are voting to vent their anger and prove a point that it’s the time of the youths. The balance of play between these two will determine the victor and margin of win.

I suspect that some of the traditional voters may have reservations about the candidacy of the President Elect, hence the voting pattern of February 25th, 2023 in Lagos. Whether that reservation will be transferred to Governor Sanwolu is a puzzle that will be revealed by evening tomorrow the 18th of March, 2023.

Given the performance of the current Governor so far, I want to predict a safe 55-68% vote for #sustainability, while the other 45-32% may be distributed between the two main contenders.

In closing, if you intend to be a public leader, you must have been leading in a role similar or closely related to the office you aspire to lead from. This is because true public leadership credibility is earned, through experience gathered from the mine field of service and not social media notoriety or propaganda.

Just pondering.


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