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Momentum of Change in Lagos Elections


The change at the centre of government in Nigeria is being seen by most Lagosians as a sign of things to come in the governorship elections holding this weekend. This has become an embarrassing moment for the APC whose candidate retired General Muhammadu Buhari, swept the polls at the last presidential elections where he decisively swept President Goodluck Jonathan out of Aso Rock on a platform of change which has been resonant in the campaigns of the APC in Lagos State for sometime now.

Now the APC slogan in Lagos State till now has been Continuity because the its candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, is expected to succeed incumbent Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and continue his so-called good works which have been a source of indignation amongst Lagosians who think successive governors had not delivered on campaign promises to make life better for the masses. This is, in spite, of the huge resources of the state.

The presidential elections and some of the legislative ones on March 28 have shown unusual and unexpected victories for the PDP even in some key APC’s strongholds. This is unprecedented in Lagos politics, encouraging the PDP’s campaign for change in the state.

The Igbos, for instance, have always picked issues with the present and past APC leaders in government that they want democratic representation in governance commensurate with their population and economic contribution to the development of the state which are mammoth and incontestable.

However, the major headache for the Ambode’s campaign team is how to stop its supporters from shouting ‘change’ in the governorship election when it is all they have been doing since the beginning of the campaign. Whereas change has always been the theme of the PDP and its candidate in their bold quest to wrest power from the APC, which has been in power for close to two decades.

Continuity, as the ruling party keeps echoing in Lagos to retain Alausa, seems to contradict its change mantra having preached same to dislodge the PDP from Aso Rock.

One would have expected that what is sauce for the goose, should be sauce for the gander.

It, however, looks like the political equation is changing and the electorate are fast queuing behind the ‘change’ movers to replicate the presidential scenario in the nation’s economic hub.  The lesson, to learn, may perhaps, be that nobody can stop an idea which time has come.

•Kayode Amusan is a public commentator based in Lagos.


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