Leaders and members of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the antics of the national leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in foisting his personal choices for public offices on the chapter.
This has become highly embarrassing especially for members of the apex body of the chapter, the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), who are now at loss on how to explain their relevance to party and non party members.
The latest drafting of Tokunbo Abiru the erstwhile Managing Director of Polaris Bank to contest the vacant Lagos East Senatorial ticket on the platform of the party, was done in such a way that left members of the GAC, stupified and dumb founded.
Having being detailed to shop for qualified party members to fly the flag of the party in the November bye election occasioned by the death of Bayo Oshinowo. GAC members went to work, while at it, information got to them that Abiru has being picked by Tinubu and that their labour was a mere academic exercise.
These politicians became down cast as it has been a tradition for Tinubu to send the GAC on a wild goose chase only to unleash his position on them and use them as the horsemen to hold the leash against the anger of his minions.
The pain of Party members on the other hand stems from the glaring fact that Tinubu recruits technocrats for public offices, leaving them in the cold after years of staying with the party through thick and thin.
“It has become a sin for one to be a party member in Lagos. You are seen as foolish and unusable ” said Funmi Falola from Ikorodu federal constituency.
“In the last general elections 201 of us bought forms for the state House of Assembly ticket, only for Tinubu to unilaterally picked all the forty candidates of the party, without making all aspirants test their popularity in a primary, the best we got was a refund of the money we expended on purchasing APC’s nomination, and expression of interest forms from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and other promissory notes that are yet to materialise.
Tunji Ojo a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) taunted Lagos APC members, saying “they will forever remain subservient in their party, because not only have they been enslaved by the lie that, “Power is not served a la carte”, the disdain of their self-styled leader for politicians will never make him consider them for any good, no matter how close they might be to the thing.
“He would always take it over them to someone else. He just doesn’t want them to grow and be self-reliant politically, because they know the game as much as he does. The “Baba Sope” culture is too lucrative and working magic for him to mull embracing collegiate leadership.
“Interestingly and sadly for Lagos APC members, he always serves power a la carte, even to those, who never dreamt or planned to be in politics. I pity those who are quick to stand behind their party’s silly decisions even at their collective expense. They have conceded their rights to every aspiration to the leader. Lagos APC politics is stupid. They’re all slaves!”
A party member said “We are indeed in slavery in Lagos APC. If you know how angry party members are but no one can talk even the GAC leaders are fed up.
“As regards filling the vacant Lagos East slot Tinubu gave the GAC the assignment to shortlist aspirants, but they couldn’t do it because midway they got feelers that he has annointed Abiru.
“Everybody is waiting for external aggression to free Lagos APC from Tinubu vicious grip, because those who should do it internally are suspicious of each other and profit heavily from Tinubu for betraying each other.
“We will wait for the emergence of a National Working Committee of the party that is not beholden to Tinubu, before there can be internal democracy in Lagos APC.
“One man compiled the list of the forty man Tunde Balogun led state executive of the party, he sanctioned the 57 man council chairman list, he chose all the 24man House of Representatives members from Lagos, the three Senators were his choice.
“The state cabinet members were all his choice except two slots he apportioned for Governor Sanwo-Olu. You can get to director level in Lagos civil service without Tinubu’s blessing.
Pundits said Tinubu drafted Abiru into the senatorial race preparatory to his presidential ambition in 2023. Abiru is said to be instrumental to the 2023 funding agenda and he just facilitated and sealed a N200m loan for each of the 57 councils in Lagos State. The N12bn Polaris bank loan is apparently the first in the line of three other loans that are are supposed to be used to purchase equipment for the local governments. Insiders have warned that these loans will not be used for any purchases but will be deployed towards the 2023 ambition of Tinubu.
Stakeholders in the banking industry have questioned the propriety of the loan transactions and have petitioned the EFCC and other security agencies to investigate the Bank, Abiru and the Lagos local Governments as the transaction is clearly illegal and designed to pull cash from the system in violation of financial regulations .
Analysts have observed that it is these type of transactions that denied Abiru a renewal of his term by the CBN and his tenure at Polaris Bank must be thoroughly investigated.
Abiru a former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance is reputedly an age long bagman for Tinubu and is likely being groomed to take over from Babajide Sanwoolu in 2023.
The National interim leadership of the party is unhappy with these developments as they see it as a pointer to more crisis in a Lagos APC that is already nursing simmering internal discord and anger and a major inhibitor to the overall growth of the Party.