Lagos 2015: APC' s Succession Story -- Between The Chosen, The Special and The Hungry One
Every so often we come to the crossroads of Destiny when and where the importance of a decision so urgent, so crucial becomes so inevitable. All of our life, it would seem, is reduced to the result of that very decision. In most cases such issues are as fundamental as who takes over the mantle of leadership. There is a popular adage which says Success without a successor is failure. May be we can add that any leadership feat that has not transferred from one entity to the next isn't matured enough to be tagged Success. Leadership question can make a Phenomenal person lose sleep countless times and weaken his drive to achieve more. Who takes over from here? The unknown, the becoming is such dreadful experience. It is well illustrated in the story of a man who has built a business empire but doubts the capacity of his first son or any of his children to step into his shoes. Paradoxically, it seems that the assurance of a subsequent custodian is as crucial as every successes won and aspired.
This is a political writing and it is going somewhere. It is a reflection of what is to come (or befall) Lagos in a couple of months. When you drive through the Lekki Suspension Bridge by night or you walk past the Ikeja Shoprite axis at late night, knowing what used to be the case before this administration then you would ponder on what next after this man leaves office?
Are we going back to the old style of Governance where anything goes or we are set on this developmental path for almost forever? Would there be continuity or what? If yes, at what pace?
That question would be answered very soon. Not in this essay but in the activities of all stakeholders including Political parties and the electorate.
As it stands , there are two major political parties in Nigeria today and one of them is likely to give us the next Chief Executive come 2015. Talking of the major opposition party in Lagos there is not much to say for now. Nevertheless, because the party's fortune would much depend on who becomes the standard bearer we can wait for such outcomes to see if there's hope for eventual surprises. For now, for this state , Lagos , the Incumbent party's primary is the Election.
APC Primary School , Lagos.
In the eventuality of adherence to the standing order, aspirants & supporters need to brace up for a Primary election. Hence, barring all unforseen circumstances there are three frontline contestant for the Party's nomination ; The Chosen One, The Special, and The Hungry One.
The Special One
The man who currently holds a sensitive position in the current cabinet is gathering support and hope from the party loyalists as time ticks closer. He is special because of the big barrier hanging over his nomination. He seems to make history as a non-indigene of a state but gathering strategic forces that may eventually lead to clinching the highest position in the state. Anybody conversant with how things work in Nigeria would admit that even State Civil Service leadership like Permanent Secretaries and others are rarely ceded to non-indigenes of the state let alone the Chief Executive of a State. But rules and records are made to be broken. This may be that special case.
He is Special also because he enjoys, allegedly, the maximum support of the sitting Chief Executive. The number one man it seems is saying subliminally; "my spirit is upon him".Like the biblical Moses and Joshua endorsement.
Moreover, to have the structure of a father to bank on is no small advantage. But what do we say about the 'institutional' jinx to be broken? The First Royalty of the state already made a statement, one that could fan the flames of unusual resentment towards this Cause.
Also, Strategically, the fronting of the Special One by the Chief executive may just be a negotiating tool for private gains. Horse-trading is a regular tool in politicking and this one may not be an exception. The Senate, or even a Vice Presidential slot may be a good bargain for the Chief Executive. If such isn't feasible, other very important slots can serve a good compensation. At both ways, the Chief would still walk home happy.
The Chosen One
Shakespeare's definition of Leadership highlights three possible ways to greatness. One of which is having leadership thrusted on your laps. No matter how we put it, the Chosen man is the man to beat. Although he enters this race as an underdog and would remain as such till the contest is over for so many reasons. What else do you call a man making a first appearance into active, partisan politics as a Governorship aspirant? Indeed winning promises to be pyrrhic. It would be a highly challenging endeavour, the one likely to choke the aspirant and sap energy. But there are enough 'shock-absorbers' for this man. The first and biggest endorsement came from the First King of the State and that's a statement loud enough to be understood.
The Chosen one's records as a selfless servant is a good leverage even though politics is a wielding game. In most cases, irrespective of who stands behind you what you educe matters more. It is all about you- your charm, your charisma, your grace. All the attestations & endorsements already opens up the compound pressure of living up to expectations. When much is given much is expected. There's much work to be done but the good thing is it won't be without the support of the Captains of the Party, the main men whose attention he already got.
There's one important thing to hammer on and it is that there is no done deal in politics. This man of the moment must try as much as possible to ease the pressure of those who already declared support for his candidature. The need to be reminded often, by action , that they made the right choice thrusting him forward. His mettle will be tested with fire like a furnace to gold and it would only make him better.
Although on being an underdog in this race, many supporters of the man have likened it to how it first happened some Seven years ago when an underdog ,now his excellency, clinched the party nomination. But few points must be considered.As a chief of staff, one isn't an outsider, kind of, in the polity. In fact, the powers of the chief executive is put to optimal use through the arm of the CoS. What does this suggests? That the antecedents aren't purely the same.
The is more work to be done. There are many challenges but they are not insurmountable. The times have changed and the circumstances partially different. But there's always courage of the possibility looking back to the past to inspire the future.
However, there are hungry hawks around waiting to feast on the chicks. How prepared is the mother hen? We shall soon find out when we discuss the qualities of hawks and how some people are hungry for action.
...To be continued
Showunmi Rex (@remirex) is the Senior Editor @ DeltaForte Magazine (www.deltaforteng.com) & Contributing Editor @ Hype9ja Ent. (www.hype9ja.com)