Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has told those attempting to ridicule him over the outcome of the Edo State governorship election, that there was no basis for comparison with that of Lagos State in 2019.
Just after the Edo State election in which the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Obaseki, retained his seat by defeating the candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the social media came alive with a photograph saying: “Tinubu: Edo no be Lagos.”
The authors were trying to compare the defiance of the APC, in which Tinubu is the National Leader, and going ahead to win the election, with the situation in Lagos in 2015, where the incumbent, Akinwunmi Ambode, did not win the election.
Ambode did not have the support of Tinubu, who supported Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the ticket of the APC.
Sanwo-Olu won the election.
Reacting to the comparison of the two elections, Tinubu in an article by his Media Aide, Alhaji Tunde Rahman, said the scenarios were different.
In the article titled: “Asiwaju Tinubu and Edo election,” Rahman, a former Editor of Thisday on Sunday, wrote: “Indeed, those who quipped that Edo no be Lagos, apparently referring to former governor Akinwumi Ambode’s inability to secure a second term, got the context of the two scenarios wrong.
“Ambode scaled through his party’s screening exercise and participated fully in the direct primaries at which Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu emerged as the party’s candidate.
“Indeed, Asiwaju just like Oshiomhole had advocated direct primaries involving all registered members of the party in Edo State to deepen and strengthen the intra-party democratic process.
“It is on record that Obaseki vehemently canvassed indirect primaries to narrow the extent of membership participation in the primary had he successfully scaled the party’s screening exercise.
“It is ironical that in a post-election interview, the same Obaseki seeks to impugn Asiwaju and Oshiomhole’s democratic credentials.”
Speaking on why he recorded a broadcast days before the election urging the electorate to reject Obaseki, Tinubu said: “Of particular note in the days leading to the poll is the broadcast by APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, where he urged Edo voters to shun Obaseki in the election because of his anti-democratic credential.
“The governor, it would be recalled, issued a proclamation inaugurating the state House of Assembly in an ungodly hour, paving the way for nine members to usurp the powers and responsibilities of a 24-member assembly. 14 majority members were shut out and all entreaties to Obaseki to allow room for them to be inaugurated fell on deaf ears.
“The opposition PDP and their agents made a heavy weather of Asiwaju’s video on social media.
“Now, Asiwaju did not seek to dictate to the people of Edo. He was not out to oust their rights to chose by themselves. He understands so well that widely-held categorization of Edo people, as brilliantly captured by Columnist Segun Ayobolu last week, as ‘proud, dignified, industrious, culturally and historically self-conscious people not inclined to bowing before mere mortals’.
“Far from usurping their power to determine who should govern them, the broadcast was an appeal to the people borne of commitment to democratic principles, clear appreciation of the fundamental role of parliament in a democracy, adherence to the principle of separation of powers, and his irritation by the antic of Governor Obaseki against the 14 lawmakers.
“It was an appeal for the people to think about the democratic credentials of the candidates in casting their votes.
“Obaseki’s anti-peace and reconciliation stance also came out in bold picture in the altercation between him and former APC Chairman and his estranged friend and leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
“All appeals to Obaseki to toe the path of peace and allow room for settlement in the matter were arrogantly rebuffed.
“Asiwaju was in the forefront of some of these peace efforts. Others also intervened all to no avail.
“Eventually, one thing led to another and Obaseki, quite unfortunately, failed to scale through the APC screening.
“He eventually defected to the PDP.
“There is no evidence that the APC leader was part of that screening process or made input into it.”