Lagos PDP Goes Under! —Joe Igbokwe



In the past 12 years Lagos Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been consistently insisting that it will capture Lagos State for keeps and in the past 12 years Lagos PDP has always kissed the dust with its wildest dream of forming a government in Lagos. We have lived with this empty and primitive hallucination in the past 12 years believing that serious-minded men and women will take over the leadership of the party and bring some sanity to the crisis-ridden, empty vessel. Over the years, we have waited to see whether decent men and women will stand up to redeem the battered and terrible image of a totally shameless party but all to no avail. Granted that there may have been ‘men and women’ in Lagos PDP presently but whether they are men and women enough to battle with the challenges ahead is subject of discussion for another day.

We wanted this because we needed and indeed desired a virile opposition to keep us on our toes. We needed someone to compete with in terms of ideas and viewpoints for we believe that will help us in the arduous task of governing Lagos.

Few days ago, Lagos PDP met in Lagos to do an assessment on the state of the party in Lagos State and to look back to take notice of where the rains started beating them. It was the usual PDP meeting; full of vain grandstanding, full of lurid boasts and impotent dreams and amounting to nothing. This is so because PDP delights in playing the ostrich. It delights in reducing every electoral problem to deployment of the illicit cash it had stolen to a dizzying degree from Nigerians and thinking that is the solution to its electoral problems.

At the end of the meeting, members rose to beat their chests that they have mapped out strategic plans on how to capture Lagos in 2015. It was reported on the front page of one Nigeria ’s most powerful newspapers. And if you go further on their strategies, it is about distributing monies to lure and cajole some ethnic groups in Lagos to get on their side. The entire gamut was shorn of a careful analysis of the woes which the PDP has levied on the country in the past 13 years. It was devoid of a sober appreciation of why the states under its control are wrecked caricatures of performance while the Lagos it wishes to capture has come to signpost the hope for delivery in the arid democratic space Nigerians have been saddled with in the past 13 years.

But the timing of this publication was wrong in the sense that the report of the meeting came out few days after the world gathered at Eko Hotel Lagos for EHINGBETI 2012- the 6th Lagos Economic Summit. In that summit, the world took notice of the tremendous progress in Lagos and came to this conclusion: “once notorious for its quantum of decayed infrastructure, urban poverty, insecurity and growing slums, Lagos has gradually emerged a land of opportunities through its unique development model, holding the key to Nigeria’s transformation agenda”. Meticulously, gradually, carefully, consistently, and intelligently, ACN leaders in Lagos led by His Excellencies, former Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Fashola have moved Nigeria to join the group of emerging economies of the world in the 21st century through dint of hard work, strategic planning and creative leadership. It is only a matter of time before Nigeria joins Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to make up BRINCS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Nigeria and South Africa) as the world emerging economies.

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As at the time Lagos PDP was busy celebrating mediocrity and political irresponsibility, world leaders were busy praising Lagos leaders for systematically driving Nigeria, which the PDP has been running under for 13 years now, into the world stage to join the comity of serious minded economies. As at the time Lagos PDP was chasing shadows, picking the crumbs from the masters table in Abuja, capacity driven stars, and bean counters have continued to praise ACN Leaders in Lagos for committed and focused leadership in moving Lagos from a state of decadence to a state worthy of emulation. As the political fools forever gathered to put their miserable acts together; having been worsted in the past 12 years in Lagos politically, big time investors in Nigeria and abroad were busy celebrating Lagos for continuity and institutionalized policies that have brought sustainable growth in Lagos and Nigeria.

When a state, out of 36 States in Nigeria contributes 25% of the Nation’s GDP and 40% to non oil GDP, even the worst brains know its contribution to the overall development of the country cannot be ignored. No wonder Lagos is now the destination of other 35 governors to copy templates and benchmarks. PDP Lagos and PDP national owe a debt of gratitude to Lagos for moving Nigeria forward despite the monumental failures the country has witnessed in their 13 years of rudderless leadership. I shudder at what would have been the state of Nigeria without ACN leadership in Lagos State. I wonder what the story of Nigeria would have been but for the kind of creative and ingenious leadership that is driving its most important, most strategic, most productive state and its biggest economy.

But we may not wholly blame the Lagos wing of a PDP that believes in acquiring power without responsibility. The party is so shameless that it starts plotting on how to steal a new election when it has not recorded even one impressive achievement in the last 13 years. The party is not advertising the stellar performance it had wrought with power in Nigeria in 13 years of unrestrained waste laying but desires Lagos just because its fat cows desire to add it to their sprawling empire of wastes. The party that has reduced Nigeria to Somalia (apologies to PDP stalwart, General Theophilus Danjuma) is day dreaming of capturing a sophisticated and hyper driven state as Lagos. A party that has plunged Nigeria into total darkness after several trillions of Naira stolen in the name of the power sector wants to ruin Lagos. A party that has guaranteed Nigerians permanent fuel crisis, total unemployment, unending electoral robbery, decayed infrastructures, overwhelming corruption, public stealing, impunity, nation wide insecurity, and every other form of progressive decay, desires to acquire Lagos, through electoral fraud, bribery and cajoling so it can add to its endless milk cows. God forbid that Lagos should taste PDP’s destructive feel, either now or in the foreseeable future for that will mark the end of Nigeria.

In conclusion, I want members of PDP, both state and national to get a copy of May 7 Edition of the TELL Magazine titled: Why Lagos Will Shape Nigeria ’s Future and read it very well. It is only then that they will realize that their antics are all noise and no substance. 2015 in Lagos and the whole of Southwest is a settled matter.

•Igbokwe writes in from Lagos.

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