With the next round of general elections quickly approaching, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are alert.
Two weeks after the presidential and National Assembly elections, there will be elections for the governor and the House of Assembly on Saturday.
Due to their years of dominance, some initially believed the APC would win easily. However, this may turn out to be one of their biggest battles since their formation in 2013.
A much younger Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (GRV), whose popularity increased following the Labour Party's (LP) most recent impressive performance, poses a challenge to Sanwo-Olu.
Despite winning the national election on February 25, Bola Tinubu lost in Lagos to Peter Obi, the LP's standard bearer, who many believe won with a wider margin.
The outcome embarrassed the "Jagaban," who at a rally in Abia State made fun of Obi for not living in Anambra.
“He moved to Lagos; I am his landlord. "I dey wait for the day I beat am for election,” he had said.
It was the second occasion in Nigerian history—after Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999—that the winner of the presidential nomination lost at home.
Obi urged his supporters to exercise restraint and cast their ballots for LP candidates on March 11 before filing a petition against Tinubu's victory at the Abuja tribunal last Thursday.
The APC was alarmed by his victory in Lagos and has increased meetings, consultations, and electioneering throughout the state.
The government's alleged order to civil servants to post campaign messages in favor of Sanwo-Olu's reelection was one of the last-minute pushes.
However, the party is confident that it will continue to hold onto power despite the LP phenomenon because of the broad grassroots support it enjoys.
The opposition won't prevail this weekend, according to Lagos APC Publicity Secretary Seye Oladejo in an interview with the Daily Post on Sunday.
“I can say we are confident, more than ever, as we go into this election," the spokesperson boasted.
“You mentioned the LP wave; the wave is a fluke a flash in the pan. Lagosians are knowledgeable people who know Governor Sanwo-Olu has done well and will re-elect him.
“Yes, there was a low voter turnout the last time. It was because many were aggrieved about the naira redesign, which the Supreme Court has overruled.
“People were also not happy about the scarcity of petrol; those issues brought about anger. Again, some voters were against the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Now without these issues in the governorship election, we are looking at victory. It makes a lot of sense to keep Lagos in the center.
“If not for the Lagos-FG partnership, the rail line, the ceding of State House in Marina (built by the colonial government in 1882) to Lagos, and others would not be possible."
“We will win this election and win convincingly; you can quote me on that,” said Oladejo, the former commissioner of special duties and intergovernmental relations.
Incumbent Sanwo-Olu joined politics when he was appointed as an aide to ex-deputy governor Femi Pedro and later Tinubu’s special adviser on corporate affairs.
At different times, he was Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, and Commissioner for Establishments and Training.
In the 1990s, Sanwo-Olu worked at the defunct Lead Merchant Bank Plc, First Inland Bank Plc (now First City Monument Bank), and United Bank for Africa (UBA.
The 57-year-old governor is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, the London Business School, and the Lagos Business School.
Rhodes-Vivour, 40, holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Nottingham and a master's degree in the same field from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT.
GRV holds another Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Lagos, UNILAG, founded Spatial Tectonics, and serves on the boards of Al Huda Construction and Delta Commercial City Ltd.
The other frontrunner, Azeez Adeniran (Jandor), of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, studied at the Polytechnic, Ibadan; Modul University, Vienna; and Howard University School of Business.
The 45-year-old Chairman of Core Media Group, Datanet Project Services, and The Floral Consult is also the Lead Visioner of the Jandor Foundation.
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