Ambode vs Agbaje: My Random ‘Objective’ Musings on #LagosDecides

Agbaje vs. Ambode

Unlike in the Presidential Elections, I am not vested in the Lagos Guber race between APC and PDP

For APC Lagos – although the Fashola/Tinubu combo have arguably been the best performers in Nigerian governance, their handling of a couple of things leave a lot to be desired.

For PDP – It’s PDP.

Back to APC Lagos – Fashola’s handling of the unforgivable Toll Gate issue (beating protesters on top of a wicked venture), LASU school fees (insane increase forced down the throat of poor students)  and the Lagos Doctor’s strike in 2102 (sacking all Lagos Doctors) stems form a type of arrogance that overconfidence breeds. Over confidence that stems from the belief that you know everything and the people do not determine your fate

For me, the Lekki Toll Gate is personal.  I promised myself I would not vote for APC Lagos and renew the vow anytime I queue up at that toll.

Lagos Lekki Toll Traffic

As for PDP – PDP is PDP. there is nothing more to say. The impunity exhibited for the past 16 years and the evil meted out to Nigerians has resulted in a permanent brand damage.

All PDP candidates are merely unfortunate carriers of that legacy. Just like Lawrence Anini’s cousins and relatives (that guy single-handedly retired a surname sha!)

Looking at the candidates.

Ambode – Starting with the pluses. From the look of things, Ambode has the requisite administrative experience needed to govern a complex state like Lagos. And on the surface, he deserves a clean chance and should not be punished for the “sins” of Fashola.

But on the other side, since he wants the pros of Fashola’s administration to rub of on him, at the very least, he should be questioned on the cons.

This is where Ambode has not done so well. He has not shown in any way how he will be different from the previous administration. He is as defensive on obvious “mistakes” by the previous administration as the owner of these “mistakes”. So for instance, on the toll gate issue, he tows the arrogant and condescending line of “If you do not support the tollgate exactly as we want it (opaque and inhuman) then you do not support or understand how public-private partnership works.

Fashola can get away with that as he is not running for reelection. Ambode has now forced himself to be weighted with sins of another man.

Another minus for Ambode is that although he started to campaign over a year ago, he does not seem confident enough. I hardly remember him being on the campaign trail alone. It is either Fashola and, or  Buhari and, or  Tinubu and, or  Osibanjo and Ambode at X rally.  For a man who needs to prove independence,  that has not been a plus. This of course brings me to Oba Akiolu who said

“no one knows how I CHOOSE Ambode to be Governor”

No need for elections then.

The rantings of Akiolu threatening the Igbos was a chance for Ambode to SHOW independence. Such chances to not come up often. All we saw were press releases. The fact that people are no longer shouting about it does not mean it has not had a permanent impact on the mind of the electorate.

In finality, for good and for bad, we do not know what Ambode is. Buhari is strict, Agbaje is eloquent, Amobode is …..?

For a campaign that has lasted this long, I do not know what to fill in that blank. I know he has nice watches though.

Agbaje – The good thing about Agbaje is he sounds right for the job. Appearance, words, content, etc. His campaign has been top notch. A little dirty has existed but it has been relatively ok. You cannot really avoid dirty if you are in the proximity of Aye Dee and Ohimai (Mr Fix Nigeria).

If we are to be honest, if Agbaje had the APC machinery, we would have been preparing for May 29 by now in Lagos.  But he doesn’t. He is with the PDP.

I’ll give it to Agbaje, he has tried to show independence, appeared on TV and rallies as the top dawg. etc. However, running a state is not a one man show. Who will be the empowered if he wins.

Whereas, APC has consistently shown governance and competence especially in the South West, good governance in PDP is an exception. Who are Agbaje’s squad members?

Another more worrying aspect is that Agbaje’s well of public sector and management experience is at best one bucket full. He began “his thing” immediately after he graduated from University. His main thing has not really grown beyond one shop. Basically, the question is, isn’t going from a one man business to running Lagos a leap?

His membership of boards is not the same as experience. Daddy’s investments handed down cannot substitute for the bureaucratic experience and knowledge needed to move this city sate called Lagos, forward.

Where I Sorta Stand

I have things to do this morning so let me quickly conclude.

Know that I am NOT voting any on the candidates. 

Who do I think will win tomorrow? I don’t know. But if push comes to shove, I sentimentally  and kinda objectively will prefer Ambode to win because

  1. He belongs to the party of my General.
  2. A lot of my comrades whose judgement I trust are working with him
  3. Alignment in policy (power, social welfare etc) at both Federal and Lagos State level will be good for the state.

But this is my prediction


  1. The result of last elections was based of the true mind of the people and not Jonathan’s billions
  2. The Yoruba’s in Lagos see a PDP victory as losing and betraying their Oba and marshal a massive turnout in order to make a statement for their kingdom.
  3. The Igbos are still relaxing home for Easter and do not turn out enmass to  show rebellion.

Ambode will win. But barely. There is a high chance for an upset though.

Some things to consider.

The race was already tight enough two weeks ago. Then again in 2011, PDP  won the state hands down for the presidential and the result had no reflection in the guber election. But then again, Fashola had personal recognition just like Jimi has.

Too many people want to break the hold of Tinubu in Lagos and SW. And this is not limited to those outside his party. Internal sabotage is the worst kind of sabotage.

Tinubu and APC have a 16 year old structure in Lagos. That cannot be wiped overnight especially as Fashola was no Jonathan

A Buhari victory  has given a negotiation upper-hand for Tinubu. He can make more feasible.promises.

Damn, this is going to be interesting. may the best man win!


PS: Forgive typos, etc.