Tuesday 18 February 2014


The race for the 2015 general election is already heating up the nation's polity. Although, the election is less than a year away, some contenders have expressed their desires to contest for various positions in the coming election. 
The case of Lagos State gubernatorial election is particularly interesting. This is because, the state has the most vast economic potential and it has the strongest visibility in national politics. Lagos is the only state in Nigeria, where Lagosians alone cannot determine who becomes the governor. Everybody in Nigeria has a stake in Lagos. Invariably, the Governor of Lagos State is like the president of a mini-Nigeria.
 As the current governor, Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola, (SAN), rounds up his tenure next year, most Nigerians are anxious to know who will succeed him, eventually. Already, some personalities have openly or covertly declared their gubernatorial aspirations. Notable among them are;  Muiz Banire, Ganiyu Solomon, Gbenga Ashafa, Tunde Fowler, Akin Ambode, Femi Hamzat, Ayo Gbeleyi, Leke 

Pitan and some others. At a point, the name of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was mentioned as being the likely successor to Fashola. But the rumour died a natural death when the party leaders debunked the claim. 
  The latest entrant into the race is Honourable Abike Kafayat Oluwatoyin Dabiri-Erewa. 
Although, the plot to install Abike as the next governor of Lagos State is still in its embryonic stage, the subject is already being discussed in hushed tones by many party members and notable Nigerians. Ironically though, it is gathered that Abike has no ambition to contest for the Lagos gubernatorial seat. But her backers and supporters are determined to get her to build the interest and buy into the idea. In the estimation of this group of people, Fashola never wanted to become a governor. He was actually begged to contest for the race. So, this same history is likely to repeat itself in Dabiri-Erewa's case. 
 Sources disclosed that the APC leadership is bent on proving that it is gender sensitive, and is desirous on trying what no other party has tried before. It is gathered that the party leadership is intent on producing a world class material as a governor in 2015. This candidate is expected to improve on the legacy, which has been set by the Fashola's administration, a foundation which was laid by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is a well-known fact that Fashola has raised the bar, in terms of service and his style of governance. Lagos, after Fashola needs a governor who is very dynamic and who will think outside the box. And having gone through the list of top candidates for the job, the party leadership discovered that most of the candidates, jostling to contest for the Lagos guber seat are men, who have acquired so much over the years and are now seeking for power, at the executive level. And in their quest to realise their ambition, most of the male candidates are ready to tear themselves apart. 
Abike Dabiri and Husband
Moreover, the party leadership is reported to be putting the issue of gender preference into consideration. The leadership is reported to be tinkering with the idea of installing a female as a governor. Invariably, the leadership didn't have to look any further before they found a worthy candidate in Dabiri-Erewa. 
Dabiri-Erewa, 51, is a third term member of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly. This confers on her, the status of the most prominent female politician in Lagos State, and one of the most prominent politicians in Nigeria today. Dabiri-Erewa's coterie of backers argues that she has paid her dues, proven her worth and done Lagos proud. This group insists that Dabiri-Erewa is charismatic, cosmopolitan, polished and eloquent. And she is one of the few Nigerians with acceptable global presence. As the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affair, Dabiri-Erewa is known to have the widest network of Nigerians in the diaspora. 
Dabiri-Erewa fondly called "Mother Teresa of the tube" prides herself in her outstanding career as a broadcaster. She spent 15 years of distinguished and meritorious service at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). While in NTA she gained a strong understanding of the industry because of her dedication, inquisitiveness and professionalism. She anchored the weekly NTA Newsline programme to the delight of millions of Nigerians, irrespective of their tribe or religion. Dabiri-Erewa wormed her way into the hearts of many with her gallantry efforts of using television as an effective tool to draw attention to the millions of Nigerians suffering from the pains of poverty and injustice. Her commitment and passionate dedication to duty while working on several heart touching Newsline stories stood her out and endeared her to many. Her display of bravery while investigating the story of little Mary, the miracle baby for eight years, remains indelible in the minds of many Nigerians.
A firm believer in the importance of service to humanity, Dabiri-Erewa voluntarily retired from the services of the NTA to contest as a member of the House of Representative and swept the poll with a landslide victory in 2003. Ever since then, she has distinguished herself by working tirelessly. Dabiri-Erewa undertakes a lot of important bills, defends the interest of her party most vociferously and has a strong passion for service. 
The group advocating for Dabiri-Erewa's candidacy  for the Lagos guber seat, also avers that if countries like Liberia and Malawi can have women as their presidents, then no reason is strong enough to stop Lagos State from having its first female governor in 2015. This group insists that if Dabiri-Erewa is not encouraged to contest for the Lagos guber seat, then no woman will ever have a chance in Nigeria. 
  However, the choice of Dabiri-Erewa is not likely to be greeted with enthusiasm. If anything, it is going to be met with resistance by some party faithfuls. Also, some eminent Lagos indigenes are reported to be spoiling for a showdown with the party leadership, should her candidacy be forced down their throats. Their collective grievances is not unconnected with the fact that a Christian should be the next governor of Lagos State. Dabiri-Erewa is a Muslim.
Meanwhile, it is also gathered that if the choice of Dabiri-Erewa is rejected, the party leadership will resort to a Plan B. The main agenda on this plan is to install her as the deputy governor of Lagos State in the coming election. 


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