Jimi Agbaje, thorn in the flesh of ‘Eko’

February 12th, 2019

By Abayomi Oladapo

At the last count, there were more than ten persons vying for the governorship seat of Lagos in the 2019 elections. The candidates included the likes of: Adebisi Ogunsanya (YPP), Omolara Adesanya (PPC), Muyiwa Fafowora (ADC), Babatunde Gbad­amosi (ADP), Jimi Agba­je (PDP), Jide Sanwoolu (APC), Funsho Awe (NCP), Oluyinka Oyeniji (ANN), Owolabi Salis (AD), Abio­dun Dabiri (ANRP).

Of the aspirants men­tioned, the AD, ADC, ADP and PDP appear to be the ones pulling their weight the most and of the four, only one appears to be giv­ing the government of the day sleepless nights. Lit­tle wonder all daggers are drawn against him and all arrows from the party in government are fired in his direction. It is therefore safe to conclude that Agbaje is a thorn in APC’s flesh.

Once upon a time, some­one equated himself to La­gos and Lagos to himself. In a manner akin to God own­ing the land and all that is in it, he was reported to have said, “Eko f’elo sun (Lagos is going bed).” With such a statement and with Ag­baje’s bold and unrelenting attempt to free Lagos from the clutches of such a mod­ern day Pharaoh and Philis­tine, it has since dawned on Eko that Eko has murdered sleep.

In an attempt to disparage Agbaje, belittle him in the mind and view of the elec­torate and decapitate him and his platform, nothing has been spared in the at­tempt to make the race to Alausa a one-man race. State machinery, like LASAA, has been deployed. Media war is being waged, with articles from faceless and name­less people sponsored. Ag­baje is the subject and top­ic of discourse in the Lagos APC camp. They sneer and jeer that he is their custom­er. And in a deft clap-back, Agbaje replied that the customer is king. He has trudged on, selling his mes­sage of freedom to the peo­ple and is now the custom­er they are afraid of.

In all of this, those who ought to be men have cow­ered and sold their birth­rights to the lord of their Manor where all animals are equal but some are more equal than the oth­ers. An imaginary sword of Damocles dangles over their head and they can­not speak like men of their age and form. Most of them have tucked their tails in be­tween their legs. Some have had their political ambition stalemated so they grumble and mumble; but fumble they must not; because they mortgaged their life and ex­istent for political relevance.

Across the length and breadth of the state, some have had their mandates withdrawn or they have been told to “wait for their turn.” Such waiting is at the behest of the one who equates himself with Lagos. Most of them have dined and wined with their po­litical benefactor and can therefore not muster the boldness to speak truth to him. Some of these lily-liv­ered men have been com­missioners, special advisers, senators, local government chairmen, party leaders, contractors, etc. They are those that Patrick Obahiag­bon once referred to as po­litical halleluyah boys –they sing the praises of their pup­peteer just so that they can continue to live and not just exist even though they wish he were dead.

On Agbaje’s part, an apt theme –freedom– rallies supporters. And the clarion call resonates, doing well to keep the mind of Lagosians probing and asking ques­tions about their common­wealth and other issues –La­gos IGR, the Lagos Metro line, toll gates, the budget of the state, stoppage of domes­tication of Freedom of In­formation Act, BRT, Waste management and the impro­priety of having a private en­tity as the primary custodian of the resources of the state.

Agbaje has continued to turn the attention of Lago­sians to the real issues. His campaign has unsettled the APC and he who thinks he is Eko can no longer sleep.
All those who live, work and do business in Lagos are the real Eko and they have resolved to make La­gos work for all and not a few. The people of Lagos have resolved to make it the people’s Lagos and not one man’s Lagos.

Some argue that they are not in bondage; but in doing so, they miss the figure of speech in Agbaje’s freedom mantra. Freedom is having a say in who becomes the lo­cal government chairman, freedom is knowing the way and manner resources of the state are being spent, freedom is the right of mar­ket women to choose their leaders from amongst them­selves and not have someone foisted on them, freedom is a primary healthcare sys­tem that works for all, free­dom is a BRT system that is not fleecing the commuting public, freedom is the choice of the people to determine if their Governor deserves a second term or not. And Agbaje is the symbol of the freedom that Lagos requires from the oligarchs and over­lords

Abayomi Oladapo wrote from Lagos.

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