Even though he is yet to complete the second year in his four-year term, some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have begun moves to facilitate a second term for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2023, Daily Independent has gathered.
A credible source informed our correspondent that there was an unwritten agreement that Sanwo-Olu, who is a Christian, will only serve one term in order to complete the four-year term which former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode began in 2015.
He added that by the time Sanwo-Olu completes his tenure in 2023, the two terms allocated for a governor of Christian denomination would have been complete.
“If you recall, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who became governor after the return of democratic rule in 1999 is a Muslim and he served for two terms between 1999 and 2007.
“His successor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), another Muslim, also completed two terms in office from 2007 to 2015.
“Before the expiration of Fashola’s tenure, there was a serious and fierce clamour by some religious leaders of Christians in Lagos that the next governor of the state must be a Christian in order to ensure a balance among the two prominent religions in the state.
“Some well-meaning Islamic leaders also supported the position, saying it will give the people of the other faith a sense of belonging.
“It was a very sensitive issue and if the APC leadership in Lagos had refused to listen to the demand, there would have been protest votes from Lagosians against APC. Many would have voted for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which fielded Jimi Agbaje, a Christian then.
“That clamour was what led to the emergence of Ambode in 2015. Unfortunately, Ambode incurred the wrath of the powers that be in Lagos APC and he couldn’t secure a second term. That was what brought Sanwo-Olu as governor to complete the remaining four years that Ambode couldn’t finish.”
When our correspondent contacted several APC leaders, they declined to comment on the issue saying, “It is very sensitive and may ruffle political feathers in the state”.
One of the leaders who asked not to be named, however, said while the theory behind Sanwo-Olu’s emergence may be true, the idea of one term for Lagos governors was mouthed during the Fashola administration so that the position can go round because there are many qualified people in the party.
He, however, said based on Sanwo-Olu’s sterling performance since coming to office, especially given the way he demonstrated great leadership in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders of the party, including himself, will be willing to plead a second term for him when the times comes.
“If you look at Sanwo-Olu, since coming to office, he has made governance his focus while leaving politics to those who assisted him to office. He is not known to be floating any political group or association, all he focuses on is good governance for Lagosians.
“His management of the COVID-19 and other issues such as security and infrastructure has won him applause from both within and outside the country, even from the PDP. So, 2023 is still far away.
“He is yet to serve out two years from his first term but when that time comes, if he continues in that fine pattern, leaders like me will come out and plead for a second term for him”, he said.