Graffiti

LAGOS IN BONDAGE

Beast of no nation

By Joseph Edgar…

Aspirants to the Executive Governorship of Lagos, by the far most important city state in Africa have used this theme as campaign thrust. They have screamed to high heavens that ‘Lagos is in bondage’ and as such we should do everything possible using our PVCs’ to free ourselves.

Some have stopped short in mentioning the names of those who have put us under this bondage, but others like Mr. Gbadamosi have gone ahead to mention the names of these warriors, telling us in no graphic terms the ways and means with which these our warlords have kept us and are still keeping us under this kind of political servitude.

\So today, the over 20million people who live and work in Lagos really do not have access to our resources, have no say in choosing our leaders and continue to live under the hegemonic and almost monarchical effrontery of a self made civilian despot.

The last primaries of the ruling APC were very clear in the raw usage of this power. So the incumbent Governor up until three weeks to the show was still the darling of the powers that be. He could do no wrong and was the golden boy. The state was being wracked with a series of infrastructural projects – the Airport Road, the development coming up at the Oworonshoki angle, the ultra modern bus station in Ikeja to mention a few. His reelection was concluded and he was coasting to victory.

However, the lords had other thoughts and for reason best known to them, including his not ‘taking phone calls, not allowing party members to benefit from the largess of them being in power’ amongst others, his second term was aborted.

The raw power and total control of structures was in display as 90% of Local Government Chairmen, including his Deputy Governor stood up against him and he was thrown out like a rag doll.

Now, the thrust of this write up isn’t in that sad tale but in the coming into prominence in the last four years of a body called the GAC. To the best of this writer’s little knowledge, this body which is made up of ‘elders’ is not a constitutionally backed one, nor is it democratically sanctioned but remains the highest decision taking body in the state.

Still from my little knowledge, this body takes very clear and decisive decisions on Lagos and it guides and regulates everything. Members are very influential and powerful such that the Executive Governor and the State house of Assembly all kow tow to them in various cases of policy.

So, it was this body that jumped in to resolve the imminent impeachment of the democratically elected Executive Governor of Lagos State. He had been accused of unauthorized expenditure, of not presenting the budget to the house despite the fact that the same house had frustrated all efforts by the Governor to do same.

His impeachment was concluded as we watched speaker by speaker rail against him and pushing forcefully for his impeachment. And then the GAC steps in and ‘resolves’ the imbroglio.

So, you see my contention now is that on the surface one would think that the GAC is purely advisory. A body of elders who would wield moral authority in dishing out advise leaving the recipient with the free volition to consider the advice, weigh it against all indices and take a final decision. If you believe that baloney then you must be from Mars.

The GAC as presently constituted is the highest decision taking body in Lagos and you will not be too far from the truth, if you compare it to the Supreme Military Council during the military era. It is people by very influential feudal lords who control massive wealth and are also custodians of cultural and traditional authority. They are not elected but carefully chosen as a result of their persona stature, traditional standing and followership. Their existence rubbishes the notion of democracy since decisions are taken at that level and sent down to be executed by representatives of the people who pretend to hold executive powers.

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It has been structured like the Council of State at the federal Level but I doubt if past Governors like Ndubuisi Kanu and Ebitu Ukiwe are members, and clearly unlike the Council of State its decisions are law.

So, when candidates shout Lagos is in bondage, this is what they mean. The total control and emasculation of democratic structures by this body is what they plan to deconstruct. Now, whether they have the force to achieve that remains to be seen.

The truth is that for democracy to be entrenched and allowed to grow, then weird contraptions like the GAC should not be allowed to flourish because by its very nature, it negates the virtues of one man one vote. It should morph into very strict cultural and advisory body like the Afenifere or at best a strong pressure group like its forebear NADECO and then it would now serve as a true conscience of the people and not a major player in the scheme of things.

Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
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Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

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