Forgiveness to the injured does belong; for they ne’er pardon who have done the wrong.” John Dryden, 1631-1700. VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS.
The first part of this two-part series ended rather abruptly. But, I hope that readers can still join the pieces and make a narrative out of it. Let me quickly summarise the last point made last week.
First, Ambode, despite all outward appearances, was not totally isolated. He like other leaders – Presidents and Governors – had his own Kitchen Cabinet and perhaps the more powerful Bedroom Cabinet. Bedroom Cabinet had been described on these pages as those who can arrive at the Governor’s Mansion or Office and without filling any form and without delay walk straight to the Ogapatapata. Top on the list is the owner of “the Other room”. Others might include mother, father, brothers and sisters.
They have access 24/7 and they influence decisions, if they are allowed 24/7. Because they have a vital stake in the outcome of this war, they will line up behind the embattled former Governor. You can bet on that.
Second, it is an axiom among close groups with deep secrets to keep that every measure must be taken not to provoke a former insider who knows too much.
As a former Accountant General and Governor in the state, the man has had access to some hidden secrets which it would not be in the interest of a lot of top party leaders if they were divulged.
When working on my book, PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED, I had asked a former Alliance for Democracy, AD, Governor, who had helped me with some funds if AD Governors were all clean. His answer was instructive. “No Nigerian President or Governor, if he is thoroughly investigated, will escape punitive sanction. Some are just more blatant than others.” If that statement is true, at least two important people are directly at risk if this palaver continues much longer. It is in their interest to get involved and start the mediation process which will avert the opening of a can of foul smelling worms.
At this point, readers might be wondering why the urge to put a lid on this ugly incident. The matter is simple.
Lagos State has unfortunately become, at least for now, a one-party state. The major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has virtually disintegrated. At any rate, none of its leaders can be relied upon to govern Lagos State better than the Progressives have done. Destroying the Lagos APC now will create a major political leadership vacuum which cannot be filled immediately. For, the state and the Eko Heritage Group spoiling for war, a victory, if attained might be pyrrhic in nature.
“Truth that’s told with bad intent/ Beats all the lies you can invent.”
Hypocrisy and balderdash as Presidential campaign — William Blake, 1757-1827
Am I then arguing that there should be no probe of the Ambode administration? The answer is “Yes and No”. Yes, if we are also ready to start from 1999. After all, to the best of my knowledge, there is no statute of limitation on when a government can be investigated.
In France and Israel, former Presidents have been tried more than 20 years after leaving office. No, if the exercise is going to be limited to 2015 – 2019. That will be discriminatory and it is obviously not intended to
instil good behaviour in Governors. At any rate, unless a great deal of pressure is brought to bear on him, Ambode will not go down alone. Like the Biblical Samson, he will bring the roof down on everybody.
The matter is complicated by the fact that “substantiation” of the allegations made by the EHG were largely provided by APC members in the state House of Assembly. Had they been made by the PDP, the party and many members of the public might have dismissed them as part of dirty politics played in Nigeria. But, these are APC members literally accusing a former APC Governor of corruption.
Most Nigerians would recollect the National Leader of the party in August last year proclaiming that “Ambode had done well”. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo asked Nigerians to “vote for APC because we are not corrupt”. President Buhari came to Lagos to commission Ambode projects just before the elections and lavished encomiums on the former Governor. Were all these false testimonials? And what should Nigerians make of leaders who mislead them if the allegations turn out to be true?
It is for this reason that the leaders of Lagos APC and nationally must step in and settle this matter before it gets out of hand and consumes a lot of people.
A word is sufficient. If they don’t, I wait here, my “pen” ready like an AK-47 ready to fire. I hope it won’t come to that – for the sake of Lagos State.
LAST LINE: Every statement made above has taken into account that Ambode has remained silent despite the deluge of accusations against him. Because nobody should be judged without giving him a chance to state his own case, I presume he can defend himself. As an old adage told us “no matter how thin you slice the bread, there are still two sides to it.” I am waiting to hear the other side.
•Being the concluding of the two-part article by veteran writer Dele Sobowale entitled “Ambode and Lagos APC need mediators urgently” published this morning in his column in Sunday Vanguard.
Source News Express