In three days, Lagosians will join residents from 29 states across the country to vote on March 11.
There are about 16 contenders in this race but results drawn from the polls indicate that there are three frontrunners.
i) Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu: He is the incumbent, has served previously as commissioner and prides himself on his handling of the Covid 19 pandemic and facilitation of several infrastructure projects. He is considered a strong loyalist of President-Elect, Bola Tinubu.
ii) Olajide Adediran: Known as Jandor, he previously was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress before he joined the Peoples Democratic Party in January, 2022. He has vowed to upset the odds, insisting that the incumbent has not done better than his predecessor.
iii) Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour: The youngest among the frontrunners. GRV was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party and moved to the Labour Party after he failed to clinch the Governorship ticket. His chances have been buoyed by the victory of the Labour Party in Lagos.
Lagos has long been the stronghold of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu. Since, 1999, Tinubu has held the party by a choke hold, installing governors and has also barred one from proceeding on a second term.
However, the major shocker happened on February 25th when the President-Elect, Tinubu lost his stronghold to the unlikely third party – Labour Party.
The Labour presidential candidate, Peter Obi, scored 582,454 votes, ahead of Tinubu of the APC who got 577,606.
Since that election outcome, the governorship race has become more intense.
It has dastardly turned into a war of ethnic shenanigans. It has transformed into a war of Igbos versus Yorubas. A distortion of history and a horde of fake news.
For God sakes; Lagos should be the Centre of Excellence, highly cosmopolitan and even though it is situated in the South West, having been home to migrants for several years – you would expect that the top job should be open to all but based on merit.
It makes little or no sense and smacks of shameful hypocrisy that Nigerians rejoiced when a black Kenyan man (Barrack Obama) became President of the most powerful country in the world (US).
Nigerians appraised the United Kingdom when Rishi Sunak, son of Indian Parents who migrated from East Africa became Prime Minister.
We relished the prospects of our own, Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for International Trade becoming Prime Minister.
We even danced when a Nigerian (Okonjo Iweala) defeated Asians to become the Director of the World Trade Organisation with over 100 members.
If we go back in time, a Hausa man, Mallam Umaru Altine was the first Mayor of Enugu Municipal Council in 1956.
Umaru was from the old Sokoto province and was elected Mayor of Enugu two times.
He was also Secretary-General of the Zikist Movement and there was no uprising against it.
His story reflects the unity, sanity and civility of the country we had.
If so, why must we subject the governorship race to an ethnic debate. If Lagos has not been governed by its aborigines – why must we continue to insult the sensibilities of the original occupants of the State.
The parties must show large scale responsibility by campaigning strictly on existing achievements and the weight and reality of their promises.
Infact, the police must criminalise those caught publicly stoking ethnic tensions.
If Lagos must retain its tag as Centre of Excellence, the state and its residents must avoid the ignoble consequences of becoming enmeshed in the political mess that it leaders are attempting to log it into.