Momodu: Which Experience Does Lagos Require?
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) “national leader”, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was recently reported to have dismissed Mr. Jimi Agbaje’s governorship ambition on grounds of “experience”. Evidently Tinubu believes that it is a prerequisite of public office in Lagos State (which the “Lion of Bourdillon” appears to now regards as his private and personal estate) that you need experience in “financial engineering”, election rigging, thuggery and other sundry mal-behaviour that have come to be associated with politics in Nigeria, before you can aspire to public office.
The likes of Bola Tinubu, Lamidi Adedidu, Chris Uba, Buruji Kashamu and other “modern-day” Nigerian politicians have developed in their minds and those of many of our people, the notion that politics is a dis-honourable activity in which you must be very experienced in all the wrong things before you can be considered for high public office. That is why many of those recruited into the (APC) political terrain are people with a past tainted with doubtful certificates, drug and money laundering charges in foreign countries; lawyers who have been barred from legal practice in saner climes or operators of beer parlours and other such “businessmen” and women of easy virtue. Under Tinubu, these are the prototypes that dominate our state and federal legislatures in the Southwest rather than professionals and educationists as was the tradition in the old Western region.
It is only this mindset of negative experience that could have prompted Tinubu to declare a professional pharmacist who has occupied a chair of his professional practice body; a decent politician who has played politics honourably since 1999, serving as Treasurer of the respected Afenifere; a leader of Save Nigeria Group and other civil society groups; a pharmacist who has successfully practiced his profession and founded along with others a very successful private school; and a man who won a competitive primaries against Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as inexperienced! With the type of politics played in Nigeria, of what advantage is such “experience”? Who wants a man experienced at corruption, forgery, political brigandage and other deviant behaviour to be his governor? Evidently Tinubu and his ilk think this is the definition of political experience!!!
Do the citizens and voters of Lagos State want someone with “experience” in helping his “master” corner the resources of the state as their governor? Do Lagosians want as governor someone whose experience is obeying incessant summons of his Godfather to “bring money? Do Lagosians want people who are experienced in cooking the books in favour of themselves and their sponsors? Is being a good and loyal stooge and puppet a worthwhile “experience”? Mr. Bola Tinubu will be shocked to find out that Lagosians do not treasure the kind of experience he considers critical for political survival. Lagos needs a new type of experience-experienced professionals with integrity; experience in living by correct values; experience as a successful family man; experience in getting a sound education and earning proper degrees and pedigree; experience in running a real business not one fuelled by stolen government funds! Those are the type of experience that will decide the governorship of Lagos State in 2015!!!
• Yemi Momodu is a businessman living in Lagos.