The grapevine in the past three weeks had been filled with rumours. This is not news as grapevines thrive on this. When there is lack of effective and intentional communications, street people will fill the loop or vacuum created. A particular rumour, which had just been ascertained as truth, this piece is interested in is that the young and vibrant actress, Funke Akindele had been named as the deputy governor nominee for Lagos State People’s Democratic Party(PDP) and in this role, will run with the party’s flag bearer, Mr, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as ‘Jandor.
Based on her pedigree, Funke Akindele had built a strong name for herself. Her ability to write, act and fit into different modes had not been doubted. She is young, vibrant and enjoys the comradeship of many young at heart, happening guys across the nation and in diaspora.
Funke Akindele’s academic qualification is not also in doubt too. Many know she studied Law even though she did not go to law school, which would have given her right to practice. But hey, does going to the bar alone makes a man successful? Funke Akindele understood this and gave all her energy towards the pursuit of what she loves so much. She had been able to carve a niche for herself and this is very commendable.
Funke Akindele’s life has been inspiring all along as a professional, safe for the religious, social and cultural addicts who believe no (wo)man is truly successful except s/he has a stable and settled home front. Nigeria is a home for some of these set of addicts and the issue of a ‘settled family’ means so much to them.
In as much as there had been constant changes to this belief system, the unwritten law in the society still favours this odd. We believe, this is not peculiar to Nigeria and Africa, the fact that a woman aspires to lead in the company of men is still an invisible touch light that had refused to be blurred across the globe. Hilary Clinton faced this odd in her US Presidential pursuit. Even though Americans wanted us to believe otherwise. This ‘homiletic’ is reserved for another day.
Lagos State PDP, (a Party which is still swimming in the ocean as far as Lagos state politics is concerned) keeps searching for relevance since the beginning of this democratic dispensation, which began in 1999. Tried as much as it has, lady Luck had not given her right hand of fellowship. The Party’s attempt at clinching authority had resulted in abysmal failure. A close chance the Party had to victory was its candidate- Funsho William, a very bright star many believed could had clipped the wing of ruling Party then. Mr Funsho William was murdered in a mysterious way that is yet to be unearthed till date. Late Funsho William’s death like that of Chief Bola Ige is still lingering till date. That is also a story for another day.
One good attempt of PDP in term of choice of gubernatorial candidate áfter Funsho William was the first appearance of Mr. Jimi Agbaje, a Pharmacist.
For those who were old enough, the campaign team of Agbaje did a good job. Everyone thought that Mr, Jimi Agbaje was it then. The popular ‘Everyone loves Jimi Agabaje’ campaign song continued to echo in ones’ head.
But the powerful shadow of ‘Jagaban’ ensured PDP could not cruise to Alausa seat of governance. After Agbaje, Musiliu Obanikoro, an erstwhile associate and one of the kitchen cabinet of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also did his best with his campaign. This writer also remembered with nostalgia ‘Kosi Koro Ko si Ibo’ slogan. Being a communications and media expert myself, I was also carried away. That theme song was in the mouth of everyone and one was hoping the popularity of Mr Obanikoro would do the magic.
But event had shown over the years that being popular does not equate with clinching the coveted position of authority. Other factors, odds as this may seem always override voice of reason or popularity at the long run as long as human minds and decision making is concerned.
Now, is there a lesson we can learn from the above in relations to what we are witnessing? The writer had watched a video that is going viral, where Funke Akindele seemed to have confirmed that she is the anointed one for this position, Lagos PDP had also officially confirmed this based on reports we had read.
One continues to hope this position, popularity of a candidate, is still being considered by the state gubernatorial candidate, who many believe will have preferred a young at heart female running mate. If this is so, the odd may favour Funke Akindele.
But it has also been confirmed from the gravevine, that there are other candidates, or should we say, party interest position on this. One of the names we heard was Yeye Agnes Shobajo, a veteran Public relations expert who clocked seventy recently.
The ‘hush hush’ voices here we heard was the age difference between the state gubernatorial candidate, a male, and his ability to work seamlessly with someone he considered way to old and may not bring much electoral value to the table if winning Lagos gubernatorial seat is the goal.
If the above is truly the position, Yeye Agnes Shobajo’s age, of the PDP flag bearer, we are not sure, so we will just pretend that is not the truth for now. But in the event that this is true, has the State’s gubernatorial candidate done his homework?
Home work in terms of relationship between popularism and electoral value. That a candidate is well known may not necessarily translate into his/her ability to command a higher electoral value capable of swaying the political pendulum in favour of the Party. This is so in a state like Lagos where the dominance of Action Party of Nigeria(ACN) which transformed to be part of APC of today, had always showed PDP pepper in each election year.
True be told, because of need for change and rancor within the party, APC had lost some house of representative and Assembly seats to PDP but it is very clear such internal party displeasures had not been able to produce a PDP governor in the state.
Yes if we go back to history, Late Chief Micheal Otedola of NRC, an opposition party was able to do this before. But can PDP bank on such luck? For want of space, the writer will like to close this discussion here. Let us allow the future to decide if Lagos PDP goes ahead with Funke Akindele’s choice.