By Adewale Oshodi
I just read a most myopic article titled “Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is now the true leader of opposition in Lagos” by one Francis Obidigwe, apparently a spare parts dealer on Lagos Island, who proudly described himself as a trader as if anyone is interested and then vainly tried to impersonate as also a public affairs analyst.
In the article under reference, Obidigwe spared nothing in trying to cast aspersions on the towering political profile of Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, AKA Jandor, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He even wrote off Jandor’s running mate, the superstar, Barrister Funke Akindele, as a political neophyte with nothing to offer!
Obidigwe’s laughable writeup on the fallout of the recently held presidential election and its implications for Lagos only served to expose him and his preferred candidate and paymaster as the real neophytes in politics. Obidigwe must be new in Lagos, else should have known by now that Dr. Adediran is the one and only true and undisputed leader of the opposition in the state and the only hope of taking back Lagos from APC.
This is the problem with spending all your time trading instead of going to school and coming to lecture people who know better than you. In fact I have never seen a more ridiculous article than Obidigwe’s flight of fancy which he vainly tried to present as public affairs analysis. Unfortunately, this must be clearly how both Obidigwe and his boss, the ultimate political neophyte, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, gubernatorial candidate of Labour Party, reason and it is a complete disgrace that such a naive and totally vain individual claims he wants to be the Governor of Lagos.
If negotiations between the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party have failed then it is entirely because of the arrogance of Gbadebo who thinks that those who voted for Peter Obi on the 25th of February would necessarily vote for him on the 11th of March. Those who voted for Obi all know Jandor but have never heard of Gbadebo not to talk of Rhodes-Vivour throughout their lives.
Obidigwe described Rhodes-Vivour as highborn and elitist with supposed connections to do the job of dislodging APC from Lagos. In contrast, he tried to denigrate Jandor as coming into the governorship contest from a poor background with no heavyweight political backup behind him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is a total shame that all Gbadebo is banking on is his family’s fame and status. It only clearly demonstrates that he is not a man of himself and has nothing whatsoever to offer Lagosians! If at Gbadebo’s age all he can boast about is who is father is, then he is a complete disgrace and embarrassment to the youths of this country.
Jandor, on the other hand, is a true grassroots politician and man of the people. He is a self-made man who rose up from a poor background to the stage where he can now take back Lagos from those with similar background to Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
If all it takes to become the next Governor of Lagos is for your father to be a senior lawyer or your uncle to be a Supreme Court Justice, let Gbadebo tell his father or uncle to singlehandedly make him Governor. If where his mother comes from is what matters, let Gbadebo go and contest in his mother’s state. If it is where his wife is from that is of primary significance, then Gbadebo should go and try his luck in his inlaw’s state and stop deceiving Lagosians that he has any roadmap to victory. This is Lagos and Lagos belongs to genuine Lagosians who want to take back their state from strangers masquerading as Lagosians.
It is clear that these people were never genuinely interested in working with PDP and Jandor right from the start. They were only trying to fool us because it is in their DNA to try to fool others. Imagine someone describing Jandor as lacking capacity and experience to govern Lagos when compared to Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour?
Gbadebo has never employed a single human being throughout his entire life. He, himself is a mere employee. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour though a trained architect is virtually unknown in the field of architecture. He cannot boast of any major architectural project he has ever handled or point to any building of note that he designed and was responsible for. I even heard that he is a civil servant with a small office that is the size of a kiosk at the basement of Onikan Museum. Is that a governorship material?
He has practically no working experience whatsoever, has never excelled anywhere, be it in the public or private sector, has never founded, managed or sustained a company and has never been anyone’s boss in his entire life. In short he is not any kind of leader, having never led anyone to anywhere or in any capacity since he was born with a silver spoon in his over pampered mouth.
If anyone lacks capacity, it is Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour. Even Gbadebo’s wife is more capable than himself. We cannot have a governor that will be running to his mother and his wife for instructions on how to govern our state. In short, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is the perfect example of lack of leadership acumen and governmental capacity. Is that the kind of person we want to entrust Lagos to?
Compared to Funke Akindele, whom Obidigwe denigrated as a person of no value, Gbadebo is a boys scout not to talk of comparing him to Jandor of all people. Both Jandor and Ms Akindele have between them shown creativity, entrepreneurship and leadership in the private sector while Gbadebo abandoned his profession to be carrying Biafran flag in illegal demonstrations.
Gbadebo can never be the leader of Jandor who singlehandedly shook Lagos APC to its very foundations. What an insult! It is indeed a very big insult for anyone to compare a pampered political nonentity like Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to a political juggernaut like Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran a.k.a. Jandor. It is the hieght of insolence to compare a political featherweight like Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to a political master tactician and natural born leader like Jandor.
Lagos cannot accept a candidate with dubious loyalty to the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and one who has identified and sympathized with a terrorist group like IPOB in the past. The commitment of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour to Lagos is highly questionable because he clearly seems to prefer his mother’s people to genuine Lagosians like us.
Gbadebo is a candidate with many commas around his candidacy. He joined Labour Party after submission of its register to INEC. He is just a factional candidate of their party with a rival in Professor Ifagbemi Awamaridi. This boy will be booted out if somehow he were to win. PDP cannot take the risk of having someone like that as a running mate to the great Jandor.
In any case it is not Jandor that needs Gbadebo or Labour Party. It is the other way round. They are the ones that desperately need Jandor and PDP if they are to rise from their present status as complete political jokers and ever amount to anything in the politics of Lagos. What PDP used to lack is what Jandor has finally added to it. Jandor is on his way to taking back Lagos and it is for Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and Labour Party to humble themselves and line up behind him if they want to be part of history in the making on Saturday.
Mr. Oshodi is a political strategist from Lagos.