They further argued that the fact that they supported Fashola’s candidate during the party’s primaries did not make them less party men to warrant their sacking from offices they hold. They hold that Ambode trying to rubbish Fashola is not good for the party.
It was strongly believed in some quarters that the various reformations going on in the state’s civil service now is targeted at some top civil servants who benefitted immensely from Fashola’s goodwill and who also played key role on how Fashola managed the resources of the state without interference from Tinubu throughout the years he governed.
Sources disclosed that there is an orchestrated plot by Tinubu through Ambode to diminish Fashola and to portray him in bad light because of their political differences.
The frosty relationship existing between Fashola and Tinubu began to develop when the former in 2011 was to seek for a second term in office as governor, while the latter was against it because of the fact that he identified that Fashola was going beyond his boundary in the termination of some contracts which were been handled by companies and associates of Tinubu.
Despite this seeming clash Fashola was able to seek reelection on the platform of the then Action Congress of Nigeria because of the intervention of the traditional rulers in the state, who wanted him to continue in office due to his perceived sterling performance.
The supremacy battle between the duo further deepened when the party was preparing to select candidates of the then ACN for the local government elections in the state as Tinubu was bent on having all the council Chairmen nominated by him, without Fashola’s input as the sitting governor and leader of the party. Their relationship continued to go sour until the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, intervened to settle the dispute and the duo settled for a sharing formula which at the end favoured Tinubu.
With this, Tinubu was able to have in his control over ninety percent of the local government structure of the party and also the party machinery at the state level by installing his loyalists as council chairmen.
This development forced Fashola to review the financial accounting system of the LGAs and to operate a tight measure to cutting off certain expenditure of the council chairmen who perceived the policies as vendetta and punishment for Tinubu.
Fashola and Tinubu’s relationship further became complicated when the tenure of the council chairmen expired in 2014. Tinubu was disposed to have the council chairmen be allowed to serve as the caretaker chairmen of their various councils so that he could use them as the mobilization machineries for his choice candidates at the party’s governorship primaries, but Fashola was favourably disposed to the appointment of fresh hands as executive secretaries to manage the local government before the conduct of local government election because of his believe that the local government chairmen did not perform to his expectation, and considering different allegations of misappropriation leveled against them by the residents of the local councils. Although, Fashola was able to succeed through the collaboration with some other party leaders like the national legal adviser of the party, Dr Muiz Banire, who already had different ideas concerning Tinubu and the state congress.
But the major factor that led to the present situation of things among them was the battle for Fashola’s successor, which brought about the emergence of Ambode as governor. It will be recalled that during the battle for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress(APC) after the congress, there was clash of choice of candidate between Fashola and Tinubu as the former supported and strongly backed the then Commissioner of works, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat against the choice of Tinubu, who was Ambode.
This conflict of interest between the duo nearly torn the party apart and as well gave the opposition strong foothold in the politics of the state especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as some unsatisfied aspirants of the primaries worked against the party’s interest.
Analysts argued that the intrigues behind the successful emergence of Ambode as the APC standard-bearer remained a strong factor that have influenced the anti-Fashola policies.
In a telephone conversation with the chief press secretary to Ambode, Habib Aruna, after the revoking of the Falomo shopping complex contract, stated that the governor has the power and right to revoke any contract awarded by the immediate past governor. He stressed that the governor holds nobody apology for the decision. He, however, stated that whoever the decision affects such persons or person knows the right thing to do.
“Governor Ambode has the power and right to revoke any contract awarded by immediate past administration and he holds nobody apology for such decision. Whoever feels he is being affected knows what to do”, said Aruna.
While speaking with Hallmark on the development in a phone chat, the Lagos State APC spokesman, Joe Igbokwe, stated that the ongoing feud between Tinubu and Fashola has no effect on the unity of the party executives and stakeholders in Lagos, stressing that there is no division among the party members across the state. To him the unity of the party in the state is not negotiable.
He argued further that it is a figment of the imagination of the people that wish the party bad in the state. “There is no division among the party executives and major stakeholders in Lagos. It is a pure figment of imagination by those that are wishing us bad in the state. We still remain one house in the state. The feud has nothing to do with our party’s unity”, said Igbokwe.
Also, the Lagos APC Legal Adviser, Barr Ademola Sadiq, stated that the state executives do not play such politics, adding that the party executives cannot be divided because of the conflict of the two leaders.
Sadiq added that a divided executive cannot face and win elections as APC did, adding further that the executives are united and focused under the leadership of Otunba Henry Ajomale.
“Nothing can be farther from the truth. The state executive members don’t play such politics. The executive is united and focused under the leadership of Otunba Henry Ajomale”, said Sadiq. “The logic is that if the state executive members are to be divided when individual leaders are in conflict you can imagine how many caucuses and divisions you would have in the executive. Such an executive cannot face and win elections as APC did. It is untrue”, Sadiq opined.
Analysts are of the view that the ongoing feud between Tinubu and his erstwhile political godson Fashola would continue to generate heat as the party stakeholders would continue to pitch tent with their preferred leader in the state. The appointment of Fashola into the federal cabinet will definitely bring about balance.