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Adebowale Jeff Johnson – The David to Tinubu’s Goliath

I saw him linger in our Estate. There was something quite regal about him. He is young and quiet and had on the beads that suggests a traditional title though I doubt.

We sat under the tree and began to talk. He was introduced to me by Tapa. Tapa is a political operative, a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose very close relative up until very recently held a very strategic position in the legislative arm of the Lagos State Government and till date is a key member of the ruling Party in the State.

Johnson spoke deliberately. Very quietly but assured. He wants to be Senator. He is vying for the vacant seat, the same seat that is looking like Mr. Abiru seems to have all but clinched. His quiet confidence gets to me but his words really don’t shake me.

I ask him what drives him and he begins to talk about the discontent within the ruling Party. The growing army of quiet resistance within the hegemony that all but have Lagos wrapped around their little fingers. In fact, this meeting was a prelude to a meeting with the chief mobilizer in one of the largest Local Governments in the state. His plan is to play on this quiet but growing dissatisfaction with the way things are going to create a major upset in this election.

Will he win, I doubt but his candidacy is instructive. For sometime now, analysts have been talking about a gradual erosion from the base of the Master. But this has continued to remain on the pages of Newspaper reports and the mouths of TV analysts as election results after election results continue to show the firm hold of the master on the body politics of the State.

The so-called internal opposition and the main opposition has coalesced in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have not been able to build a serious wave that can be leveraged upon to upstage the master in his game. They have in fact not been able to ride on major upsets in Places like Fayose’s Ekiti and Mimiko’s Ondo’s  to get the crown jewel which is Lagos. But instead we see attempts like that of my brother Jimi Agbaje lacking in luster and credibility as they attempt to take a shovel at the Mountain Everest that is Tinubu’s hold on Lagos.

While still early days, candidates like Mr. Johnson may seem to be paving the way for constructive engagement. This ‘little’ attempts if effectively backed with robust and comprehensive tactical support may begin to slowly and gradually shift the narrative.

As he spoke that bright Sunday morning, I could see his confidence shine thru. His ideological leanings come out and his strength in Policy formulation and execution giving him the courage to want to turn the Senate away from its retirement home and into the bastion of Policy formulation which is what it was intended to be in the first place.

He would obviously not succeed this time around, but with age on his side, he would be matured and ready for the inevitability of the wind of change.

This election is not of victory for him but a learning process. A process where he will better understand the game on the ground, build relationships and bridges and much more importantly better position himself within the Leadership of the emerging frontier. This David will not kill this Goliath this time, but this David will weaken this Goliath and run ahead to go wait for his fall which will not be anytime soon. I stand by Johnson.



Joseph Edgar
Joseph Edgar is an Investment banker and Columnist with Thisday and DailyTimes newspapers. He is witty and is a hilarious writer.