LAGOS— Apprehension yesterday gripped political stakeholders in Lagos State ahead of today’s launch of three books chronicling the stewardship of Mr. Babatunde Fashola as governor of Lagos State between 2007 and 2015.
The apprehension follows the perceived political rivalry between the camp of Fashola and his erstwhile political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, himself, also a former governor of the state. The political unease was compounded upon last week’s assertion b
y Fashola that he would not allow himself to be dragged into the mud by those who want to fight like pigs.
However, a third force within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC it was gathered yesterday has pushed the leadership of the party to convene an emergency state caucus meeting tomorrow where the unfolding issue between the camps of the two former governors is expected to be discussed.
Ahead of today’s book launch it was learnt that activists in the two camps were working to use the occasion to score political points. While some were working to frustrate the book launch as a way of projecting what they claim as Fashola’s political incapacity in the state, the former governor’s loyalists were working to counter the move.
“They are planning but they will not succeed,” an associate of the immediate past governor told Vanguard on telephone yesterday.
Associates of Tinubu were, however, indignant yesterday that they would not honour the book launch, alleging that the immediate past governor had not shown enough respect to his erstwhile political benefactor.
“A man that has not seen it as wise to visit or thank his master since he stepped down from office, why should we be there,” a close associate of Tinubu said yesterday.
His assertion was, however, countered by a Fashola associate who disclosed yesterday that Fashola’s repeated efforts to speak with Tinubu since the handover had been impossible.
“Tinubu is not picking his calls, so those people saying that Fashola has not visited Tinubu simply do not know what they are talking about, they just don’t know,” the Fashola associate said.
Meanwhile, the frosty relationship between the two camps is set to worsen upon assertions of imminent plans by the new authorities in Lagos to prosecute those involved in alleged hike of contract figures during the immediate past administration.
Normally dependable sources told Vanguard yesterday that officials involved in the award of the contract of the N78 million upgrade of the website of the former governor are among those to be prosecuted.
The three books to be launched today include The Great Leap, a book written by Mr. Hakeem Bello, who served as Special Adviser on Media to Fashola and two others co-authored by Dapo Adeniyi.
The other two are: In Bold Prints: Thoughts of Babatunde Fashola and Lagos Blow Down: West Africa’s First Controlled Demolition.