As Lagos prepares for the 2023 gubernatorial elections, one party has caught the attention of voters and pundits alike: the Labour Party.
With its candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, leading in the polls, many are wondering whether the Labour Party’s momentum can overcome the established power structures of Lagos politics.
Over the past few months, the Labour Party has been gradually gaining support in Lagos. Part of this is attributable to dissatisfaction with the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has been in charge in Lagos since 2015 and has been monopolized by one individual since 1999.
Many Lagosians feel that the APC has failed to address the city’s growing problems, such as traffic congestion, rising crime rates, and a lack of affordable housing.
In contrast, the Labour Party has positioned itself as a grassroots alternative to the APC, focusing on issues such as job creation, education, and healthcare.
Rhodes-Vivour, a former lawyer and activist, has campaigned on a platform of “renewal and regeneration” for Lagos, promising to address the city’s most pressing problems by investing in infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
The Labour Party’s rise has been fueled by a groundswell of support from young people, who make up a significant portion of Lagos’s population.
Many of these voters are frustrated with the political status quo and are eager for change. They see the Labour Party as a fresh alternative to the entrenched power structures of the APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has also failed to gain a foothold in Lagos.
However, the Labour Party’s success in Lagos is far from assured. The APC, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, remains a formidable force in Lagos politics.
Sanwo-Olu has been credited with some successes during his tenure, such as the “Cleaner Lagos” initiative, which aimed to improve sanitation in the city. He has also promised to continue investing in infrastructure and to create jobs for Lagosians.
Moreover, the APC has a well-oiled political machine that has been honed over decades of power in Lagos. The party’s vast resources and network of supporters have helped it maintain a stranglehold on the city’s politics.
And then there is the matter of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former Lagos governor and National leader of the All Progressives Congress.
Tinubu, who is widely considered the godfather of Lagos politics, still wields enormous influence in the city. Many believe that he will do everything in his power to ensure that the APC retains control of Lagos.
The Lagos Governorship Election 2023 will be a crucial test of the Labour Party’s ability to challenge the status quo.
If Rhodes-Vivour and the Labour Party are able to pull off an upset victory, it would be a seismic shift in Lagos politics.
It would also signal a broader trend in Nigerian politics, where younger, more progressive parties are challenging the dominance of the established parties.
However, even if the Labour Party does not win the governorship, its rise in Lagos should be a wake-up call to the APC and the PDP.
It shows that there is a growing demand for change among Lagosians, especially young people. The established parties will need to address these concerns if they hope to retain power in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
Do you believe the Labour Party will win the Governorship in 2023?
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