“I’ve lost weight since assuming office a week ago” Are you Having A Laugh Mate?
By Sola Adeyemo
I’m still laughing hard at the disclosure of the new governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, when he says he’s already feeling the heat of office as he’s lost some weight since he took the reins of office over a week ago because i don’t think the Chief executive is serious about that statement and if he’s serious about it (which i very much doubt), that means he’s a big-time joker and he’s having a big laugh on us all in Lagos.
Even as i ruminate over the careless and most unfortunate statement having learnt that the geezer actually made the statement to State House correspondents after a private meeting with VP Yemi Osinbajo, shortly after the expanded security council meeting on Friday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja – i had to burst out laughing all of a sudden at the thought of late ChiefObafemi Awolowo or S.L Akintola running the affairs of the country’s commercial nerve-centre and the 5th Largest economy and declare to people a week that “i’ve dropped a dress size because of the pressure of office” – it’s unthinkable!
In all honesty, one would have thought that Governor Sanwo-Olu had been tutored by his political godfather and associates that governing a state like Lagos state is not a tea party of sorts; and its running could well make one go bonkers. You may not agree with me, but I think the governor himself ( or by extension,his close associates) must have realized he really goofed. He’s cracking under pressure in a week – Oh! My God.
But that’s pardonable. However, what may not be pardonable is a repeat of this kind of gaffe in future!
And for all purpose and intent, the governor should from henceforth be guided by his media team and political mentors about the imperatives of saying the right thing when you’re occupying a political office especially when the stakes are very high and when people are expecting a lot from you because of the all the promises you made during your electioneering campaigns.
I want to believe the newly elected governor who’s a smooth-talker unlike his immediate predecessor is ready to do quite a lot for his brand – if not for the state, by not playing too much to the gallery in all of his communication both “online and offline”. In this age and time when information travels with the speed of light, he wouldn’t want to be caught napping as far as sending out the right information in forms of soundbites,outbursts and what have you is concerned – especially if he wants Lagosians to see him as a serious leader who’s ready to turn things around within the shortest time possible.
Don’t get me wrong and don’t generalize in a hasty manner, I know we all are given to sudden outbursts once in a while, especially when under undue pressure. That said, a politician who wouldn’t want to be seen as a greenhorn or a mere rookie in office must think very well before saying anything knowing fully well that he lives in the public eye and anything he says will ultimately make or mar his administration in some way or over a long haul.
And may i say at this juncture that holding a public office and not cracking under pressure comes with that special and uncommon grace that’s continued to elude this present crop of Nigerian politicians who have refused to learn from the larger percentage of the first set of Nigerian politicians who were very much on top of their game when it comes to making political statements. I believe there’s enough room for learning for these our newly-elected governors and assemblymen across the country. Especially Ihedioha and Makinde who have shown some signs of political immaturity since assuming office on the 29th of may 2019. Well, as an incurable optimist and a man of faith, I’m sure they’ll pick learnings as they navigate through the murky waters of party politics and governance in Nigeria – it’s all for the good of fatherland.
I wish you well as you steer the affairs of Lagos State and may Nigeria succed.
Writer,Publisher and Public Affairs Analyst