It is not for a lack of creative and catchy ideas that the governorship campaign of Jimi Agbaje is being described in many quarters as blasé and boring; it is majorly an issue of funding. The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidate’s major headache is lack of money.
At a period when even the national body of the party is in dire need of financial support given the non-availability of loose money as was the case in previous election seasons, Jimi has been running from pillar to post for money to prosecute his ambition. Yet, it is cul-de-sac everywhere he turns.
Even those who have are scared to support overtly or covertly for fear of being witch-hunted. With that channel blocked, or so, political stakeholders and observers have been asking why Jimi is not getting the desired financial support from his younger brother, Segun, who is managing director and chief executive officer of one of Africa’s biggest financial institutions, Guaranty Trust Bank.
Insiders are swearing by everything they hold sacred that Segun does not believe in his brother’s ambition any longer, especially with the political dynamics of Lagos State, and as such, is not supporting financially in any way. “Even though Segun was not MD in 2007 when Jimi first contested on the platform of the DPA (Democratic People’s Alliance), he stood by his brother. Jimi’s campaign that year remains one of the most sophisticated and far-reaching in the annals of electioneering in Lagos State,” recalled a source.
Segun effectively became MD of GTB in 2011 but Jimi did not contest that year on the premise that the incumbent then, Babatunde Raji Fashola, deserved a second term. Jimi came out again in 2015 on the PDP platform but lost to a newbie, Ambode. “Segun was there for him then. He supported him with all that he had and mobilised his friends and billionaire associates, believing that once his brother became governor, automatically, the account of the state government would move to the GTB,” said the source.
However, things didn’t pan out as planned but the consequences still haunt Segun. When the new administration came in, the state account was moved to Access Bank despite the pressure and propaganda mounted by GTB.
The insider said, “The state government made it clear to Segun that the state would have nothing to do with him and his bank as long as he continues to fraternise with the opposition.” It is in view of this that Segun has learnt to put his money where his mouth is.