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Death Scare Amongst Mandate Leadership, As Two APC Stalwarts Who Attended Meeting With Aregbesola Die Within 30 Days

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Death Scare Amongst Mandate Leadership, As Two APC Stalwarts Who Attended Meeting With Aregbesola Die Within 30 Days

These are not the best of times for the now-dissolved political assemblage; The Mandate Group, a powerful political bloc in Lagos All Progressives Congress as there are palpable fears among its leadership of a possible string of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths. The group was dissolved on June 9, 2020, alongside the Justice Forum (another political bloc in Lagos APC) following a communique issued by the party leaders in the state after a meeting on the same day.

L-R: Late Senator Bayo Osinowo, Cardinal James Odunbaku, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Abdullahi Enilolobo, Tayo Ayinde, Late Alhaji Ganiu Badmus, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (Yayi)

How It All Started

A month ago, on May 26, 2020, the leaders of the Mandate Group, the biggest and most potent group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State took steps to reorganise and restructure the group ahead of the coming challenges as the 2023 elections approaches.


Though TMG, as it is referred to, is made up of core loyalist to Tinubu, the strategic meeting held at the Ikeja GRA residence of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who happens to be the grand patron of the group, without the knowledge nor approval of the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

At the meeting, Abdullahi Enilolobo of Alimosho extraction, a protege of Aregbesola and the APC organising secretary in the state, was picked as the new chairman of The Mandate Group while Cardinal James Odunmbaku, the erstwhile Chairman was moved up as the “apex leader”.


Amongst those present at the meeting were; the Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the Senate, late Senator Sikiru Adebayo Osinowo; his counterpart from the Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola; Chief of Staff to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Mr Tayo Ayinde; Cardinal James Odunmbaku; Lagos APC organising secretary, Abdullahi Enilolobo and Deputy Chairman of the Mandate Group, late Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus, among others.

It would be recalled that on May 25, 2020, Aregbesola, commissioner of works from 1999-2007 when Tinubu was governor of Lagos state, marked his 63rd birthday with a virtual colloquium where Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state disparaged Asiwaju.


He made it obvious when he said, “I want to congratulate my brother, Ogbeni Aregbesola, on his birthday. You know I’m your man any day. I’m not Asiwaju’s man and you are Asiwaju’s man, but I am your man any day. Asiwaju and I have differences but you and I have no differences,” el-Rufai said.

Sources from the grapevine said the Kaduna governor is believed to be nursing an ambition to be either president or vice-president in 2023 and believes Tinubu is a threat to his ambition.

The Deaths

On June 15, Twenty (20) days after the strategic meeting at Aregbesola’s house, the Lagos State political landscape was thrown into disarray when the Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the Senate, Senator Sikiru Adebayo Osinowo, the supposed second-in-command of the Mandate movement was announced to have died of COVID-19 related complications at the age of 64.

Exactly thirty (30) days after, precisely on Friday, June 26, 2020, veteran politician Alhaji Ganiyu Badmus who is said to be battling with some major health issues before COVID-19 was also pronounced dead. He was 71 years old. He was also one of the attendees at the meeting.

Alhaji Badmus was a trusted ally of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. And as at the time of his death was the Deputy Chairman of the suspended Mandate Group.

With two out of the six attendees of the meeting with Aregbesola dead, observers are keen on knowing what is really happening amongst The Mandate Group political echelon in Lagos State.

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