Mixing Business With Politics…Intrigues as Coca Cola Throws Weight Behind Jide Sanwo-Olu For Governor

 Breaking News

Mixing Business With Politics…Intrigues as Coca Cola Throws Weight Behind Jide Sanwo-Olu For Governor

Mixing Business With Politics…Intrigues as Coca Cola Throws Weight Behind Jide Sanwo-Olu For Governor
November 28
06:13 2018

*Concerned Lagosians Raise Fears About Jimi Agbaje’s Governorship Ambition Run

Unlike the Juniper tree that grows across neighbourhood lawns and feeds the residents poisonous berries, Coca Cola Nigeria has offered its sturdy branches, fruits and all, to feed the governorship ambition of Babajide Sanwoolu.

Forget its apolitical posturing, Nigeria’s biggest manufacturer of carbonated soft drink , Coke, may have tacitly thrown its weight behind Sanwoolu, the All Progressives’ Congress, APC, governorship candidate in Lagos State. Believed to already enjoy strong political backing as the anointed of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which translated to his smooth victory in the primary elections, Babajide now enjoys institutional support. And rightly so too.

Ever since Coke started the much talked about “Share a Coke” campaign, thirsty fans across Nigeria have been clamoring to find their names on bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke or Coke Zero. Some have struck gold, while others have left the store empty-handed. But Today, unlike other names, Coca Cola ‘shares’ his full campaign name, Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu. It has been celebration galore in the camp of Sanwoolu.

However, few days ago, precisely, November 18, the gloves went off for the 2019 presidential campaigns with the leading candidates of political parties unveiling their grandiose manifestoes. While the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled his controversial ‘Next Level’ roadmap, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, standard bearer, released a policy document that contains what he describes as his vision for a prosperous Nigeria under his campaign slogan, Get Nigeria Working Again. The presidential election holds February 16, 2019.

Conversely, campaigns for governorship and state houses of assembly are expected to commence December 1st in accordance with Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) which states, “the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.” However, the APC candidate in Lagos, Babajide Sanwoolu, has loomed large in the state’s political horizon. All over the state, his in-your-face publicity materials loom large. He has also been making a lot of public appearances and meeting different stakeholders across the state all of which are elaborately reported in the media.

The story is not the same with his main opponent, Jimi Agbaje, of the PDP. Except for dour, uninspiring posters across negligible areas around the state, periodic posts on his social media pages and media interviews, a random sampling conducted by this newspaper indicates that Agbaje, a perennial aspirant, has carried on like he is not even interested in the campaigns. Across social media platforms, questions continue to be raised about the preparedness or otherwise of Agbaje with not a few positing that he is allowing his main challenger too much grounds with his laidback and listless approach to a seat that has eluded him since he first came out in 2007, a time when many agree that he ran a beautiful and far-reaching campaign. At the time, he was just 50years old. Now at 61, is age fast catching up with Jay Kay as he is also known? Or, has he inwardly conceded defeat in a race where he is supposed to be the candidate to beat? The posers abound.

Another inside source said for now, Jay Kay is reaching out to friends and associates to raise funds for his campaign considering the mammoth war-chest of the APC. Though a successful businessman in his own right; add to that the fact that his immediate younger brother, Segun, is the Group MD of banking behemoth, Guaranty Trust Bank; the Agbaje campaign organisation needs billions of naira if it is serious about wresting Lagos State from the viselike grip of the APC, and, indeed, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Unfortunately, the source disclosed further that not much is being expected from the PDP which is concentrating efforts and resources on the presidential election. So, those who expressed fears about Agbaje’s ability to raise enough money to successfully prosecute his dreams are not wide of the mark. Despite the tottering, lethargic start, whether Agbaje would rev up his campaign machinery in the days ahead – billions or no – remains to be seen.

About Author



Related Articles


  1. Gudugba
    Gudugba November 28, 19:19

    At no time has the PDP in Lagos State shown that it has got the balls to wrench control of the state from Bola Tinubu. I can recall that a long time ago (15 years), I set up a meeting with the then Lagos State Chairman of the PDP, a gentleman of Badagry extraction. What I said to the party then was that there were no silver bullets to weaken Tinubu’s hold on Lagos State but that as a first step, the PDP needed to start to build up a massive local media presence. By this, I meant that the PDP needed to be made into a political party with positive attributes and recall locally in Lagos.This is because the run of play in the good old days was that the old NCNC gave Awolowo’s Action Group a run for its money in the 1960s. For those readers of yours who might be too young to relate to the point being made let me explain. Lagos never used to be monolithic in its political leanings. Mushin, Ikeja, Shomolu and Bariga were Awolowo’s tribal strongholds as these communities were predominated by the Ijebus.The more affluent and middle-class neighborhoods in Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Yaba and other more prosperous enclaves voted majorly for Nnamdi Azikiwe’s NCNC.

    Secondly, when Tinubu assumed office as Governor and during his second term, all was not well with governance in the state as well as with Tinubu personally.There were serious cracks and weaknesses in how Lagos State was being run. There were also many political own goals by Tinubu which the PDP could have made a meal of and as well exploited.But the PDP had no news dissemination platform of its own. That was a time the PDP could have done Tinubu massive harm.

    Surprisingly, the executives of the PDP at that time were so passive and unexcitable. All of them kept moaning about the paucity of campaign funds. They also engaged each other in never-ending leadership succession wars.

    Before online publishing became what it is today (2002-2004), Lagos State PDP were offered the opportunity to financially sponsor a weekend publication in the vein of the old ‘Lagos Weekend’. The party’s chairman kept pussy-footing.
    How and why PDP Lagos State didn’t foresee that Tinubu was on his way to becoming a behemoth will beat anyone’s imagination. As the Governor of the State, Tinubu naturaly had in his political arsenal, Radio Lagos. Tinubu later on, after becoming awash with cash, established TVC and the other arms of his media empire.
    Only a miracle or a cataclysmic event can now wrestle the political control of Lagos State from Tinubu’s hands.
    To be perfectly honest, Mr Agbaje is wasting his time and resources.

    Reply to this comment
  2. No be me
    No be me November 28, 19:30

    One should not blame Coca-Cola for doing what they have done, you may not know the financial influence Sanwo-Olu may have on Coca-Cola.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment