For Akinwumi Ambode, Governor-elect of Lagos State, victory did not come easy. Since his name cropped ever before the race started, there have been stiff opposition to his candidature, even within his own party- the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Up to the last 24 hours to the polls, court cases were still hanging on his neck acting as impediments to his victory. The cases brought by fellow aspirants in the APC who lost out in the party primaries were disposed off by the judge almost on the eve of the elections.
In the days leading to the election, there were more dramatic revelations which almost scuttled his victory. Top of the dramatic escapades was the controversial meeting the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu had with the Ndigbo in Lagos.
The Oba, an unrelenting supporter of Ambode was quoted to have threatened the Igbos to vote for Ambode or face the consequences which included death or dispossession of their properties they made while in Lagos.
The issue drew a lot of flaks for the Oba across the state threatening the large population of Igbo voters. It took the intervention of prominent citizens including the national leaders of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu before the Igbos could be pacified.
Even at that, there were many Igbos who stayed away from the voting zones on Election Day to avoid casting their votes for Ambode, a development that accounted for the virtual low turnout in the gubernatorial election compared with the presidential polls.
Another reason that was responsible for the low turnout of voters in Lagos was the involvement of the Asiwaju in the process that threw up Ambode as candidate within the ruling APC. Many Lagosians believed that with Ambode having the backing of Tinubu, he would end being another lackey panding to the whims and caprices of Tinubu.
For them, if Ambode eventually wins, it will be a continuation of the present situation in Lagos where the state is regarded as a personal estate of one man.
Indeed, the opposition PDP claimed in its campaign just before the election that Ambode did not retire voluntarily from the services of the Lagos State Government but was forced out at just 52 years of age by the current state governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
They alleged that it was Tinubu who ensured that compulsory retirement or sack was converted to voluntary retirement owing to the fact that he assisted Tinubu a lot when he was Accountant General of the State.
But Fashola debunked all these allegations saying he never sacked the governor-elect but that he retired with his honour and integrity intact.
This was to set the stage for a test of grits between the opposition PDP and the ruling APC to determine who blinks first.
A log of people wanted a change, that enough was enough. That it was time that Lagos was freed from the stranglehold of one man, hence many decided to vote for Jimi Agbaje of the PDP who was once within the progressive camp of Tinubu himself. Others who couldn?t vote for Agbaje preferred to abstain from voting altogether.
Thus the burden of Ambode is large. How does he come out of the shadow of Tinubu? How does he prove that he is no man?s lackey but a man of his own? How does he prove that those who voted for him and his party have not made a mistake by voting him? How does he prove himself that inspite of the misgivings that a lot of people have of his candidature, he would be able to take Lagos to higher heights and things would not deteriorate instead?
Indeed, this is the burden of leadership hanging on Ambode.