Adeleke Mamora

Senator Adeleke Mamora, presently minister of state for health in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office, has moved up in the ranks of political office holding from the Lagos State House of Assembly to the federal corridors. He is a long political associate of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu – whom he declares as “a leader and my leader”.

Tinubu’s leadership involves providing the back on which groomed candidates and associates ride to new political status and positions. The Lagos political powerhouse is no doubt favouring the medical practitioner turned politician. He is one of two names sent from Lagos for the ministerial list of Buhari’s second term administration.

Mamora was a national delegate for the National Republican Convention in 1990 and was also secretary, Lagos East of the United Nigeria Congress Party in 1998. At the advent of the 4th republic in 1999, he was elected to the Lagos State House of Assembly and was elected speaker of the house.

He was elected to the Senate for the Lagos East constituency in 2003 and was appointed chairman of the Senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions. He was re-elected in 2007 on the ticket of the Action Congress for a second successive stride at the upper chamber. There he made impressive marks through his principled interventions.

The quality mark of the Lagos leadership to which he is associated showed up in his accomplishments in various committees he supervised in the Senate. He was outstanding as a Senator by bills and motions sponsored and in the mastery of parliamentary procedures.

At the end of his senatorial assignment, Mamora sought for nomination for the post of governor of Lagos State but failed in the bid. He pressed to go back to the Senate but also did not get the ticket.

In his next move, he took steps to add a strong footing in the Abuja political circle to top up whatever the existing home base in Lagos had to offer. He became deputy director-general of the Muhammadu Buhari campaign organisation during the 2015 presidential election. He was also director general [operations] in the 2019 Presidential Campaign Council of the President.

Was he really reinforcing his Lagos link or was he on a lonely path to establish a standalone connection to Aso Rock is one of those areas in politics that politicians themselves prefer to leave clouded. But the lessons did speak volumes that if two – Lagos and Abuja do not agree, nothing happens.

Momora’s active involvement in the process that brought Buhari to power in 2015 was, by his calculation, sufficient to take him to one the front seats in the federal cabinet. His expectation failed to come to pass, as he did not make it to the ministerial list in President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office.

Some other key government appointments where he was penciled down also hovered around him and faded with the winds. He did register his complaints and protests in high places and Abuja responded by appointing him chairman of Abuja Investment and Infrastructure Centre – an equivalent of a state government parastatal. He refused to touch the post that he felt was like a crumb thrown at him from the master’s table.

That turned out to be a high level protest that forced both Lagos and Abuja to a rethink that ended in ‘lose him and let him go’. Momora soon landed on the position of managing director of the National Inland Waterways Authority in 2018. That posting has turned out to be an interlude, as the Lagos lawmaker has made it to Buhari’s second term ministerial list.