His name is Hakeem Muri-Okunola, popularly known as HMO among the inner caucus of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the inimitable godfather of Lagos politics.
For 2023, HMO is already warming up to take over from Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
Those in the know say Tinubu is capable of springing surprises at any given time.
Initially, it was the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat who has tried to worm his way into Tinubu’s heart for the Lagos number one seat, but according to the source, Asiwaju has told Hamzat to halt all his preparations to become Lagos Governor. Though, he has relocated to Epe in order to make case for the Lagos East and complete what ought to be Akinwumi Ambode’s second term, the odds are against him.
In 2015 when Governor Babatunde Fashola picked him as a successor, the Eleko of Eko, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu 1, told Hamzat to his face that the son of Oba of Ewekoro in Ogun state will not come and preside over Lagos. Besides, Tinubu has made up his mind to field Okunola who’s young and seen as one of the inner caucus. To those around Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu does not belong to the inner caucus and may not be able to stand the heat if the push come to shove.
On the issue of Seyi Tinubu succeeding Sanwo-Olu, the source said,” It’s just a kite to deceive the unwary. The real masquerade is HMO who has been around the corridors of power in Lagos for a long while now. He’s Tinubu’s boy and you see him around always. His loyalty has never been in doubt.
“ If you observe, there’s hardly anywhere you see Sanwo-Olu that HMO will not be around to understudy him. As the head of service, he’s supposed to be in charge of the civil service, but his mandate is beyond that. Besides, when Ambode was foot dragging to make him head of Service, Tinubu waded him and pronto, his name was announced. To show that HMO is Tinubu’s boy in who he is well pleased he came to Alausa to celebrate with him after his name was announced.”
On what will be the fate of Sanwo-Olu, the source said he will replace Senator Oluremi Tinubu in the Lagos Central Senatorial district in anticipation that Remi will be the First Lady after the 2023 general election.
“HMO has been tested and trusted. He has run errands for Tinubu without any controversy, served Fashola as personal assistant. He was also the Secretary of Lands, the honey pot of Lagos state without having any problem. He was the permanent secretary in governors’ office. Now, he’s the head of service. All these were to enable the 50 years old politician to learn the rope and now, barring any last minute change of strategy, he’s seen as the incoming governor in the political parlance.”