Sanwo-Olu is unfit to govern Lagos, Ambode fires back; support group write APC Chairman
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has insisted that he is prepared to participate in the Lagos All Progressives Congress (APC) primary billed for Monday, October 1.
In a world press conference on Sunday, Ambode said that party leaders were being misled to think his opponent, Jide Sanwo-Olu, is a better candidate than he is. On the contrary, he said Sanwo-Olu was not a fit and proper person to lead Lagos.
He called for calm ahead of the primary election saying the full wrath of law will descend on those planning to disrupt the process.
The governor said it was necessary for the party to practise the tent of democracy that it preaches. He raised concern over plot to disenfranchise some members of the party in the primary election particularly his supporters.
He said: “I seek the support of every party member in tomorrow’s primary election. We shall overcome. I am a full member of APC and going nowhere. We believe strongly that the tenant of democracy is to allow democratic value to continue to fester. The party constitution allows direct and indirect primaries depending on what we choose. Lagos accepted to do direct primary. What we want is to allow everyone to partake. We believe that is in the greater interest of the party to allow every contestant to show their strength. I believe it is in the interest of the country that we must show that we activate democratic values that our party is known for.
Lagosians have seen our level of performance and that Lagos is the beacon of hope for Nigeria. We cannot allow our millions of supporters not to be allowed to vote. We cannot allow opposition party win Lagos. We will be jeopardising the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. My opponent may not be able to sell the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. In the past few weeks, they have been disparaging our character but we have not responded. We believe there is a reason to come together as a family. The aspirant being put against us is not a fit candidate.
Meanwhile, the Ambode Mandate Support Group (AMSG) has sent a petition to the National Chairman of the All progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, over the endorsement of his opponent in the forthcoming governorship primary by the party leadership in the state.
The Chairman of the group, Mr Akeem Sulaimon, made this known at a rally on Sunday in Lagos to mobilise support for the second term bid of Ambode.
Sulaimon said the action of the state Chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, and members of the Governorship Advisory Council (GAC) endorsing an aspirant as candidate of the party was a violation of the party’s constitution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the GAC, which is the highest decision making organ in Lagos APC, has endorsed Mr Jide Sanwo-Olu, Ambode’s challenger in the forthcoming primary.
Sen. Anthony Adefuye, a member the council, announced the endorsement to party members on Saturday, at a stakeholders’ meeting at the ACME Road state party secretariat.
A third aspirant who was in the race, Olufemi Hamzat, stepped down on Saturday, and backed Sanwo-Olu, who is Managing Director, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation.
Sulaimon, who is also the special Adviser to Ambode on Communities and Communications, said that the support group could not fathom why the second term bid of the governor was being hindered.
He said current events had shown that the leadership of the state executive had been compromised and therefore could not produce an unbiased primary election.
Sulaimon appealed to members to go out enmasse on Monday in their various Local Government Areas to vote for Gov. Ambode unintimidated at the primary.
NAN reports that members of the group, at the rally, pledged support for the governor, expressing confidence that his performance had endeared him to many Lagosians.
The members and supporters, clad in shirts and other materials implying their support for Ambode, took a walk from Maryland to Freedom Park, Ojota.
They sang in support of the governor, chanting reason why he deserved the right to be allowed to run for a second term in office.