Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has berated his opponent in the race for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s governorship ticket, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, saying he was not credible to rule the state.
L-R Ambode Mandate Support Group: Chairman Lagos Waterways, Mr. Paul Kalejaiye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Community and Communication, Mr. Sulaimon Akeem, Lagos State Commissioner of Information, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, Former Chairman Egbe Idimu Local Council development area, Mr Adebayo Bello, MD Lagos state law Enforcement Agent, Mr wale Leti, A Fuji music icon, Abass Akande Obesere during a liberty rally in support of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode second term in office held from Maryland to Ojota Freedom Park on Sunday in Lagos.
Ambode spoke at a World press conference in Alausa on the security situation in the state occasioned by the governorship primaries.
He, therefore, urged the party leadership to have a re-think about giving Sanwo-Olu the ticket to fly the party’s flag come 2019 elections.
“Now the truth is this, the aspirant that is being put up to compete against us is a not fit and proper person.
“This is the truth, party leaders and members have been misled to believe that he is a better candidate than myself; it is also known that he does not have the competence to do what he is been propelled to do.
“We believe our leadership should rethink because the truth is this.
“I will not stand here on the mandate of Lagosians and allow our great party, APC to fritter away the opportunity to put in somebody that opposition will easily take out because of credibility.
“So I appeal to all our leaders, they should have a rethink. This is not about myself, it is about the greatest opportunity that APC stand to take the progress of Nigeria to a better place,” the governor said.
Giving reasons for his assertion, the governor alleged that Sanwo-Olu was arrested and detained for spending fake dollars in a club in the United States of America and was also on rehabilitation at the Gbagada General Hospital.
Ambode also dispelled rumours that he was planning to leave the party because of opposition from party leaders assuring that, “I am a full blown member of APC and I am going nowhere”.
H called on the national leadership of APC to allow principles of democracy to fester by creating a level playground for all the aspirants at the direct primaries.
“I plead with them to do the right thing and make the process credible,” he said, dispelling any rumour of a rift between him and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed.
He said reason must be allowed to prevail in the greater interest of APC, a party that is known for true democratic values and principles, adding that he stands for the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket.
“In the last three and half years, Lagos has witnessed tremendous improvement in security and infrastructural development, and with our performance, we have brought in more members to APC.
“We want a clean contest, allow everybody to be part of the direct primaries and not just some people”.
He promised that just as he had served everybody, including the poor in the past three and half years, he would continue to do so in greater dimension when he comes back for the second term.
He decried the current political tension because of the governorship primaries in the state which he said has heightened insecurity and fears in the state in the last two weeks.
“The current political situation has caused palpable tension and unnecessary fears among law-abiding Lagosians.
“Security reports available to the State Government indicate that there are an ongoing recruitment and arming of political thugs to disrupt the tranquil atmosphere of Lagos State, in the guise of holding primary elections.
“As a responsible government that has invested so much in enhancing the security of lives and property in the state to enable Lagosians to pursue their lawful endeavours, we will not allow any disruptive elements to cause panic or wreak havoc that will affect the progressive strides which Lagosians are known for.
“This is more so that we have the assurances of our party leaders to conduct free and fair primary elections for aspirants into the various political offices,” Ambode pledged.
APC in Mushin endorse Sanwo-Olu
Meanwhile, the APC in Mushin Local Government Area has endorsed Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the party’s flag bearer in the governorship election come 2019.
Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a governorship aspirant of App Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State
The party members in their hundreds and amidst songs, dance and chanting of party’s slogans, also affirmed Muiz Banire as their leader in the local government.
APC chieftain Aremo Micheal Ikufisile, who addressed the crowd, said Sanwo-Olu has what it takes to lead Lagos.
“We have gathered here today to endorse Babajide Sanwo-Olu as APC candidate for the upcoming governorship election.
“We have followed his involvement and antecedents not only politically but also prior to being made commissioner and we find him credible.
“A man that is accessible, a good listener, somebody that is calm and cool headed; somebody that will balance views and listen to people before making a decision.
“This is not a sign of weakness but a sign of feeling the pulse of people to actually deliver a good service, not putting people in boxes or having a blanket approach to issues.
“More so, our leaders have spoken our minds and that is why you are seeing all of us today endorsing Sanwo-Olu because that is what is in our minds,” Ikufisile said.
According to him, Banire was never suspended, adding “he (Banire) remains the APC leader in Mushin and there is no controversy about it.”
Also speaking, an APC chieftain Dr Ade Omosule said the people of Mushin wanted Sanwo-Olu to be the next governor of Lagos state and that was why they were gathered “to tell everybody in Mushin that Sanwo-Olu is our man.
“Ambode has not satisfied Lagos. Lagosians are all against him and since they are all against him, we can’t continue to say Ambode should continue.
“So, we have to choose a more credible person who can perform better and that is why we are endorsing this man (Sanwo-Olu) now. We are sure he will perform well.”
The APC Deputy-Chairman in Mushin, Solomon Olawale Kusola, said the gathering was to affirm the leadership of Banire in Mushin and endorsement of Sanwo-Olu.
“Today, we thank God that we have resolved our internal crisis and our leader, Dr Muiz Adeyemi Banire has endorsed Sanwo-Olu for the governorship ticket. All those who abused Dr Banire have gone to appeal to him,” he said.
Another party stalwart Ayodele Adeluola said: “We are dropping Ambode, not because of personal hatred or vendetta. We are dropping Ambode because he is not value for money.
“Ambode would have been the best military administrator of the state whereby he can run the show as he pleases but in a democracy, constituents do have views, the views must be listened to, must be adhered to, must be weighed and valued and appreciated and must underpin whatever you are going to do as the governor of Lagos state.”
Alhaja Shola Oyedele, popularly known Iya Luku, also remarked that the party endorsed Sanwo-Olu because Ambode has not been a good governor.
“When they brought him, I told them that a person who is not part of our party will not know the tradition of the party.
“He abandoned most of Babatunde Fashola’s projects, the ones that were finished was not well executed.
“Sanwo-Olu has gotten in touch with the leaders and also promised to perform well when he is elected and this is something Ambode can’t do. Ambode doesn’t care if the party members who voted are suffering,” she said.
By our correspondent
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