Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode has said he is ready to contest the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheduled for Saturday, September 29.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan, disclosed this in a statement he released on behalf of the governor, yesterday, where he said Ambode is prepared to contest, after the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) expressed its preference for direct primaries.
Said Ambode: “As our great party approaches Saturday, September 29, 2018, earmarked for the direct primary election to choose the candidate to fly our party’s gubernatorial flag at the next general election, I am happy to restate my commitment to participate in that process having procured and submitted my nomination form and having formally declared my intention to seek a second term to continue on the path of unprecedented growth and development that our state has witnessed since 2015.”
The governor expressed gratitude to the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, party elders, APC members and Lagosians, “whose support, understanding and prayers have assisted me in no small measure in being used as an instrument through which our state has redefined the concept of greatness.”
Bamigbetan also added that the governor, in seeking re-election, is approaching the founding fathers and members of the party with a “grateful heart, open arms and a pledge to deeper attention to the concerns of this one, big family.”
He added that a return of the party’s ticket to him will guarantee the stability of the state’s economy and ensure that the opposition does not take root in the state.
Ambode has been engulfed in a battle to win the support of his party after he was accused of ‘committing many sins’ by party stalwarts.
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Barely 48 hours after he obtained his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms and declared his interest to seek a second term, top party chieftains pulled the rug from under his feet by withdrawing the party structure from him.
The Mandate Group, a political organisation within the APC, loyal to Tinubu, had converged at the Watercrest Hotel and endorsed Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a former commissioner in the state, for governor.
All the party leaders who spoke at the meeting, including Dr. James Odunmbaku, also known as Baba eto, confirmed that they were instructed by Tinubu to back Sanwo-Olu in the governorship race.
As soon as the meeting became public knowledge, all the local council chairmen and party leaders in the state, who were supposed to gather at the governor’s office to endorse his nomination for 2019, changed course and joined the group at the hotel to endorse Sanwo-Olu.