The battle for the soul of Lagos State took a strange twist yesterday when Governor Akinwunmi Ambode boldly told a meeting of leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, at the Bourdillon, Ikoyi home of the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he will not step down for their preferred candidate in the 2019 governorship race in the state.
The meeting chaired by Tinubu and called under the banner of Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) the most powerful clique in Lagos APC also had in attendance outgoing governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, his newly elected successor, Gboyega Oyetola, Ambode and other members of the 22-member council.
A reliable source at the meeting told Saturday Sun that “Ambode was told in plain terms that the party will not support his second term ambition and as such should step down for the candidate the party members are clamouring for. But throughout the whole discussion and till the meeting ended, the governor stood his ground, explaining why he must run and that he will run if APC desires to win the state.”
The governor was said to have listed his achievements to convince the party leaders who equally failed to shift ground. “He was busy speaking grammar when no single member at the meeting supported him. We wish him luck”, the source added.
The meeting however ended with a directive to the State Working Committee of the party to address a press conference today, Saturday at the party’s secretariat on Acme road, Ikeja where the preferred governorship candidate Jide Sanwo-Olu and his running mate, Femi Hamzat will be officially presented to party members to vote for at the governorship primaries scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday.
The Ambode camp however appears determined to enter into full battle with Tinubu and his men. A source close to the governor told Saturday Sun yesterday that, “Tinubu and his men are jokers, if they fail to present Ambode for second term, they will lose Lagos like they lost Osun, forget the eventual manipulation of the final result.”
“Ambode is the party’s poster boy, and that’s why President Buhari asked the SGF, Boss Mustapha to wade into the Lagos ticket issue but if they ignore even the president’s intervention, they will be doomed like Osun. Nigerians will see that Tinubu is overrated as has shown in Osun. You can see that the president had to send Fayemi, Oshiomhole and others to step into the Osun election, the presidential emissaries didn’t go to meet Tinubu and Aregbesola who were in Osogbo before they went straight to meet Omisore in Ile-Ife, that shows how less they regard him”, the source added.