There was apprehension in the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday when Wale Oluwo, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, renounced his membership of the party, vowing to work for Jimi Agbaje, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the next governorship election.
This created fear among APC chieftains who said they now doubt the loyalty of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to the party.
Oluwo, who hails from Epe, the hometown of Ambode, also said he had submitted his letter of resignation to the governor.
Though calls and text messages sent to Oluwo’s phone was not returned, a credible source in the party said that he had reached out to the camp of Agbaje ahead of the election, alongside his supporters.
In his resignation letter, Oluwo accused the leadership of the ruling party of being anti-democratic in the process through which Babajide Sanwo-Olu emerged as the flag bearer of the APC in the 2019 governorship election.
Sanwo-Olu, who enjoyed the support of Mandate Movement, a group loyal to Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party, made history by beating a sitting governor to the ticket of the party.
Oluwo said the governorship primary had diminished the reputation of the APC in the state.
He alleged that a powerful group in the APC had been violating the principle of separation of powers and “intimidating critical institutions of democracy in the state”.
Speaking with Daily Independent on Wednesday, a chieftain of the party said though Governor Ambode had pledged his unalloyed support to the party and had promised to work for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the party’s governorship candidate, Oluwo’s actions had shown that there might be surprises ahead.
He said while Ambode had appealed to Epe residents to work for the APC, many of them who were still embittered were not listening to him and might work against the APC in the forthcoming election.
“To me, I am not surprised by the developments at all. After the primaries, the governor pledged to work for APC but a lot of people doubted him.
“So, if Oluwo, who hails from Epe like the governor, is now leaving the party, promising to work for our opponent, then we will begin to suspect the governor,” he said.