The Lagos state Governorship tussle begins yesterday as the sitting governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode could no longer hold his faith in the way the political permutation is swinging.
The governor apparently disturbed with the tidings of all that is unfolding decided to shift the hit back to his opponent by firing a salvo describing his competitor, Mr Babajide sanwo-Olu as unfit
Ambode who disclose these in a world press conference yesterday did not mince word after discovering that his political life was being snuffed out of him.
All though, Many have said that Ambode deserves a second term. But the godfather of Lagos politics and APC National Leader Bola Tinubu thinks otherwise.
Facing an army of cameramen and supporters, the governor in an APC-branded shirt and a pair of jeans trousers, took position behind the podium.
Bolstered by cheers and claps from supporters, he opened the bunker and pressed the button of no return: “We have never responded to the campaign of calumny on social media. We have one family in APC.
The aspirant being put up to compete against us is not a fit and proper person to take this job.
“I have done everything in the last three and half years to serve people selflessly and to serve the poor.
Most of the projects we are doing are about alleviating the sufferings of the poor.
And the only way out for us is to continue to do that in the next four years.
“This particular aspirant is someone who has been arrested for spending fake dollars in a nightclub in America, and he was detained for months.
He doesn’t have the competence to do what he is being propelled to do.
This is somebody that has gone for rehabilitation before. The records are there at the Gbagada General Hospital.
We don’t want to go too far. Our leadership should have a rethink.”
Sanwo-Olu, however, was collected in his immediate response. “I will not join issues with anybody.
When some people are playing low, we will continue to play high and maintain focus to take Lagos State to a higher level,” he said.
His advisers might have pulled him to a corner and whispered, “You had better-done something to counter Ambode’s stinging statement before irreparable damage is done.” Hours later, he released a more potent statement.
“For anyone to engage in unwarranted character attacks against me, reveals more about that person’s character than it says about mine,” he said.
He “felt sad,” the governor said “things beneath the dignity of our people and the exalted office he holds.”
He was also sure that with “cooler reflection”, Ambode would “regret his descent into such low conduct.”
Sanwo-Olu graciously forgave the incumbent but not until he had “cleared up some inaccuracies.”
He admitted he travelled to the United States last month, stressing he would not have been allowed or even given a visa if he had been “involved in what the governor falsely alleged.”
He said: “That I underwent some unidentified type of ‘rehabilitation’ at the Gbagada General Hospital was also shameless and untrue.
Promulgation of salacious rumour should not be part of the job description of a governor.
People should question whether it is ethically right for the governor to turn what should be confidential medical information about a citizen into a weapon of political warfare?
But for the avoidance of doubt, let it be stated that I never received any treatment whatsoever at the Gbagada General Hospital.”
Sanwo-Olu accused Ambode of sowing fear in the hearts of Lagos residents rather than making a “convincing defence of his performance.”
He promised voters there would be no tearing of his opponent down but rather a focusing on issues.
Also, buoyed by the result of the Osun State electoral battle where the APC showed the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) its skills for winning tricky elections, Tinubu jumped in the fray.
He had subtly backed Sanwo-Olu. But in a statement yesterday, he came out fully.
“With people like him at the helm, the state will write the proper history for itself.
When the final word is given, let it be said that we want all Lagosians to look to the future with the hope and optimism that our best days remain before us and not behind us.
“We walk into this primary strong and confidently believing in the right course we are to take.
We shall emerge from this primary even stronger and more confident that we have taken that course by returning Lagos and our party to their finest path,” he said.
At his press conference, Ambode lamented that all he had was a membership slip and not a card, fearing he and millions of Lagos residents in a similar dilemma could be disenfranchised.
He also raised the alarm that some unscrupulous persons could breach the peace today, vowing the long arm of the law would spare no offender.
But the former Lagos state governor and National Leader of All Progress Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Think otherwise, saying the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode deviated from the Lagos state masterplan
Tinubu, in a statement, has also accused Ambode of deviating from the state master plan, adding that he supported Governor Akinwumi Ambode in 2015.
“Whenever a government departed from this plan without a compelling reason, the state and its people have borne the painful consequence of the improper departure,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu, however, agreed that the said master plan may not have been perfect.
After months of rumours, Tinubu also formally endorsed the candidacy of Jide Sanwo-Olu, who served under him when he was the governor of the state.
But Tinubu insisted that his anointed choice, having served in the last three administrations in the state, was better placed to continue the implementation of the Lagos master plan.
“While possessing a wealth of experience and exposure, he is a young man endowed with superlative vision and commitment,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
“Most importantly, he understands the importance of the blueprint for development.
“He esteems it as a reliable and well-conceived vehicle for the future development of the state.”
This is not the first time Tinubu will be antagonistic to the second term bid of his endorsed candidates. In 2011, he was reportedly against the re-election of Raji Fashola as the governor of the state.
Both, however, were able to resolve their differences and Fashola was presented by now-defunct Action Congress of Nigeria as its candidate.
Reacting to all developments,the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party said having reviewed the world press conference addressed by Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; it has come to the conclusion that the All Progressives Congress, APC, consists of fraudsters and election riggers.
Governor Ambode had in the press conference stated that his opponent in the race, Babajide Sanwoolu, was arrested for spending fake dollars in the United States.
In a statement signed by the spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan, the party said: “By this, the whole world can see that the APC is nothing but a den of fraudsters and corrupt persons who not only cheated their way to power through lies and propaganda in 2015 but have also continued to bleed and defraud our nation with sleaze and massive corruption in very high places