Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is currently in a dilemma over the fate of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who is seeking a second term in office as Governor of Lagos State.
Sources close to the party on Friday said while Tinubu, after entreaties from many prominent Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-president President, Yemi Osinbajo, religious leaders and monarchs said he has forgiven Ambode, he added that his foot soldiers in the Mandate Group, the most influential political group in the state are insisting they have had enough of the governor.
According to sources, Tinubu met Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC in Abuja on Thursday over the fate of the embattled governor.
Oshiomhole, it was reported appealed to Tinubu to consider the negative impact the political crisis in Lagos State will have on the fortunes of the party in the forthcoming general election, saying it will be a disaster if APC loses Lagos to the opposition.
” Oshiomhole told Tinubu to forgive Ambode of whatever offence he may have committed. He said the timing is wrong given the fact that the general elections are just a few months away”.
” However in his response, Tinubu pointedly told Oshiomhole that while he has forgiven the governor, his loyalists and party elders are insisting that there is no going back on their resolution not to renew Ambode’s mandate”.
” Tinubu said without the party leaders in Lagos, he himself is nothing and therefore he cannot afford to go against their wishes”.
Also yesterday, Babajide Sanwoolu, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC in Lagos State said Tinubu will not ask him to step down for Governor Akinwunmi Ambode
Addressing a press conference in Watercress Hotel, Ikeja, Sanwoolu said Tinubu is a true democrat who will not impose anyone on Lagosians, adding that it is the reason he canvassed for direct primaries where all party members will have a say in who governs them.
- He said that he is in the race to give the people ofLagos proper representation and improve on the things on the ground.
“Your question is if my national leader asks me to back down, what will I do? You see, I really don’t know which side of the divide you want us to stay”.
” Sometimes, people will say this man (Tinubu) is imposing and that he is not allowing aspirants to come out, that there is no internal democracy but this man (Tinubu) is a Democrat, he will allow democracy to rule and thrive”.
“My aspiration has nothing to do with an individual, my national leader is my national leader. He is our national leader, his passion is about Nigeria and not Lagos alone”.
“The movement we have started is a participatory democracy and so, there is no basis for it (for Tinubu urging him to drop his ambition). He (Tinubu) being a Democrat, will allow the process to go on without any rancour”.
“On September 25, by the grace of God, the entire APC delegates will vote for Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the governorship candidate to represent them in the 2019 general elections”
On the Mandate group who is his major backer, “Mandate is not a political party, it is not the only Mandate that we are pushing, it is assumed that you have to come out from a particular house, territory”.
“I will not be a governor for Lagos Island or Lagos Central, I will be governor for Lagos State. We will ensure we have a participatory government, we will ensure that we listen to you, so that you are included in the things we want to do differently for the people” he said.