The Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday officially endorsed the joint ticket of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, for governorship on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, saying that the duo were prepared for the campaign and ready to assume the task of moving Lagos to greater heights.
He gave the endorsement at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the state secretariat of the party on Acme Road in Ogba, as he raised the hands of the duo before scores of party leaders and faithful and wished them well in the March 2, 2019 election.
This was as the governorship candidate of Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Jimi Agbaje, asserted that the government of the APC will be voted out in the state by a wide margin in the next election, restating that Lagosians from all segments were tired of the prevailing status quo of “one man rule”. He however accused the APC of doing all it could to subvert his campaign efforts ahead of the election scheduled to hold next year March.
Ambode said, “As we are looking forward to February 16, 2019, we know it is the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket that the whole of Lagos will vote for. As we proceed two weeks after on March 2, we also declare that it is the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat ticket that will come to take over from me by the special grace of God.
“I pray for them and bless them that they will take over from me successfully in good health and in good spirit,” he said, urging those still aggrieved with the fallout of the primaries of the party to follow his example, and accept the party’s supremacy.
“The first thing I want to say is to appeal to all our party members who, in one way or the other, have been wronged or aggrieved that they should find a place in their hearts to let it just be the same way that I have accepted the greatness of the party.
“I want us to know that the party is supreme to all our individual interests because it has the common good for all of us and we must find a place in our hearts to let the party reign supreme,” he said.
The Governor, who lost the party’s ticket to Sanwo-Olu in the primaries, also appealed to the leadership of the party to go a step further by looking for avenues to compensate aggrieved aspirants, saying such was necessary to spur them to work for the party and also move the party forward.
“I want to further appeal to all our leaders and our party elders also that when there is a platform for reconciliation, we should proceed also to continue to reconcile and when there is a platform for compensation, we should also make those promissory notes so that all our aspirants who are not candidates must be ready to sacrifice for the overall collective of our party.
“This is very important so that we can move this campaign forward because it is only when we win that we can compensate, it is only when we win that we can reconcile and so let us have that collective decision to move APC forward.
“We are one party and we are one family and if we are one family and one party, then we should proceed and make APC the reigning party at the centre and the reigning party in Lagos. So, all our stakeholders, all our elders, I seek for your cooperation, your solidarity and your support for our candidate at the gubernatorial level, senatorial level, House of Representatives and Assembly and also Presidency,” he said.
The governor also urged Lagosians to vote massively for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo come February 16, 2019, for the continuation of the good works in the country.
National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on his part, commended the courage of Governor Ambode and others for accepting the outcome of the primaries of the party, saying their act of sportsmanship deserved to be appreciated.
Tinubu, who said Ambode, his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, and all the leaders and members of the party had done very well in respecting the supremacy of the party, particularly blessed the Governor, his deputy, Adebule and others for respecting the party.
He said, “I want to say thank you to all of you and God bless you. I thank all of you for respecting the party, particularly the present Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and his deputy, Idiat Adebule. May God continue to bless you and guide you and you will live long with everlasting progress.
“Thank you to all our leaders, the Government Advisory Council (GAC) of Lagos State and the membership of the party who had embarked on reconciliation efforts to appeal to all our members who are initially aggrieved. The party supremacy has been demonstrated; the party discipline has been demonstrated. You are our leaders and we respect all of you,” he said.
While recalling that the direct primary option adopted for the shadow election of the party was taken after a GAC meeting, Tinubu said it was gratifying that all members of the party accepted and endorsed the decision, adding: “I want to thank you for maintaining peace, harmony, unity and love.”
He said having crossed the hurdle of the primaries, it was now time for all members of the party to unite and maintain a strong outing for APC during the 2019 general elections, declaring that APC remained committed to Nigeria’s progress, development and economic transformation.
Meanwhile, Agbaje spoke while speaking at a youth Town Hall meeting organised in honour of the the PDP’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was on campaign visit to Lagos on Monday.
Speaking in pidgin English, he said, “We have been on this for sometime and I can tell you that our campaign is for thè freedom of Lagos. We are saying no more ‘baba sope’ (godfatherism).
“The only solution (for winning) that they (APC) have now is rigging,” declaring that the ruling party in the state was now jittery of impending defeat hence it had recourse to vandalism of the PDP’s campaign assets.
“Them dey fear but I tell them sey, them never see anything yet. Over the weekend they were tearing and removing our posters and billboards.”
Agbaje continued, “When they remove our billboards; we will put another ones. When they tear our posters, we will paste new ones.
“I can assure you that as long as the people of Lagos are concerned they know who to vote for. If you go to the market and you ask the market women they will tell you that they know where to vote. All the people of the state know where to cast their votes,” he further added.