Posted by Temidayo Akinsuyi and Ejikeme Omenazu | 2 October 2018 | 1,472 times
Ahead of today’s governorship primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, the political camps of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his challenger, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, are making last minute preparations to woo party members who will decide who becomes the party’s flag bearer in the 2019 governorship election.
The election was scheduled to hold on Monday but was abruptly called off by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party which announced that it had been postponed by 24 hours.
Though the party said the decision was taken due to logistics challenges, a credible source in the party said the postponement by the national leadership was to give ample time for Governor Ambode to rally his supporters ahead of the primary.
He said aside the presidency, many of the APC governors who are sympathetic to Ambode’s cause are happy with his decision to dare Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and take the bull by the horns.
“Many of them are giving him moral and financial support and are working behind the scene to ensure he emerges victorious today,” the source said.
He added: “Having seen what happened in Osun where the party laboured to secure victory, key stakeholders in APC, especially some governors and the party’s national leadership, are of the view that they could not afford to allow a key state to fall into the hands of the opposition because of the ambition of one man.
“If you recall what happened in the governorship election in Osun, many of the APC aspirants complained about the method that produced Oyetola but instead of placating them, they called their bluff, saying the party could win without them.
“If these folks had succeeded in placating the likes of Moshood Adeoti and Yusuf Lasun, and they had worked for the APC in the major election, the party would not have gone through the rigour of contesting a re-run election or entering into any alliance with Senator Iyiola Omisore.
“When the bubble burst and the party was on the verge of losing the election to PDP, both Tinubu and (Rauf) Aregbesola, out of ego, said they will not enter into talks with Omisore. It took the intervention of the Abuja politicians to come together to secure victory for the APC in the election,” he said.
According to another party chieftain who asked not to be named, “24 hours matters a lot in politics. Those who think Ambode will lose easily today may be in for a surprise as he enjoys the support of the Abuja politicians in APC.
“From the way the governor spoke during the press conference, you can see he exudes confidence. He doesn’t look like a man who is scared at all. As at Monday, many of those opposed to him in Lagos APC, having seen the handwriting on the wall, are now aligning with him.”
In a related development, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, the state chairman of the Lagos APC said on Monday that Governor Ambode had refused to pick his calls to him to go and collect his party membership card.
The governor, during his world press conference on Sunday, had complained of not having the party’s membership card except the paper slip, which meant he would be unable to vote in today’s governorship primary.
He alleged that there were plans to disenfranchise him and his supporters, protesting that all registered members of the party should be allowed to exercise their civic duty and choose who they want.
Reacting to Ambode’s statement, the APC chairman said several calls had been made to the governor which were unanswered, including text messages.
“It is unfortunate that in the last 24 hours, I have been on the trail of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as the party chairman with his ID card with me but, unfortunately, all my calls have had no response,” he said.
He added: “I have his card here and, few hours ago, sent him a text message telling him of this, after I made several calls in vain. I got his ADC to get the information to him and I still don’t know how to get it to him.
“If I still get a way, I will do that. I want to apologise, I have made efforts to get this card to him in the last 24 hours. The cards were sorted according to ward, it got here about five days ago. And after getting this out, I had to call him and get this information across to him but I’ve had no response. Out of respect, the party chairman has to hand this over to him.
“I will ensure that he gets it. I will continue to make my calls with respect he gets this. I am positive that this will get to him before tomorrow. I’m still in my office, anytime I know his whereabouts, know specifically where he is, I will definitely get this to him.”
Speaking with Daily Independent, Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he had been justified as recent events in Lagos APC has confirmed that Tinubu is not a democrat as he claimed in his statement on Sunday.
Bode George said, “The truth is coming out. Falsehood can only survive for just a time. Democracy is about the people, it is not about an individual. Tinubu is just shouting that he is a democrat. Recent events have shown that he is not a democrat at all.
“He appoints people to positions but people are now coming to see him for who he is. There is nothing that has a beginning without an end. This is the beginning of the end of the house of lies. It is the conspiracy that brings them together that is now tearing them apart.”
•Excerpted from a Daily Independent report
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