By Oladipupo Awojobi
Despite media reports that former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, is gunning for the chairmanship of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, a source close to the senator said he was not keen on vying for the post.
Some of the prominent members of the party whose names had been mentioned in media reports on the chairmanship race were Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon (aka GOS), Alhaji Mutiu Are and Senator Afikuyomi.
But a source close to Afikuyomi said the senator was not interested in the Lagos APC chairmanship race.
“To be honest with you Afikuyomi is not keen on this. It is party members that feel he has all that would be required to drive a successful election campaign in Lagos that are rooting for him, because they see him as a major political strategist.
“I know that he would have loved to be the national chairman of the party, but the slot has been zoned to the South South and a strong and capable candidate is in the race,” the source said.
Noting that Afikuyomi has always been a key player in the electoral battle of the ruling parties in Lagos State since 1999, including manning the ‘war room’ of the various elections, the source said that may be the reason why some members of the party were rooting for him.
The source however said if Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is the leader of the party, persuades Afikuyomi to join the race, he would have no other option than to comply.
“But for now, I know it is not true that he is vying for Lagos APC chairmanship,” the source said.
Party members in the state began to signify their intentions to vie for the chairmanship of the party following the directive of Tinubu that executive members, who had served for more than two terms should give room for others to occupy the seats.
With Tinubu’s directive, which he personally announced to party members at their stakeholders’ meeting held at the party secretariat on ACME Road, Ikeja last month, it became imperative for many members of the state executive, including the Chairman, Chief Henry Dele Ajomale, to shelve their bids to seek reelection.
The party held congresses across the country starting with Ward Congresses on Saturday May 6, its Local Government Congresses on Saturday May 13, while the state Congresses in all the 36 states of the federation are scheduled to hold on Saturday May 19.