Lagos APC Picks Salvador, Six Others to Screen Ambode, Others

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Aregbesola behind gov’s woes, not Tinubu, says group

Segun James

The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has set up a seven-member committee to screen aspirants for the October 4 state assembly primary.

This is coming as the United Broom Movement (UBM), a political bloc within the APC in the state has reiterated that the man responsible for the woes of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is the Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.

The state Chairman of the party, Tunde Balogun, inaugurated the committee yesterday at the ACME road secretariat of the party.

Members of the committee include: former deputy-governor of the state, Femi Pedro; the Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris; a party chieftain, Wale Oshun; and member of the party’s Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Abayomi Finnih.

Moshood Salvador, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, who joined APC officially last Saturday, is also among members of the committee.

Speaking with journalists after the closed-door inauguration, Balogun said the setting up of the committee was in preparation for the state assembly primary.

He said the committee, which would begin work on Wednesday and finish on Friday, was to ensure that aspirants met the requirements to contest in the primary.

Balogun explained that each of the members of the committee would chair a sub-committee with members, to respond to the high number of aspirants.

“We have a large number of people who are to be screened to contest in the state house of assembly primary.

“We have 40 seats in the state and over 230 aspirants are to be screened.

“This is a large number, and that is why each member of the committee is chairing a sub-committee to rise up to the challenge.

“We are prepared for this enormous job, and and we are even expecting members from the national secretariat to do the work,” he said.

He assured that the committee would carry out its responsibility without let or hindrance. On the inclusion of Salvador in the committee, Balogun said it reflected the party’s promise that all defectors would be treated equally like the others. The chairman said the APC would not renege on its promise to ensure new members were fully integrated.

He described the excitement generated by the emergence of two challengers to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the party’s governorship ticket as good for internal democracy.

Balogun said that the emergence of a former commissioner of establishment and training, Jide Sanwo-Olu and a former commissioner of works, Obafemi Hamzat, reflected the beauty of democracy.

Meanwhile, the United Broom Movement (UBM), a political bloc within the APC in Lagos state has reiterated that the man responsible for the woes of Ambode is Aregbesola.

According to the UBM’s leader, Mr. Fouad Oki, who had in last June, cried out the Osun State Governor was after Ambode, Aregbesola is the head of the Mandate Group, which is the dominant group under former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political family.

He said it was the group that is insisting on the removal of Ambode.

“Its members cut across every community, city and shanty of the state. It has its highest concentration in Alimosho Local Government Area, which is about the largest local government in the state. In most cases, it is the votes from Alimosho that determine who win major elections in the state.

“The direct control of the Mandate Group is within the domain of Governor Aregbesola, who is the second-in-command in the Bola Tinubu political circuit in the state.”

According to Mr. Dayo Williams, a member of the UBM, “the alleged face-off between Governor Ambode and Tinubu is actually between Aregbesola and Ambode over the latter’s neglect of the socioeconomic interests of the Mandate Group. Have you seen those on the Campaign Committee of Jide Sanwo-Olu? They are die-hard supporters of Aregbesola. Go check the list again. Most of those who accuse Tinubu of imposing candidates on the APC don’t even know how he operates.

“Whatever candidate you see Tinubu backing in Lagos State in any election is the consensus choice of the biggest power bloc within the party. This means that time without numbers, Tinubu has to defer to the interest of the bloc which happens after countless deliberations must have taken place,” he said.