By Oladipupo Awojobi
Several sources in Alausa, the seat of Lagos State Government on Tuesday dismissed speculations that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was planning to sack all the 57 chairmen of Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State.
An online newspaper had claimed that the governor was secretly perfecting moves to sack the council chairmen on or before Friday this week for allegedly supporting another governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Jide Sanwo-Olu.
Reliable sources in the state’s Ministry of Information said that there was no iota of truth in the said report, which the online medium claimed it got wind of through a leaked information.
A top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, urged the public to ignore the report in its entirety, describing it as another hoax made in continuation of the vicious lies against the Ambode administration.
“Ordinarily, I would not have responded to this obviously planted fake news in an obscure online newspaper but since you want to find out the truth, let me tell you straight that there is no such plan.
“You see, what is happening is a well-orchestrated plan of the political detractors of the governor having seen the futility of their gang up to stop his second term bid.
“They (political detractors) know that the issue of the second term bid of Ambode has been settled but are clinging to straw in a desperate attempt to see whether the tide could change in their favour by spreading absolutely false news about the governor.
“The moment they realised their game was up, the first thing they did was to put up a letter purportedly signed by the governor announcing his withdrawal from the governorship race and endorsing Sanwo-Olu.
‘On that same day, these same people wrote a rebuttal in the name of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Habib Aruna, even without his knowledge or consent,” he said.
According to him, “You would recall that some time ago, it was rumored that former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, was the anointed candidate to take over from Ambode; the ex-speaker quickly debunked it.”
Another impeccable source, who also confirmed that the governor was not nursing any plan to sack council chiefs, said it was unfortunate that “those peddling the rumor are so bereft of ideas and cannot even come up with a reasonable allegation.
“I can confirm that many of the chairmen and indeed the political leaders in the APC are backing Governor Ambode for re-election owing to his outstanding performance in office, and they also know that it is politically dangerous for APC to go into next year’s governorship election in Lagos without an Ambode on the ballot,” the source said.