Ambode Takes up the Gauntlet, Ready for Primary

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Akinwunmi Ambode
  • Says his re-election will stabilise Lagos’s economy

Gboyega Akinsanmi

After weeks of sustained negotiations for a return ticket, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, wednesday affirmed that he would participate in the primary election on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday.

Ambode also said a return of the APC ticket to him would guarantee the stability of the state’s growing economy; ensure its development and growth it had witnessed over time and make sure the opposition did not take root in the state.

He conveyed his readiness for the contest in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, yesterday, noting that his decision was in line with the choice of the party in Lagos State and the validation given to the direct primary preference by the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC).

There has been uncertainty about Ambode’s re-election after the Managing Director of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat declared their intentions to challenge the governor in a primary contest.

Consequently, the Mandate Movement, a powerful political machine of the National Leader of APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, endorsed Sanwo-Olu for the governorship contest, thereby heating up the state’s political climate ahead of the primary election scheduled to hold on September 29.

Ambode’s travail had attracted the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), pleading for reprieve for the embattled governor.

With the presidential intervention, the APC leader, Tinubu, decided to consult the GAC, the state’s highest advisory political organ comprising 22 APC chieftains across the three senatorial districts.

But in its resolution, the GAC directed Ambode and two other aspirants to face the direct primary election.

But in the statement wednesday, Ambode said, “As our great party approaches Saturday, September 29, earmarked for the direct primary election to choose the candidate to fly our party’s gubernatorial flag at the next general election, I am happy to restate my commitment to participate in that process.

“I have procured and submitted my governorship nomination form and formally declared my intention to seek a second term to continue on the path of unprecedented growth and development that our state has witnessed since 2015.”

He, therefore, commended Tinubu, the State Executive Committee (SEC), the State Working Committee (SWC), GAC members; all APC members and the people of Lagos at large for their support since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.

He acknowledged that the support, understanding and prayers had indeed assisted him in no small measure in being used as an instrument through which the state had redefined the concept of greatness, growth and development.

Specifically, Ambode noted that in seeking re-election, he “is approaching the founding fathers and teeming members of the party with a grateful heart, open arms and a pledge to open and deeper attention to the concerns of this one, big family.

“A return of the party’s ticket to me will guarantee the stability of the state’s growing economy; ensure the continuation of the growth and development it has witnessed over time and ensure that the opposition does not take root in the state.”

He, therefore, congratulated other aspirants for the courage and commitment to the APC, urging party faithful “to come out in good number and vote peacefully in all the 20 local governments and 245 wards where the election will take place.”