By Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Segun James
The chance of the Lagos State gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has received a boost yesterday with the support of the 45 political parties on the platform of the Coalition of Progressives Political Parties (CPPP).
The CPPP explained that it endorsed Sanwo-Olu because he represents its vision and passion for the development of the state, while stating that there was no line of ideological demarcation between it and the ruling APC in Lagos State.
The opposition parties include Accord, Freedom and Justice Party, Unity Party of Nigeria, PPP, PPA, AMPP and GPP. The opposition leaders listed their demands, including an improved environment, improved security, resolution of the traffic snarl, correction of the LASTMA and BRT deficiency, and programmes for widows and youths.
Its leader, Aderemi Fatukasi, said, “The next 50 years of the state must cut a path to create a framework for leaders that are not only visionary, but also inspirational with a passion for development.”
A chieftain of the coalition, Akinola Obadia, said, “This is historic. It has never happened before in Lagos State. Forty-five of the 58 opposition parties in the state are supporting the APC candidate. The coast is clear for him to win next year’s election.”
At the endorsement ceremony, which held at Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu promised to appoint a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to serve as a link between his government and the parties, if elected as governor.
He was accompanied by his running mate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, his campaign manager, Tayo Ayinde, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Ademorin Kuye, Abiodun Made, Alawiye King, Nosiru Musa, Abiodun Mafe, Bayo Ajisebutu, Goke Salvador, Hameed Olorunoje, Shamusideen Olaleye, Wale Adelana, Joe Igbokwe, Sesan Daini, Remi Adikwu-Bakare, and Gboyega Akosile.
Sanwo-Olu also presented his running mate at the party’s secretariat yesterday.
Speaking, Sanwo-Olu, said that he has confidence that Hamzat would work with him effectively as his running mate, adding that Lagos will be better it with the caliber of Hamzat being his running mate if voted into office.
“I am here to confirm that the party in consultation with myself, we have decided to formally unveil and to publicly present the candidacy of my running mate, Dr. Obafemi Kadiri Hamzat.
“Dr. Hamzat and myself have being players in the same political matters for many years. We have being friends and brothers for close to two decades now. He is a man of deep intellectual knowledge. He is a man of high level of integrity. He is a man that I have worked closely with in different service.
“He is competent and I know he is somebody that I know very well and will help me and together, we will take Lagos to the level that we are promising; a level that will enhance all of us. He is a technocrat and politician who have also worked in the private and public sector. He is a gentleman that I personally respect a lot and dare say that Lagos will be better and enrich with the caliber of Dr. Hamzat being my running mate.”
In his acceptance speech, Hamzat said Sanwo-Olu and himself understand what it takes to cook what Lagosians will eat.
“Lagos is dear to all of us. And if Nigeria will be great, which by God’s grace we will; Lagos must be great. And as such our party decided to look for a candidate like Mr. Sanwo-Olu, who has the experience, integrity and capability to run the affairs of this state. We are now a global village and what we do in Lagos affect everywhere in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
“So, I am very happy. I feel very happy and I feel a sense of responsibility that the party after sitting together, have selected me to be his running mate so that we can work together with our experience. We have known each other for over 15 years professionally and personally. So, we have the chemistry and I dare say that we understand the geography of Lagos.
“Mr. Sanwo-Olu and myself, we understand what it takes to cook what Lagosians will eat. So, we will display that very soon. The campaign will start and we will show Lagosians that we are a team with APC that can take Lagos to the next level. So, I am very happy and on behalf of myself and my family, I want to thank Mr. Sanwo-Olu and the party leaders for their decision to appoint me as the running mate.”