Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the first time since the disagreement between him and his godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has publicly issued a statement attacking his opponent in today’s Lagos APC primary election.
Ambode alleges that his opponent, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who enjoys the support of Tinubu, is not fit and credible to run Lagos State.
He revealed that Sanwo-Olu was once arrested for spending fake US dollar at a nightclub in the United States, adding that he was also a patient at the Gbagada General Hospital, where he had gone for rehabilitation.
“The aspirant that has been put up to contest against us is not a fit and proper person to take this job.
“This particular aspirant is somebody that has been arrested for spending fake dollars in a nightclub in America, and was detained for months.
“It is also known that he doesn’t have the competence to do what he is being propelled to do. This is somebody that has gone for rehabilitation before. The records are there at the Gbagada General Hospital.
“We don’t want to go too far; we don’t want to talk about all the things that we know; but what we want is for our leadership to have a rethink because the truth is this, I will not stand here on the mandate of Lagosians and allow our great party APC to put in somebody that the opposition will easily take out because of lack of credibility.”
Governor Ambode who feels confident ahead of the primary election urged the National Working Committee of the ruling party to ensure that the election was free, fair and credible.
He expressed concern that less than 24 hours to the primaries, membership cards had yet to be distributed, saying that it would be injustice to deny newly registered members of the Lagos APC the opportunity to exercise their franchise.
“We believe that it is in the greater interest of the party to allow reason to prevail and allow every contestant to come out and show their strength. I believe strongly that it is in the interest of the country that our party should activate as much as possible all the democratic values that our party has always been known for and that is what I stand for,” he said.
“I believe that the preparations are still ongoing, but there are some few things that we still need to iron out and I believe that the chairman of our great party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, will be able to correct some of these things that we have noticed.
“We are committed progressives; we are committed to the outcome of the primaries, but what we will not accept is the disenfranchisement of millions of people that we have been able to bring into the APC fold just by our performance. What we heard is that there is a register that is being brought into the state which has only those who have registered since 2014. What about all the millions of members of APC that we have gotten in from 2015 till date?
“I take my own membership slip anywhere I go and now they say it is only the membership slip that I have; I don’t have a membership card and so the question is; are they saying that I as a governor will not be entitled to vote tomorrow (Monday)? So, the national headquarters and the electoral committee need to make immediate adjustment to this.
“All the people that have registered as members of APC should be entitled to vote in the direct primaries; that is how we entrench the democratic values that we are all preaching. So, if someone like me can be disenfranchised because I don’t have a card, what happens to ordinary members of APC? We believe strongly that this can be corrected by allowing everybody to come out and exercise their civic duty and civic right to choose who will represent them as the gubernatorial candidate for APC. So, I plead with the NWC, I plead with our party chairman and even all the people that are interested in this whole process that we should do the right thing; we should make the process credible and I believe with God on our side, we would come out triumphant,” Ambode said.
“Beyond this, we will be jeopardising the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket – which I am 100 per cent standing for – by promoting another aspirant who will not be able to sell the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket.”
“Party leaders and even party members have been misled to understand that this (Sanwo-Olu) is a better candidate than me. I have done everything in the last three and half years to serve the people selflessly and to serve the poor and that is why you see that most of the projects you have seen are to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and the only way out for us is to continue to do that in the next four years.
“We plead with all our leaders. They should have a rethink; this is not about me, but about the greater opportunities that APC stands to better the progress of Lagos and Nigeria,” he said.
The governor further noted that his government will not seat and watch as political thugs disrupt the peace in Lagos.
He said that reports have it that there was an ongoing recruitment and arming of political thugs to disrupt the peace the state enjoys ahead of the primary elections.
“It has become imperative to put every stakeholder on notice, especially the Federal Government and security agencies, to take more than a passing interest in the development in this state.
“The state government will do all within its powers in collaboration with relevant security agencies to protect our citizens and insulate them from any condition that may breed insecurity or the breakdown of law,” Mr. Ambode said.