A mammoth crowd of supporters of Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday embarked on peaceful match to reaffirm their resolute commitment to the second term bid of the Governor, insisting that the All Progressives Congress (APC) must ensure a level-playing field for all aspirants in the governorship primaries rescheduled for Monday, October 1, 2018.
The supporters who came out in their hundreds, converged on the premises of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in Maryland and matched through Ikorodu Road to Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota, said Governor Ambode deserved to be allowed to be in office beyond 2019 to continue his good works in all sections and sectors of the State.
Speaking at the rally which was organised by Ambode Mandate Support Group (AMSG), Director General of the organization, Hon Hakeem Sulaimon particularly declared no confidence in the State Executive of APC led by Tunde Balogun for openly exhibiting bias towards the Governor, saying the chairman committed faux pas when he participated at briefing where another governorship aspirant was purportedly endorsed by party leaders.
While tracing the root of the problem which the Governor had with some party leaders, Sulaimon said it was unfortunate that the same character who informed the Governor not to relate with party leaders immediately after the election was now the one playing on the intelligence of members not to support the Governor for re-election.
He particularly alerted APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole to the desperate moves to fraudulently deny Governor Ambode the ticket, saying the rigging machinery was being perfected, and that the source of the company which printed party membership cards for the election was questionable.
“By this gathering, we are sending a petition to the National Executive of our party (even though we are still going to make it formal with video evidence) that ordinarily the Governor ought to have run a second term without any hindrance but the party leaders came out to say they want to run a democracy and that the Governor should face primaries. They said if Ambode was popular, he should go and face party members.
“The Governor tried not to confront the leadership and begged severally. Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari sent in emissaries to our State including just yesterday the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to come and tell the leaders that Governor Ambode is the poster boy of APC. Still, the leaders refused and now that the Governor has said he is ready for primaries, they are saying he should step down.
“A stakeholders’ meeting was called at the party secretariat yesterday and on realizing that about 85 per cent of those who were at Acme were supporters of the Governor, they could not come to Acme only to tell our supporters that the meeting has been postponed but at about 5pm, the leaders sneaked in like thieves in the night to come and tell our party members that they have adopted one Sanwo-Olu.
“We are by this medium saying to the National Chairman of our party that the State Chairman committed a faux pas; that by the constitution of our party, an umpire is not supposed to be biased and by the virtue of the fact that Balogun sat on the table and the microphone was passed to a member of the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) who reluctantly announced the decision, the State Chairman and other executive members have subscribed themselves to illegality and even though we have confidence in those who are coming from national to conduct election, but we have no confidence on the Balogun-led executive,” Sulaimon said.
He specifically asked Oshiomhole to adopt in Lagos the same position adopted by the party in Adamawa State where the hands of the State Executive members were taken away from the conduct of the primaries on the account of openly identifying with candidate, adding that by his action, Balogun had shown that he can never be fair.
He also urged APC National Working Committee to put an independent committee in place in Lagos, but that in the event that they could not do so before the primaries, the electoral committee that had been sent to the State should be granted the power to quickly look into their petition.
“We also know that the company that printed the membership card is questionable and the question on it we shall enumerate to the office of the National Chairman and National Working Committee, but what we are saying is that all members of the party who can show evidence of having registered either through the party card or slip should all be allowed to vote because all their names are on the register of our party,” Sulaimon demanded.
Meanwhile, Community Development Advisory Council, the umbrella body for over 3900 Community Development Associations (CDAs) in the State, have reaffirmed support for the second term bid of Governor Ambode.
Chairman of the council, Alhaji Tajudeen Quadri, who said this while addressing the gathering, urged members of APC and supports of the Governor not to be intimidated but come out enmasse to vote for Governor Ambode on Monday.
“On behalf of all CDAs and CDCs in Lagos State, we are reaffirming the fact that all of us are in support of the second term bid of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. We are urging all members of APC not be intimidated by those against the Governor.
“We all can see what the Governor has done. What CDA stands for is the development of our communities and we can all attest to the numerous developmental projects embarked upon by the Governor. There are 114 roads, ultra modern schools constructed in our communities across the State and more importantly, the bottom-up approach to governance adopted by the Governor. So, we are all in support of the Governor to continue his good works in office,” Quadri said.