The ruling party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu has endorsed Jide Sanwo-Olu as the preferred candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the upcoming governorship election in Lagos, ending weeks of speculation about where he stands on the stand-off between the challenger and incumbent governor, Akinwumi Ambode.
In a statement Sunday evening, Tinubu said the blueprint of Lagos State, his brainchild between 1999-2007, has been deviated from by Mr Ambode, calling on APC members in Lagos to reject the governor at the primaries on Monday.
The statement comes shortly after Ambode used a televised press conference to launch a barrage of personal attacks against Mrs Sanwo-Olu, ridiculing him as an alleged criminal and mental health patient before proclaiming him unfit for governor on those grounds.
Mr Sanwo-Olu has not responded to the attacks, but his aides said a decision is being made between holding a counter presser or simply drafting a statement in response.
Sanwo-Olu has served Lagos State in several capacity, including as commissioner.
He has emerged as the front-runner for the APC governorship ticket since he purchased his party nomination form about two weeks ago. His candidacy, which had long been rumoured as the handiwork of Tinubu, was propelled by the endorsement of 36 out of 40 House of Assembly members and all the 57 local council chairpersons.
…Sanwo-Olu arrested for fraud, was in rehab – Ambode opens up
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has stated that Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the preferred candidate of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s camp, is unfit to rule the state.
He said this during a world press conference at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday.
Giving reasons, Ambode claimed that Sanwo-Olu was sometimes ago arrested for fraud in the United States and had also been in a rehabilitation centre.
He also denied reports that he was planning to step down for Sanwo-Olu.
“We have never responded to the campaign of calumny on social media. We have one family in APC.
“The aspirant being put up to compete against us is not a fit and proper person to take this job.
“I have done everything in the last three and half years to serve people selflessly and to serve the poor.
“This particular aspirant is somebody that has been arrested for spending fake dollars in a nightclub in America, and he has been detained for months.
“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. Our leadership should have a rethink.
“I plead with our leaders to have a rethink, It is not about me, it is about the opportunity that APC has.”
…Sanwo-Olu fires back over fraud, drug abuse claims
A Lagos governorship aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has responded to claims made by the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, during his world press conference yesterday.
Sanwo-Olu, in his statement, called for respect and insisted that “my pursuit of office will continue to be based upon issues that matter to Lagosians and not on attacks against someone’s character, even when he attack mine”.
He also stated that he has forgiven Ambode ahead of Monday’s primary and “hopes he regains his balance and proper comportment no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s contest”.
In his statement he said, “Let it be heard by all that I hold the people of Lagos state with great respect and affection. Their welfare is my utmost concern and it is what drives my pursuit for the governorship nomination of the APC. As such, I also hold the office of governor of our state in high esteem. I shall never consciously do anything that will undermine the dignity of the office nor will I engage in personal attacks against the holder of that officer.
“I felt sad for Lagos as I watched Press Conference by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. Many things he said was beneath the dignity of our people and the exalted office he now holds. Perhaps the tension and anxiety of the moment got the better of him. If given a chance at cooler reflection of what he said, I am sure he would regret his descent into such low conduct. In this vein, I forgive him and hope he regains his balance and proper comportment no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s contest. After all, we are both here to improve Lagos not to wrestle in its streets.
“However, I must clear up some inaccuracies in the Governor’s statement. His allegation of that I was arrested for spending fake dollars at a night club in the United States was untrue. In fact, the governor knows I travelled to the United States just last month. I would not have been allowed to travel or even get a visa if I had been involved in what the Governor falsely alleged.
“That the Governor claimed I underwent some unidentified type of “rehabilitation” at the Gbagada General Hospital was also shameless and untrue. Promulgation of salacious rumor should not be part of the job description of a governor. This is not the stuff of high office. People should question whether it is ethically right for the Governor to turn what should be confidential medical information about a citizen into a weapon of political warfare? But for avoidance of doubt, let it be stated that I never received any treatment whatsoever at the Gbagada General Hospital.”