There are indications that the ongoing face off between Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the governor’s second term in 2019 may be resolved before the direct primary scheduled to hold on September 25.
Last Monday, the national leader was said to have backed a former Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mr Jide Sanwo-Olu to obtain the governorship nomination form to contest the ticket with the incumbent.
Sanwo-Olu reportedly got the support of the Mandate Group, which is loyal to Tinubu, leading to what looked like abandoning Ambode. The former commissioner is set to make his declaration to contest for governor today at Ikeja, where the entire members of APC are expected to congregate.
However, The Guardian learnt that spirited moves are ongoing to resolve the matter, even as at yesterday night. It was reported that the former interim national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande and the likes of former governor of Ogun and Ekiti states, Chief Segun Osoba and Niyi Adebayo are also being prevailed upon to appeal to Tinubu to stop Sanwao-Olu and other aggrieved members of the party who have made up their minds against Ambode.
Some of the conditions, which the party is giving the governor before he could be offered the return ticket are; he would not have any input in the appointment of commissioners and other cabinet members, he would not have any member of his interest in the State House of Assembly and National Assembly.
It was also alleged that the Governor would not spend any money throughout the second term unless stakeholders approve such.
But an inside source disclosed to The Guardian that Ambode is not likely to accept those conditions for whatever reasons.
However, some members of the party are considering the implications of not allowing the Governor to return for a second term on the party’s platform.
A source from the party said denying Ambode the ticket may amount to taking the electorate for granted, as he recalled what happened in 1992 between Mr Femi Agbalajobi and Chief Dapo Sarunmi of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which led to protest votes against the party and paved way for late Chief Michael Otedola of the National Republican Convention (NRC) to emerge governor in spite of SDP’s popularity.
The source said it is dangerous to take such risk again this time. The Guardian also learnt that if Sanwo-Olu eventually calls off his declaration scheduled to hold today or he goes ahead just as mere formality without support of the party structure, then the matter between Tinubu and his political protégé may have been resolved.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, the Mandate Group was still meeting and mobilising for Sanwo-Olu’s declaration scheduled to take off at 12 noon.