…Gov’s support base swells as campaign group steps up mobilization
…237 councillors, 3900 community associations, others back second term bid
The Ambode Mandate Support Group (AMSG) on Saturday faulted reports in the media purportedly quoting the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos, asking the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to withdraw his second term bid, saying that such directive was inimical to the democracy which the party preaches.
Reacting to the purported endorsement of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu by the GAC and shift of the party primary earlier scheduled for Sunday, September 30, Director General of AMSG, Hon. Hakeem Sulaimon said the sudden turn of events does not augur well for democracy and unity of the party.
“I don’t think the GAC would have done such a thing as represented by Senator Anthony Adefuye, because a few days ago, the GAC came out to say that they have resolved that His Excellency the Governor will not be granted the same privilege granted fellow governors in other States and that every aspirant should go for the primaries.
“They (GAC members) were the ones who equally said before now that why was the Governor afraid of the primary and if they said why was the Governor afraid of the primary and the Governor has now told them that okay, I am ready for the primary, the next question we should ask is why are they afraid of going for the primary?
“The party said we are in a democracy and all the three aspirants should run, now they have shifted ground and they are asking the Governor to step down for another aspirant, why are they saying so if they are preaching about democracy?
“Giving this development, we are alerting Lagosians that having seen the turnout of party faithful in the meeting that the party called today and the supporters of His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who had about 87 per cent of the crowd that was there, they have now all of a sudden postponed the primary that we are prepared for. We hope they are not trying to do anything that would create problem in this peace-loving State,” Sulaimon queried.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s second term bid got a major boost on Saturday as major stakeholders in the party threw their weight behind him and pledged their full support to ensure he emerges victorious at the governorship primaries.
Addressing journalists at the campaign office, Sulaimon, said they were confident that Governor Ambode would fly the party’s flag at the 2019 elections as the group had received overwhelming support from several quarters for the Governor.
“We had a meeting here yesterday and the Chairman of all LGA Chairmen in Lagos State was here and she spoke on behalf of her colleagues as having endorsed His Excellency Mr Akinwunmi Ambode. Here also yesterday, we equally had about 200 ward chairmen here in that meeting and they were equally led by their chairman who is the chair of chair of all ward chairmen in the State
“You see, what truly constitute the structure of the party is the ward and of course the LGA. Beyond the ward and the LGA, we also have the Councilors because we have 377 of the creation of Lagos State Councilors; we have 377 of the creation of Lagos State ward chairmen and so on.
“But again, just this morning, we had an assembly of over 237 Councilors here and at the end of the day, in giving the vote of thanks, one of them stood up to say they were now convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the only person that would work for their interest and that they have realized that the most endangered political class are the councilors and that they would ensure that they work for His Excellency the Governor in their respective wards and they have assured us that we would get victory.
“We have had also groups within the party, we have had the Ndigbos who are party members; we have had market men and women who are party members and of course the biggest endorsement any one can ever get can only come from Community Development Committee (CDCs) and Community Development Associations (CDAs) because everyone of us is a member of one CDA or the other and if all the 3900 CDAs in Lagos State have openly endorsed His Excellency and their representative still came here yesterday to affirm that same endorsement and if you look at this as translating to acceptance, those who are claimed to have endorsed the others, we are supposed to do direct primary if we are going to do that anyway and in direct primary, every vote must count; and at the stakeholders meeting today, 85 per cent of the people in that assembly are actually supporters of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode,” Sulaimon said.