HOPE RISES FOR GOV AMBODE 2ND TERM AS TINUBU MULLS PARDON FOLLOWING A
MEETING AGAIN WITH PRESIDENT BUHARI, SOME APC GOVERNORS AND PARTY LEADERS
Fortune may smile on Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) steps up pressure on National Leader Bola Tinubu to back the incumbent’s re-election. The duo has been at loggerheads, with Tinubu supporting a former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, ahead of the September 29 primary to select the party’s flag-bearer.
Sanwo-Olu reportedly has the nod of the powerful Mandate Group, which is loyal to Tinubu. But indications that the crisis might be resolved in favour of Ambode became apparent following a meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and some APC governors on Tuesday.
This was at the mega rally for Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, APC’s aspirant in Saturday’s Osun State gubernatorial election. The party’s leadership was said to have pleaded with Tinubu to let go of his grievances and allow Ambode return for a second term. It was learnt that former governors of Osun and Ogun States, Chief Bisi Akande and Aremo Segun Osoba, started the peace overture, as they led Ambode to entreat the national leader.
The move might have been pre-planned, as Ambode rarely attends such occasions. His appearance in Osogbo, alongside his wife Bolanle, therefore gave rise to this suspicion. Sources said Tinubu, out of respect for Akande and Osoba, promised to let pass his grouse. But with a condition: his political loyalists in Lagos, who have made up their minds that Ambode must go, must be consulted.
The two advocates then led the incumbent to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who is perhaps the closest loyalist of Tinubu. On the advice of the former governors, Ambode was said to have prostrated pleadingly, while the Osun governor expressed his grudges and those of Lagos party members. He also explained why the members insisted they wanted Ambode out.
One of the sins Aregbesola noted was Ambode’s alleged moves to destroy his (Aregbesola’s) political structure in Lagos West, especially in Alimosho. He said Ambode kept him waiting for several hours.