LAGOS GOVERNORSHIP: 5 Secrets Ambode Revealed About Lagos APC
So, the incumbent governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode is battling for a return ticket to Alausa.
But the odds against him appear to be mounting beyond redemption, as his former godfather, Bola Tinubu has thrown his weight behind Deji Sanwo-Olu.
However, it also seems the governor would not just go down without a fight. On Sunday, he decided to address a world press conference.
Here are 5 things the governor said about the All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos that we didn’t know before now.
Could this internal rift threaten the party’s dominance in Lagos?
1. Ambode Operates Outside Of APC’s Power Structure: Ambode may be governor of Lagos. But when it comes to a network of influences that determine what happens in Lagos APC, he may not be found.
And the governor seems to confirm this when he stated at the press conference that he was yet to receive the party’s guidelines on the primary election as on Sunday evening.
The election was supposed to hold on Monday.
He said: “The primaries are taking place tomorrow, (Monday) we believe strongly, even though tomorrow is our Independence Day, it is important that everybody is prepared for the primaries.
“As we speak, the national headquarters of our party has sent the election committee to Lagos, but I am yet to receive the guidelines. I am an aspirant in tomorrow's competition.”
2. The National And State Leadership of The Party Are Divided On Ambode’s Ambition: As you know, in politics, there are bound to be several camps, representing several interests even within a party.
However, the role of a leader of any party is always to find a way of harmonizing these interests. From what is playing out in Lagos, it is obvious the leadership of the APC is struggling to meet to this obligation.
While we haven’t heard much from the national leadership of the party about the tussle in Lagos, it would be easy to imagine that the situation would have been quite different if the leadership of the party had a consensus candidate.
3. Ambode Believes His Opponent Lacks Credibility: In Ambode’s words at the press conference: “Do not let us go too far but we know and that is the truth.
“We don't want to talk about all the things that we know but we know that our leaders should have a rethink because the truth is this. I will not stand here on the mandate of Lagosians and allow our great party, APC to fritter away the opportunity by putting in somebody that the opposition will take out because of lack of credibility.
“So, I think our leaders should have a rethink, this is not about me but about the greater opportunity which APC stands for, to change the progress of Nigeria together.”
He continued by pointing out that his opponent had been involved in fraud and undergone rehabilitation in the past for undisclosed health issues.
4. New APC Members In Lagos May Be Disenfranchised: According to Ambode during the press conference, millions of recently admitted APC members in the state stand to be disenfranchised because the party is considering the party’s register of those that were only admitted 4 years ago.
This is what Amode said: “We are committed to the outcome of the primaries. We are committed to the tenets and principles of our great party but what we will not want to accept is to disenfranchise all the millions of people that we have been able to bring into the APC fold just by our mere performances.
“So, what we heard or what we have is that there is a register that is being brought to the state of which only include those that are registered with APC since 2014.”
He asked: “What about all the millions of other supporters of APC that we have brought into the fold till date?"
5. Ambode May Not Even Be Able To Vote: As it turns out, Ambode does not even have a membership card. What he has is a membership slip - Something similar to what NIMC issues you after enrolling for national ID card, but the banks won’t touch it.
“Now they say, this is the membership slip that I have, I don't have a membership card, so are you saying that I as a governor will not be entitled to vote tomorrow?” Ambode had lamented during the press conference.
He added: “The national headquarters and electoral committee need to make adjustments and amendment to this. All the people that have registered as members of APC should be entitled to vote in the direct primaries, that is how we entrench the democratic values that we are all preaching.
“So, if someone like me can be disenfranchised because I don't have a card, what happens to other members of APC? We believe that these things can be corrected, and we should allow everybody to come out and exercise their civic duties and right and choose whoever they want as their gubernatorial candidate for APC.”
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