Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has denied a newspaper report alleging that he was working with the agents of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded presidential election. Rather, he said, he is busy working for the election of the Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwoolu.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Habib Aruna, noted that the report published in The Nation newspaper attempted to hold Governor Ambode responsible for the alleged activities of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi because the latter supported the governor’s ambition for re-election during the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in October 2018. He said that having publicly declared his acceptance of the decision of the decision of the party on the party’s governorship primaries, he would never take any action to undermine the prospects of the party in the ongoing elections.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has been drawn to a report in today’s edition of The Nation newspaper, Friday March 1, 2019. “Specifically, the contentious report, which was published on the newspaper’s front page without any by-line, insinuated that Governor Ambode might be working with an opposition party through a former member of the Lagos State Executive Council and Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Mr. Wale Oluwo. “The report also attempted to hold the Governor responsible for the alleged activities of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi because he supported the governor’s gubernatorial ambition during the primaries of the All Progressives Congress in October 2018.
“The governor wishes to make it abundantly clear that, having declared publicly his acceptance of the decision of the party on the primaries, he has not and will never take any action to undermine the prospects of the party in the on-going elections. “It is human to aspire, and the capacity of each individual to manage the negative outcomes of a legitimate aspiration differs. But that should never be the basis to link His Excellency to whatever action of certain individuals who might have shared his vision in the past but have proceeded to pursue their own interests as adults and citizens without any influence from or recourse to the governor.
“Governor Ambode’s decision to stand by the party that has given him the platform to serve Lagosians meritoriously is based on the principle of justice, responsibility and loyalty. “He has everything to gain from the victory of the party’s candidate Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State on March 9, 2019, and he looks forward to handing over the affairs of the state to the candidate of the APC come May 29th. “It is therefore disturbing, unfair and sad that a respected medium such as The Nation, which enjoys the goodwill of members of our party and is appropriately positioned to verify the falsehood of these fictitious and sponsored hatchet job chose not to observe the journalistic dictum of “if in doubt, leave out” in the breach.
“In this circumstance, His Excellency hereby makes use of his right to a rejoinder and demands an apology for the unjustifiable aspersions cast on his person by wrongly presenting him to right thinking members of the public as a disloyal saboteur trying to frustrate his party’s campaign and electoral victory. Nothing can be further from the truth. “Governor Ambode has consistently appealed to those who sympathise with him that the best way to express solidarity is to vote for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress on Saturday March 9, 2019 in order to ensure that his own legacy is preserved and the gains of the past four years are improved upon “As we move towards next Saturday’s important election, Governor Ambode urges Lagosians and party faithful not to allow fifth columnists pretending to be overzealous crusaders frustrate our onerous efforts to take Lagos State to the next level.
“The governor says as he did in the run-up to last Saturday’s presidential poll, he will leave no stone unturned and spare no effort in ensuring that the party’s flag-bearer in the governorship election, Mr. SanwoOlu and all the 40 APC candidates in the House of Assembly poll are duly elected on Saturday March 9.