…Electoral panel declares Sanwo-Olu winner with 970,851 votes, Ambode 72,901 votes
…Lagos Gov concedes defeat, congratulates Sanwo-Olu, says progress of Lagos non-negotiable
Following the defeat on Tuesday of the incumbent Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in the state, which was won by the anointed candidate of the leaders of the party, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, some stakeholders in the party have given reasons why the mass of the members of the party in the state turned their back on the governor.
This is even as the governor has accepted defeat in the primary election and congratulated the winner, Sanwo-Olu, on his victory, promising to work with him in the interest of a greater Lagos.
A leader of the APC in Mushin area of Lagos, who would not want to be named, accused the governor of running an exclusive government where the views and opinions of the people are not sought on any issue, but rather the governor only consults with his kitchen cabinet, alleging that the governor is not receptive to ideas and opinions even when offered.
He also accused the governor of deviating sharply from the policies and programmes of his predecessors.
He said: “We now have a dirtier Lagos because of the policy he brought up through Visionscape and he is not ready to listen to advise given to him by leaders.
“The idea of PSP is to engage people at the grassroots, even though operators of the PSP are leaders of the party at the grassroots, the idea is to engage those people locally.
“Just like the issue of community policing, you cannot properly police an environment if you are not part of that environment, so the issue of carting away of refuse is being done locally at the hinterland and these are the people involved in it.
“Again the issue of road network, there is potholes everywhere; traffic in Lagos at peak hours has increased drastically.”
Reminded that Ambode tried dealing with the issue of traffic by building better bus stops to remove traffic from the roads, he said: “Tell me, how many general hospitals did he build in the last three years?
None, unlike his predecessor, Fashola. Fashola built about 12 general hospitals. The health sector in the state is suffering, you are building bus stops yet the roads are not good.
“You are getting money from source from the local government allocation, yet the inner roads at the hinterlands are bad. That aside, the Airport Road, Fashola said there is money set aside to construct that road, as Federal project. He said no he wants to handle it by himself and started blackmailing Fashola that he is not giving him room to operate.
“You don’t also burn the bridge through which you rose to power. The party leaders were the ones who supported you against all odds. Asiwaju supported you, other party leaders supported you, when you got to office, you didn’t listen to them again, you would not take their advise, you don’t play God.
“The man is very mean and arrogant. The reason is not farfetched, the man is not a politician, he is a civil servant, he is not versed in governance, administration and politics.
His own specialised area is accounting and governance goes beyond accounting. Really I am very happy the man lost, it is a personal victory for me that the man is not going for second term,” he said.
Also speaking earlier before the primary about the grouse of political leaders have against the governor, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, said:
“First, it is very very unfortunate that the sitting governor could find himself in this mess, it is quite unfortunate because if he has done more of listening, he would not be where he is today.
“Secondly is that he should not forget when he was brought to us. He should not forget when he was introduced to the politicians, he was never a politician but part of the civil service, before he retired.
“When he was brought to us, we fought and stood with him without money. He had no money. The other opponent had enough money to spend.
I am sure if you could remember, there were many adverts in the newspapers, front and cover pages, then we didn’t collect one kobo from him when we were asked to vote for him. What works in Lagos is not money politics, what works in Lagos is loyalty and structure.
“So, my advice to him is to reach out to the leaders and abide by their advice because of tomorrow. We don’t want him to go down in history as the Governor that came but never returned.
“You remember that in Fashola’s second term he had minor issues, but it was quickly nipped in the bud. This one started long time ago and it was not nipped in the bud.
That is why he found himself where he is today. The entire structure is for Sanwo-Olu. You know as politicians, we will deceive you and laugh, we would lie to you that we have capacity, but when the time comes, the capacity is nowhere, it is unfortunate, but that is politics”.
However, in congratulating his opponent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor Ambode said that the progress of the state and interest of the party remained paramount over and above any personal interests.
According to Ambode in a state broadcast on Wednesday, he said he had remained in the vanguard of ensuring that Lagos made tremendous progress in his time as governor, becomes a state to be reckoned with in the nation.
The Daily Times recalls that the state primary election was marred in widespread controversy, with allegations in some quarters that some of the governor’s supporters were denied their franchise in some wards.
It was also reported that the governor refused to vote in his ward, saying that the party had not put all necessary modalities in place for the conduct of the election.
This and other perceived anomalies had necessitated the Governorship Primary election Committee set up by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and led by Chief Clement Ebri to declare the results of the election a nullity, even though the state party chairman had endorsed the results.
However, the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, overruled the position. But Clement Ebri, Chairman of the Committee, later clarified that after resolving some of the hiccups,
the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee collated the results from the 245 Wards in the 20 Local Government Area (LGAs) from the collating officers and that at the end of the exercise, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode scored 72,901, while Babajide Sanwo-Olu scored 970,851 of the votes cast.
Following these results, therefore, the Chairman of the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee confirmed Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner, as earlier pronounced by the Lagos State chairman of the party, Mr. Tunde Balogun and endorsed by the party’s national chairman.
Conceding victory, Ambode said: “Dear Lagosians, APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved state must always supercede that of any person or group.
It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and urge all Lagosians to immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election and work for the success of our dear party.
“The progress of Lagos State is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your governor and one to which I will forever be devoted”.
Governor Ambode stated that the last few days had witnessed intense political activities that had gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity.
He said he strongly believed that the time had now come for the state to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years were not lost.
He added: “As governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new governor, come May 2019.
“I therefore appeal to all our party members that we remain one family and unite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward.
“I wish to use this opportunity to thank our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the leadership of our great party at state and national levels, all party faithfuls and all Lagosians.”
Ambode also thanked all Lagosians for their faith and trust in him, and urged them not to relent in their support for the APC as the party prepares for the General Elections.