For the umpteenth time, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shelved the rescheduled governorship primary in Lagos to Tuesday, October 2.
The exercise was slated for Saturday, September 30 but was later shifted Monday and now to Tuesday.
The acting national secretary of the party, Mr. Yekini Nabena who gave no reason for the postponement, said in a statement that the national working committee of the APC had also rescheduled the governorship primaries in Enugu and Adamawa states and changed the mode of selection in the two states from indirect to direct primaries.
It would be recalled that the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, is being challenged by the former special adviser, commissioner for establishment, training and pensions, and managing director of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu is widely believed to have the support of the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who commands tremendous loyalty amongst party members, especially the delegates who would vote in the primary to decide the party’s standard bearer in 2019 election.
Tinubu is believed to have ditched Ambode because of irreconcilable differences between them despite the governor’s insistence that he and Tinubu are like Siamese twins.
“I want you to know that there is no fight anywhere. The national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and my good self, we are not in any fight, we are not in any controversy.
“We are praying to God that the best is yet to come and the best will be what Lagos State deserves and I want you to just continue with your prayers that at this time, God will show His hand and make sure that everything that is of blessing to Lagos State and also blessing of Epe will come to pass,” he said.
Some of Ambode’s alleged “sins” include sidelining party elders and the advisory council in policies and affairs of the state since his emergence as governor in 2015.
Ambode was asked to step down to avoid the humiliation of a sitting governor losing his party’s ticket a suggestion which the governor has shunned to declare his readiness to contest his return ticket for next year’s election.
But an indication that Tinubu has parted ways with Ambode and endorsed Sanwo-Olu as his (Ambode’s) successor came on Sunday, September 30 when he (Tinubu) said subtly in a statement that the governor had deviated from the developmental blueprint of Lagos and urged delegates to reject him at the primary
“Roughly 20 years ago, a corps of dedicated and patriotic Lagosians, put aside personal interests and rivalries, to put their minds and best ideas together for the good of the state. Out of this collaborative effort, was born a master plan for economic development that would improve the daily lives of our people.
“Bestowed on me was the honour of a lifetime when I was elected to be your governor in 1999. My administration faithfully implemented that plan. The government of my immediate successor, Tunde Fashola, also honoured this enlightened plan.
“Where state government remained true to that blueprint, positive things happened. During my tenure and Governor Fashola’s, Lagos state recorded improvements in all aspects of our collective existence, from public health to public sanitation, from education to social services, from the administration of justice to the cleaning of storm and sewage drains. Businesses, large and small, invested, hired millions of workers and thrived.
“All Lagosians were to fully participate and justly benefit from the social dividends and improvements wrought by this plan. We all were to be partners in a monumental but joint enterprise. None was to be alienated. None was to be left out. And none were to be pushed aside.
“I make no pretence that the master plan is perfect. It can always be fine-tuned. However, whenever a government departed from this plan without compelling reason, the state and its people have borne the painful consequence of the improper departure.
“To ignore this blueprint for progress in order to replace it with ad-hoc schemes of a materially inferior quality contravenes the spirit of progressive governance and of our party. Such narrowness of perspective does not bring us closer to our appointed destination; it takes us farther from that destiny.
“For reasons unknown to me and most Lagosians, we have experienced such deviations from enlightened governance recently.
“This trend is that which most concerns me as the primary nears. We must arrest this trend before irreparable harm is committed against the people and their future. For the record, let it be known that I shall vote in this primary because I see it as one of extreme import to our state and our party. Just as I shall vote, I equally urge all party members to do so.
“We must vote in a manner that returns Lagos to its better path, the one that promises a just chance for all to enjoy the fruits of our prosperity. We must always pursue our goal of a Lagos energised by creative dynamism, tolerance of others, and guided by a leadership capable of extending a collegial hand to all stakeholders, far and wide.
“I am encouraged by the emergence of a candidate in this primary who has served the state in senior positions in my administration, the Fashola administration and even in the current one.
“Most importantly, he understands the importance of the blueprint for development. He esteems it as a reliable and well-conceived vehicle for the future development of the state. He also knows the value of reaching out and working with others in order to maximize development and provide people the best leadership possible,” said Tinubu.