Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, battle Ambode for Lagos APC governorship ticket

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*Ambode, Hamzat, Sanwo-Olu

The managing director of the Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC), Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu, has picked up the nomination and expression of interest forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the governorship of Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu who severed in Bola Tinubu’s administration as commissioner for commerce and industry is said to be the latter’s preferred candidate for the job in 2019.

It was gathered that the relationship between the national leader of the APC Tinubu and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had gone awry hence his (Tinubu’s) choice of Sanwo-Olu.

It was also learnt that over 50 council chairmen loyal to Tinubu, had met and pledged their support to Sanwo-Olu.

The council chairmen, it should be noted, are the most influential grassroots mobilisers under the direct primary system adopted by APC to pick governorship candidates.

Most members of the Lagos house of assembly are also loyal to Tinubu.

“Ambode is out. Jide Sanwo-Olu is the new governor of Lagos. All 57 local government chairmen have signed his form. It’s over,” said a source.

Also in the race for the governorship seat is the former commissioner for works and infrastructure in the state, Mr. Femi Hamzat.

Hamzat, who is believed to be another confidant of Tinubu, picked up his nomination and expression of interest forms at the headquarters of the APC in Abuja.

It would be recalled that Ambode had officially declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019 on the platform of the APC when he picked nomination and expression of interest forms at the APC headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

Addressing residents and party faithful who gathered to witness his declaration in Alausa, the governor recalled how the journey began four years ago when he called on Lagosians to join him in a journey of selfless service to build a secure and prosperous state driven by a vibrant economy and supported by quality service, equity and justice.

He said it was gratifying that the people believed in him and gave their support, adding that he remains undaunted and resolutely committed to achieve more for the state.

“In the last three and a half years, I have fulfilled my promises to you to make Lagos work for all. With your support, we have made Lagos a better place and changed the face of our state. I did not do it alone; we did it together, because you believed.

“Our state has remained steadily prosperous because of your positive outlook. I urge you to always stay positive in your personal and communal lives and continue to aspire to great things,” he told the crowd.

While thanking all Lagosians for believing in his administration and for the support so far, Ambode specifically appreciated members of APC and political leaders in the state, especially the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, for giving him the platform to contribute to the growth and development of the state.

The governor said though a lot had been achieved, he was not tired of achieving a lot more for the state, adding that was the reason for seeking the support of the people.

“In these three and a half years as your governor, I have seen visible proof that we can achieve unbelievable things when we all come together with no more than our belief in our dreams.

“We achieved because you believed. But there is still a lot more to be done. But I am not daunted. I am not tired. And I am sure you feel the same way because we all envision a better Lagos, a Lagos of our dreams.

“So, I humbly call you again, to give me your support as I seek to continue with your mandate to steer the affairs of our state. I ask you to believe again and together, let’s achieve more,” he said.

Present at the declaration were wife of the governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; deputy governor Mrs. Idiat Adebule; secretary to the state government, Mr. Tunji Bello; senators Musiliu Obanikoro, Gbenga Ashafa and Ganiyu Solomon as well as members of the House of Assembly, members of the state executive council, and the 57 local government chairmen, among others.

With Vanguard and ThisDay reports

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