Three major developments within the ruling Lagos All Progressives Congress (APC) may have foreclosed the second term bid of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
First, 36 of the 40 lawmakers of the Lagos State House of Assembly endorsed the candidacy of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the sole rival of Ambode in the primary scheduled for Monday.
Two, Obafemi Hamzat, who was in the race withdrew to support Sanwo-Olu.
Three, the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) endorsed Sanwo-Olu to pick the party’s governorship ticket for the 2019 election in the state. The advisory council’s position was most significant, as its meeting was attended by most of the big men within the Lagos APC.
Senator Anthony Adefuye, a member of the council, announced the endorsement to party members on Saturday, at a stakeholders’ meeting at the Acme Road state party secretariat.
He said the GAC, the highest decision-making body of the chapter, arrived at the endorsement after a meeting which lasted for several hours.
Adefuye said the meeting was chaired by national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and was attended by other prominent members of the party.
Adefuye listed Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa as some of those also at the meeting.
He said that the decision to back Sanwo-Olu, a former Lagos Commissioner for Training and Establishment, against the incumbent, Ambode, was in the interest of the state and the party.
“There was a GAC meeting held this morning which was attended by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and others.
“This meeting was chaired by our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. This is a meeting that we started at 10am and we couldn’t finish early.
“After the meeting, I have been mandated by the GAC to announce this to you.
“The gubernatorial primary earlier scheduled for tomorrow, September 30th, has been shifted to Monday, October 1.
“Also, the GAC was informed by Dr Obafemi Hamzat of his decision to graciously step down and endorse Jide Sanwo-Olu.
“GAC has endorsed Babajide Sanwo-Olu as its preferred candidate ahead of the primary,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the announcement threw the crowd of Sanwo-Olu supporters at the meeting into wild jubilation.
Chants of ‘Sanwo-Olu’ rent the ambience as supporters of Ambode left the party secretariat in disappointment.
The decision of the legislators was announced by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, Funmilayo Tejuoso.
She said 36 members of the house took the decision at a meeting of the lawmakers which took place at Lateef Jakande auditorium of the House on Saturday.
The meeting was presided over by the Speaker of the House, Honourable Obasa.
Out of the 40 members of the House, 36 were present at the meeting and all of them endorsed the decision and duly signed the statement announcing the decision.
Weeks ago, 57 council chairmen and the Mandate Group also announced their support for Sanwo-Olu.