20180920

AMBODE UNDER PRESSURE: Tinunu Orders Him To Surrender... He Says No

These are not easy times. The battle on who gets the governorship ticket of the APC in Lagos continued on Wednesday with the party leadership mounting pressure on the incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to drop his second term bid and endorse Bola Tinubu's man, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The governor and Tinubu have been in the news in the past few days because of an alleged rift over the second term bid of Ambode.

Tinubu had refused to back Ambode’s second term ambition despite pleas by notable people in the state and the country.

Sanwo-Olu, a former commissioner in the state, on Sunday formally declared his intention to vie for the Lagos State governorship ticket of the APC, promising to restore the glory of the state if voted in as the governor.

Notable APC leaders in the state, who were either allies of Tinubu or his followers, were at the declaration.

On Monday, Ambode’s wife, Bolanle had tried to save her husband’s job when she met with Tinubu in Osun State and tried to pacify him to change his mind. The meeting did not yield positive result.

The Punch learnt that both the state and national leaders of the party met on Wednesday and mounted pressure on the Lagos governor to accept the decision of the state APC leaders.

It was gathered that Ambode, however, told them that he would prefer to go ahead with the direct primary option of the party in the state.

A source said, “Ambode was told to step down and forget his second term ambition. He was told to publicly endorse Sanwo-Olu as his successor. He was promised a ministerial appointment after the APC might have won the presidential election. He was even told to pick a ministry of his choice.

But Ambode seemed not to be pleased with the directives of the leaders as he declined the ministerial dangle. He also told them to allow the APC primary process to continue as planned. For now, the meeting is still continuing and there is no compromise in sight.”

The Punch also learnt that Ambode had instructed his camp not to speak to any journalist and wait for the electoral process to pan out.

We told him that he might likely lose if he decided not to fight back, but he just smiled,” another source said.

However, it was gathered that the state APC leaders were still insisting that Ambode must go as of Wednesday evening.