According to sources, APC leaders in Lagos have sealed the Governor’s fate ahead of the party's primaries.
According to sources who spoke to Tribune, leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos have sealed the Governor’s fate ahead of the party's primaries, following his perceived aloofness and lack of proper communication with members at the local level.
One of them reportedly said “As things stand now, if he [Ambode] goes ahead for the primary, he will lose. And if he goes to another party to contest the coming election, his impeachment will be activated. That is the stage everything is now.”
Tribune also reports that the Lagos state chapter of the APC has adopted the direct primaries system as decreed by the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, a move observers say is aimed at humiliating Ambode.
Another challenge facing Ambode’s second term agenda is the general believe in party circles that the Lagos Governor does not regard the party structure in the grassroots.
Reports earlier in the week said that over 50 local government chairmen in Lagos pitched their tent with the Governor’s opponent in the governorship race, Jide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu is said to be the anointed candidate of the APC national leader, but insiders say his main pillar is Tinubu’s wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Tribune reveals.
Also, another contender for the Lagos governorship seat, Femi Hamzat, is a protégé of former Governor and current Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Hamzat seems to be the Lagos Gov's nemesis this time, considering the fact that the Osun state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola who worked against Fashola to help install Ambode, is now one of his backers.
Also, some serving commissioners in Lagos state have also shifted their allegiance to Sanwo-Olu, who still works as the Managing Director, Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC), a job which Ambode reportedly got him.
A source close to the Lagos state Governor’s team who spoke to Tribune on the loyalty of the serving commissioners said “How can people be so heartless, without conscience? How do they (defecting commissioners) get to look him (Governor Ambode) in the face despite the fact that they know he knows where they stand now? Our people are funny. It is because of Asiwaju they are behaving so arrogantly.
“How can you be fighting a man and be eating his food? If you no longer believe in his leadership, quitting is the most honourable thing to do. It happened in Osun. [Moshood] Adeoti [Action Democratic Party (ADP) governorship candidate] left Aregbesola’s cabinet to face his governorship project. Here (Lagos cabinet), they are saying the governor cannot touch them because their removal will exacerbate his crisis. Can you imagine the so-called progressives we say we are?”
According to Tribune, sources who have been involved in the negotiations say Governor Ambode has been given some conditions which he must agree to, if he wants to run for a second term.
1. Ambode is expected to sign an undated resignation letter: The Lagos state Governor is being asked to sign an undated resignation letter which he will submit to the APC leadership.
This will be used to boot him out if he begins to misbehave.
2. Ambode will not be involved in the nomination process of all the candidates for the House of Assembly: The move is aimed at ensuring that his impeachment will scale through easily if he rejects the resignation letter.
3. To further tighten their noose on the Governor, and also protect their interests, the third condition stipulates that he will always consult APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, and get his approval, whenever he wants to carry out any major project in Lagos state.
Reacting to the conditions, one of the sources said “Who does this? Why are they trying to disrespect this man (Ambode)? Is the governor a good leader? I tell you, he isn’t. I have told you some of the things he did personally to me. But he should be allowed to complete his eight years so as not to set a bad precedent. At least, nobody has accused him of not delivering on projects. I agree he has not done well with party leaders and members. The governor himself is surprised I could be sympathetic to his cause.
“All I ask is that we don’t set a bad precedent because you don’t know who will be caught in it tomorrow. It is Akin (Ambode) today. It can be anybody tomorrow. How can you think of making a full-grown man a lame duck for four years? Isn’t that wickedness?”
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has however said that there is no rift between him and his mentor, Bola Tinubu.