APC Members Debunk Rumoured Defection, Reaffirm Their Support For Sanwo-Olu
Supporters of Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode have embarked on a solidarity rally to reaffirm their commitment to the election of the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The supporters demonstrated their support to debunk the rumours that they had decamped from APC to Accord Party. And had also endorsed Jimi Agbaje, PDP candidate as the next governor of Lagos State.
The rally, which was organized `under the auspices of Ambode Mandate Support Group (AMSG), was well attended by thousands of the Governor’s supporters who were received by the State APC Chairman, Tunde Balogun, alongside other State executive officers of the party.
According to Leader of the delegation and Director General of AMSG, Hon Akeem Sulaimon, “We are here because a lot of people lately seem to be talking for our principal, His Excellency Mr Akinwunmi Ambode claiming to be representing his interest and we need to let the whole world know that if anyone will represent his interests, it can only be those of us that belong to his campaign.
“His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is a man of God; he is a man who believes that the party is supreme; he is a man who has accepted the choice and the position of the party. He has accepted that Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu is the candidate of our great party, APC and he has equally been mobilizing not just members of his group but he has been mobilizing the party to ensure victory for Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu come 2019,” he said.
“We are organizing this to show to Lagosians and Nigerians that our principal bears no grudge; he has no ill feelings. If he had wanted to fight at that time, he could have fought and so if he did not fight then, why would anybody be insinuating that he wants to fight now?
“We are here to let you know that he (Ambode) is not fighting. The Governor’s directive to us is that we should all go out and mobilize for Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Irrespective of how things might have happened, the Governor has equally benefited from the party and he says that he will not destroy the party that he has benefited from,” Sulaimon said.
The PDP caucus had previously published stories online claiming that key members of the APC had defected and now supported Agbaje. Read their previous statement published by dailyadvent.com below
More than 25,000 members of the All Progressive Congress yesterday dump the party for Accord Party in Lagos State disclosing they were angry with the strategy the state chapter of the party deploy to deny Governor Akinwumi Ambode and other aspirant return tickets.
This is just as the aggrieved APC members immediately adopted governorship candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje as their preferred candidate for the governorship polls. The defectors, who came from the state’s 20 local governments at a well-attended ceremony which took place at Lagos Airport Hotel, cheered as the candidate of Accord Party, Engineer Joseph Ola Beckley said he was standing down for Agbaje in the governorship election.
Witnesses to the carnivallike ceremony included Agbaje, his running mate, Mrs. Haleemat Oluwayemisi Busari, recently defected former Lagos State Commissioner for Power, Mr. Wale Oluwo, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Alhaji Rahman Owokoniran and the PDP Lagos Chairman, Dr. Adegbola Dominic.
The defectors, who described themselves as “Aggrieved Members of the APC” were led by a chieftain of the party, Mr. Sunday Ajayi. Ajayi said they decided to dump APC for Accord Party due to widespread impunity perpetrated by the leadership of APC. Addressing a crowd of faithful, including chieftains of the PDP and the Accord Party, Ajayi stated “we, the leaders of the Aggrieved APC, have decided to bid byebye to the APC over the reign of impunity being carried out by the party in the state.” Ajayi accused the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of committing gross impunity against membership through imposition of candidates on the APC, saying, the era of one-man rule in the state had gone.
He said: “Until now, we were members of the APC; but today we have decided to dump the party with our teeming members, numbering about 25,000 from across all the local government areas of Lagos State,” he said, adding, “The reason for the defection of our members is not farfetched. We are all living witnesses to how the APC conducted its primaries to pick its candidate. You will agree with me that the process was far from being free and fair to all members of the party.
You can imagine the treatment that they gave our amiable Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. What happened to the Governor is rather unprecedented. It has never happened before that a sitting Governor would be prevented from getting a second term. “When the people asked, the excuse they gave was that although the man worked, he didn’t do well as a party man. The question now is: Was Ambode not a party man before they picked him as the party’s candidate in 2015? We are tired of this high level of impunity in the APC and we have opted to leave the party for them.”
Among those who led the rally are Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Muslim Folami; Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Hon Benjamin Olabinjo; Chairman of Lagos Ferry Service, Hon Paul Kalejaiye; APC chieftain, Chief Denge Anifowoshe, among others.