As events continue to unfold towards clinching the All People’s Congress (APC) gubernatorial ticket towards the 2019 election, indications have emerged regarding why the leadership of the party in the state picked Jide Sanwo-Olu ahead of the incumbent Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and the third aspirant, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
Thepage reliably gathered that even though the footsoldiers of the party had before now
decided against the choice of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to continue for the second term in office, the choice of Jide Sanwo-Olu as a replacement didn’t come up until very recently.
Sources privy to the emergence of the former Special Adviser and Commissioner in the State mentioned that he caught the attention of the party leadership because of what has been described as his intelligence and wealth of experience in Financial Management.
According to a party Chieftain, Sanwo-Olu has everything going for him it terms of experience, as he had served as Special Adviser to former Deputy Governor in the state, Femi Pedro on Corporate Affairs and briefly served as Commissioner for Finance briefly after Wale Edun vacated the office.
He was also Commissioner for Establishment and Training an experience which our source also established is “very vital and central to governance “.
These attributes, as well as his Christian faith, Thepage was told, were what the party leaders considered before the decision to favour him ahead of Governor Ambode and Femi Hamzat was reached.
It was gathered that, Hamzat on his part, had made his intention to vie for the seat known much before now, but was determined to get Asiwaju Tinubu’s endorsement before making his intention public.
Thepage gathered that the former Commissioner could not reach Asiwaju until shortly before he purchased his nomination form and was quoted as saying he will submit the form only on Asiwaju’s approval.
However, getting Asiwaju’s endorsement became impossible, as the APC National party leader told him that even though he won’t discourage him from trying his luck at the Primary election, he however declined him the official backing he sort because according to him, explaining to the party that he would be backing a Muslim candidate at this point in time in the state’s polity won’t be possible for him.
On the other hand, Sanwo-Olu is a Christian who will be contesting from the Lagos Central Senatorial zone .
Meanwhile, the incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is still pushing to get the party’s ticket to return for a second term.
Thepage reliably gathered that people close to the Governor are lobbying President Mohamadu Buhari to assist in persuading the party in Lagos to oblige the Governor the ticket for a second term.
This sources informed, may be the reason for Asiwaju’s trip to the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday as it was said that he may have embarked on the journey to jaw-jaw with the president over the issue.
But a source privy to Asiwaju’s trip to Abuja told Thepage that the president ‘s interference may not make any difference, if at all he interferes in the issue because” the decision to field a new candidate for the party in the gubernatorial election was the party’s and not Asiwaju’s.
“Hence the reason for the Direct Primary where party people will determine their candidates and I don’t think Asiwaju would have a choice than to support Ambode if he wins the Primary, so its not about Asiwaju, but the party members” the source offered.
By: Femi Adepoju