The stage appear set for a great battle between the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwummi Ambode and the Local Government chairmen in the state as the Lagos All Progressive Congress ( APC) holds its gubernatorial primary election on Saturday, the 29th.
Thepage can confirm that barring any last minute change, the incbumbent governor, Ambode will contest the party’s gubernatorial ticket against the advice of the party leadership which has thrown up Hon. Jide Sanwo-Olu to vie for the same ticket.
Before now, there have been speculations that Governor Ambode would bow to the wish of the of the party leaders by endorsing their favoured candidate, Sanwo-Olu and lead his campaign afterwards.
But a lie was put to the speculation when on Wednesday, Ambode through his Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan insisted the Governor was going ahead to contest the primary election with the party’s favoured candidate, Sanwo-Olu and another contestant, Femi Hamzat, himself a tested hand in governance.
Reliable sources confirmed to Thepage that Ambode’s resolve to go confrontational with the party’s leadership may not be unconnected with a deal he allegedly struck with a group within the Party, the Justice Forum.
Before now, Justice Forum was the determinant group in deciding who gets what, as far as political offices were concerned in Lagos political fold. The advent of the Mandate group however put an end to the influence of the body, being managed mainly by some old favourites of the party when it existed as the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and ACN.
Sources further informed that beyond the Justice Forum alliance, the Governor is alleged to have made financial provisions available to lure some other personalities to his side, who could influence vote for him at the Direct Primary election on Saturday.
The Governor’s determination, ThePage can reliably mention, has pitched him against 56 of the 57 Local government bosses in the state.
It was reliably gathered that as soon as the party leadership settled for Sanwo-Olu as the preferred candidate to succeed Ambode, instructions went round to all layers of the party structure in the state to support the Samwo olu bid.
As a result, the Council bosses were appointed the Coordinator of the “Sanwo-Olu must win” teams in their respective local government areas. All the 57, sources informed, gladly took up the challenge but for one.
Determined to ensure a clinical job is done against Ambode on Saturday by delivering their respective domain for Sanwo-Olu, a meeting of party men across the state held at the ACME Agidingbi Lagos secretariat of the party on Thursday with stern instructions to the party members to ensure the Party’s choice clinch the ticket.
The state’s Council bosses later held a meeting in a hotel in Ikeja where strategies were disccussed on how to ensure victory for Sanwo-Olu.
The development was said to have compeled warring factions in the various councils to bury their differences and team up to ensure the party wins against Ambode.
As a source put it ” the chairmen are not leaving anything to chance because they know the implication of their open surport for Sanwo-Olu in the hand of Ambode should Ambode gets the ticket.
“They see the governor as very vindictive and would not spare them especially with the treatment metted to his predecessor Tunde Fashola still fresh in their memories. So its like the Chairmen are fighting the battles of their lives hence their constant review of strategies ahead of Saturday’s election.
” Quite homestly, the Chairmen never expected the governor will take the issue this far, in fact, some of them who have personal relationship with him were already on the drawing board plotting his return for a second term until the party decided against his choice and since it was the party that introduced him in the first instance, its just wise for any loyal party man to toe the line of the party”
Meanwhile, no fewer than 377 councillors under the aegis of Forum of Councillors from 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council
Development Authorities (LCDA) in the State have endorsed the governorship aspiration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pledging their total support for him ahead of Saturday’s primary election.
According to a statement by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Campaign organisation (BOSCO), thee endorsement took place in Ikeja via voice vote after a 3 hours meeting between BOSCO, some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State and the aspirant, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Speaking during the meeting, the Director General of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organization, Mr. Tayo Ayinde applauded the spirit of oneness of the Forum, saying that unity among politicians is important for impactful development.
Ayinde stressed the need for internal democracy and urged every member of the forum to work hard for the aspiration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The campaign DG described the event as a family meeting, where a decision that will affect all family members would be made. He thereafter presented Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the crowd, who rose enthusiastically to welcome the aspirant.
A former Commissioner of Agriculture in Lagos State, Mr. Kaoli Olusanya advised the councillors to remain steadfast and not be deterred by antics of those afraid to face the people at the primaries. He said the council members are the closest to the people.
‘’no politician knows the grassroots people better than you the councillors’’, Olusanya stated. He also informed the gathering that he started his political journey as a councillor, noting that hardwork, dedication and loyalty to the party and the political family have taken him to where he is today.
According to Olusanya, nothing should be taken for granted in politics, ‘’it is on that note that I’d want you to work for our brother, friend and colleague, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu so that he can clinch the party’s ticket on Saturday 29th September, 2018’’.
The governorship aspirant, Babajide Sanwo-Olu thanked the councillors for coming out in large numbers to receive him.
He started by telling them of his antecedents in the party since leaving the corporate world to join the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in 2002 as a Special Adviser and later as Commissioner. He told the forum of councillors how close he has been to their colleagues in his constituency, noting that he was doing all he could for them at a time when he never thought of running for governorship position.
Sanwo-Olu charged the councillors on the need to persevere and be loyal, saying those virtues usually pay off in the end.
‘’perseverance in politics is good. It usually pays off in the end. That virtue is what has brought me to this level.’’ Sanwo-Olu stated.
He urged the councillors to get out the vote on Saturday, promising that better days are ahead for all party members.
‘’I will ensure that we bring about a Lagos of prosperity for all’’
‘’we will listen to your needs and we’d be there for you’’ Sanwo-Olu affirmed.
Vice Chairman of the Councillors Forum in Lagos State, Mr. Remi Shittu, who presided over the endorsement of Sanwo-Olu by members of the Forum, pledged the support of his members in the primaries.
Other party leaders who spoke at the meeting include Cardinal James Odumaku (aka Baba Eto) and Mrs Omolola Essien who sought the support of the councillors ahead of the Saturday’s primary election, the statement read in part.
By: Femi Adepoju
2023 Presidency: Tinubu Chases Fayemi Out Of Kano
As Southwest presidential hopefuls begin to seek support across the country, the Ekiti state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has experienced a shock treatment in Kano.
The Ekiti state governor’s hope of a support base in the populous Northern Nigeria state has been dashed by his political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, himself a Presidential aspirational.
ThePageNews reliably gathered that, in the bid to erect a political base in the state, Fayemi raised a strategic campaign cum lobby group,to penetrate Kano state and establish a noticeable presence, as foundation for a potential massive political platform to work for the actualization of the alleged presidential ambition of the former Minister.
According to ThePageNews source, Fayemi’s men were told in Kano that they should look elsewhere for support for their principal, as major relevant political groups in the state have pledged support for the aspiration of Tinubu.
It was further gathered that, the Fayemi team which refused to give up hope easily, intensified on their lobby, but couldn’t find a headway,as they were told by every group in the state about their allegiance to Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
Our source mentioned that, the Kano area has been locked down politically by the APC leader, Asiwaju, to sustain his presidential ambition of 2023.
It was further gathered that, the move to secure Kano ahead of the 2023 political game, especially as it affects Tinubu’s ambition was strategic.
ThePageNews was told that, because of the population relevance of the state to presidential elections, Tinubu who is a friend to the Kano state governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, has used the influence of the governor to secure,what our source described as a cult followership for Tinubu in the pursuit of his presidential ambition.
Senator Shehu Sanni Dumps PRP, May Join PDP
Senator Shehu Sani, who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly, has resigned his membership of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
He has not declared interest in joining another party but there are feelers he may join the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) any moment from now.
In his resignation letter dated July 9, 2021 addressed to PRP chairman in ward 6, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, Sani said the notice to leave the party was with immediate effect.
It reads: “I wish to officially notify you of my decision to step aside from the Peoples Redemption Party. This notice takes effect from today.
“I hope we shall continue to relate in the spirit of our struggle, our shared history and our common ideological principles.”
Shehu Sani joined the PRP in October 2018 after he failed to win the primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2019 Kaduna central senatorial seat.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC had cleared Shehu Sani as the only candidate for the primary but Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai kicked against it.
Subsequently, a primary election was conducted in the district and Uba Sani, the preferred candidate of El-Rufai, won the party’s ticket.
Shehu Sani boycotted the primary and filed an appeal but Uba Sani’s details were sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the APC candidate for the election
The former Senator served on the platform of the APC but was critical of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor El-Rufai’s governments from 2015-2019
Plaintiffs Want New Election As Court Fixes July Date For Matawalle Removal Suit
The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja has fixed July 16 for the hearing of a suit, which kick-started the legal battle by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unseat the Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Matawalle, for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The suit, filed in the names of two PDP members from Zamfara State, Sani Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, is seeking to oust the governor for dumping the PDP.
The duo, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021 is contending that in view of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, having not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Matawalle to retain his office while defecting from the PDP to the APC, and thereby transfer PDP’s victory to the APC.
The plaintiffs want the court to, among others, declare that Matawalle must resign from his office before his defection to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace him.
The governor, two weeks ago, had defected from the PDP, which brought him to power to the ruling APC, an action which the plaintiffs considered wrong, illegal and unlawful.
When the matter was called yesterday, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), who argued the ex-parte application, told the court that the plaintiffs have been unable to serve processes on the defendants hence the request to do so through substituted means.
He prayed for an order “granting leave to the plaintiffs/applicants to serve the motion on notice seeking leave to amend hearing notices and all other processes on the first and second defendants by substituted means, to with: pasting same at the Zamfara State liaison office at No: 6/7 Sangha Street, off Mississippi Street, Maitama District, Abuja or leaving it with any adult person in that office.”
Justice Inyang Ekwo in a short ruling, granted the request as prayed and ordered service of the originating processes on Matawalle and his deputy, Alhaji Mahdi Gusau, through the national secretariat of APC in Abuja.
Justice Ekwo thereafter fixed July 16 for the report of court papers on the two defendants.
The plaintiffs, who claimed to be members of the PDP in Zamfara State, want the court to among others declare that Matawalle and Gusau must resign from their offices before their defection to allow INEC to conduct a fresh election, within three months, for the PDP to replace them.
Filed on June 17, 2021 before Matawalle eventually defected to the APC, the suit has as defendants: Matawalle, Gusau, APC, and INEC.
Ahmed in an affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit, is claiming that he suffered along with other members of the PDP in Zamfara State and that Matawalle and Gusau’s defection would deprive them of the efforts they put into ensuring PDP’s victory in the election.
The deponent stated that it would amount to injustice against him and other members of the PDP in Zamfara if Matawalle and Gusau, being beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgment were allowed to defect to the APC without relinquishing their current offices.
“As one of the members of PDP, who worked tirelessly and invested so much of our time and money to secure the victory of our party in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, the second plaintiff and I will be highly prejudiced if the offices we worked so hard to win for PDP is transferred to APC, through the defection of the first and second defendants (Matawalle and Gusau), while they are still in the offices into which they were elected as members of and as candidates sponsored by PDP.
“As indigenes of Zamfara State, who joined other indigenes of the state to give our collective mandate for the governorship of Zamfara State to PDP, the second plaintiff and I will be highly prejudiced if the mandate we gave to PDP in respect of that office is transferred unilaterally by the first and second defendants to APC, who did not participate in or sponsor any candidate in the said election,” they said.
The plaintiffs want the court to declare “that the APC, which did not hold primaries for the governorship election in Zamfara State in 2019 and did not participate or sponsor a candidate in the said election cannot lawfully occupy through any of its members the office of the governor or deputy governor of Zamfara State which, by the combined effect of sections 177(c), 187(2) and 221 of the constitution, is meant for persons who are members of a political party that participated in and sponsored candidates in the election into those offices.
“A declaration that by the combined effect of sections 177(c), 187(2) and 221 of the constitution, the first and second defendants, which were elected into office as governor and deputy governor respectively of Zamfara State as members of, and as candidates sponsored by the PDP, cannot transfer those offices to the APC by defecting to that political party while they are still in office as governor and deputy governor of Zamfara State in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Appeal No. SC/377/2019 between the APC and another vs. Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa and 179 others, to the effect, that the APC did not participate in the 2019 governorship election of Zamfara State and therefore its members are not entitled to hold the office of governor or deputy governor of Zamfara State.”
Meanwhile, the PDP in another application is seeking to be joined as an interested party in the suit.
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