LAGOS—THE Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, yesterday said Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was a suitable successor to Governor Babatunde Fashola.
Akiolu spoke at the launch of a book on the biography of Ambode, “The Art of Selfless Service,” written by Maria Osoba, a book that tells the story of Ambode and the need to leave an enduring legacy.
At the event, Akiolu urged other governorship aspirants of the APC in the state to give Ambode a chance, saying “when the APC leader, Bola Tinubu, chose Fashola in 2007 to succeed him, it was met with stiff opposition but today Tinubu has been justified. We see a similar character like Governor Fashola in Ambode.”
“You people know me well that I do not hide my feelings on where I stand on issues. We the royal fathers have consulted widely within the state with the sons and daughters of Lagos and have come to the conclusion that the best person to take over from Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the iconic governor of Lagos State is Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
“We cannot have a man like this and allow somebody whose father is an Oba in Ewekoro, Ogun State be the Governor of Lagos. Although Lagos State belongs to all Nigerians and the state will continue to offer opportunities to every Nigerian to actualise the Nigerian dream, Ambode remains the best man with the required pedigree and character to take Lagos to the next level.”
Akiolu said that all other aspirants of the party were great but God and the elders had chosen Ambode, stressing that “the APC can go ahead with their primaries but the elders of the state have met and agreed that Ambode should be the next governor of Lagos.”
Speaking, former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, represented by Mrs. Arthur Worrey, the former commissioner of Lands in Lagos, described Ambode as an industrious public servant who developed the template for the re-engineering of the financial sector of Lagos.
He recalled with nostalgia that Ambode did not only re-engineer the finances of Lagos, but also develop the blueprint on how Lagos survived when former president Olusegun Obasanjo, unconstitutionally seized the local government funds from the federation account.
In his speech, Governor Fashola, represented by Dr. Oluranti Adebule, the Secretary to the State Government, commended Ambode for his selfless service to Lagos. He noted his exemplary dedication to duty while he served under him as the state Accountant General, describing him as a diligent and hardworking administrator.
In his vote of thanks, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode appreciated the Oba of Lagos and other royal fathers; the retinue of guest and important dignitaries for not only gracing the occasion but for their kind words for him.