…As party suspends screening of aspirants indefinitely
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—AHEAD of the September 29, 2018 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s support group has embarked on moves seeking to lobby the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, and 57 council chairmen in the state.
This was as yesterday’s rescheduled screening of aspirants into the Lagos State House of Assembly, has been suspended indefinitely, over logistic challenge.
The move by Ambode’s foot soldiers laid to rest the speculation making the rounds that Ambode was planning to withdraw from the race due to unfavourable indices against him.
Majority of the 22 man council which is the highest decision making organ of the party, headed by the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had expressed dissatisfaction against the governor and pledged to have him replaced in 2019.
It was gathered that some members GAC are still making last minute efforts to reach out to other members in order to prevail on them to have a rethink before Saturday’s governorship primary.
However, the council had promised to provide a level playing field for all the aspirants.
The council, however, insisted that: “The adoption of the direct primary is to further democratise the election process in the party and do away with the usual belief of anointed candidate(s). This will also ensure credible exercise.
“Every aspirant should go to the field and test their popularity, the people will decide.”
Similarly, it was learned that some of the 57 local government chairmen were been approached to support Ambode’s second term ambition.
One of the council chairmen, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “Ambode’s group had approached me with cash inducement to prevail on other chairmen to sway support for the governor who has promised to change if given another chance, but I told him that it may not be possible because party leaders have made up their minds on Sanwoolu.”
The council chairman further disclosed that “majority of the chairmen, at a hotel in Ikeja, yesterday evening, formally endorsed Sanwoolu for the governorship ticket by raising his hands up.”
Screening of aspirants suspended
Meanwhile, House of Assembly aspirants, who converged at the party secretariat, were turned back atthe proposed screening centre.
Over 230 aspirants, including sitting members of the Lagos State House of Assembly are jostling for the available 40 seats in the state.
Speaking on the suspension after an executive meeting, spokesperson of the party, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said: “The screening could not hold again today because the panel from Abuja did not come. They are in charge and they have to be around to conduct the exercise.”