By Adekunle Aliyu
Councilors in all the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of Lagos State on Sunday said that are behind are behind the second term bid of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, saying ‘courageously we are saying it boldly that we have adopted the Ambode’s second term’
The Councilors alos debunked a media report claiming that they shunned an invitation extended to them by the State Governor, saying the story was another fabrication by detractors who are jittery over imminent defeat in the rescheduled governorship primary election of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday.
Addressing a press conference at the headquarters of Ambode Mandate Support Group (AMSG) in Ikeja, the Councilors, who had earlier endorsed the second term bid of the Governor, said the false report published by a national newspaper was unfortunate, adding that it was particularly surprising that the said newspaper failed to fact-check the story before publishing.
Leader of the Councilors’ Forum, Hon Kolejo-Monsuru Adeniyi, who addressed the media in company of hundreds of his colleagues to show that they were united in support for the Governor, said the report should be ignored in its entirety as it did not represent the true state of affairs.
“There is no iota of truth in the report that we shunned Governor Ambode’s invitation and we are here today to say to the whole world that all Councilors in Lagos State are behind the second term bid of His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. Today, we are courageously saying it boldly that we have adopted the Governor for second term.
“This is the second time we are doing this. The first time was in Amuwo-Odofin and today being 30th of September, 2018, we are saying it again that all Councilors in Lagos State, we are endorsing Governor Ambode for second term,” Adeniyi said.
Responding, Director General of AMSG, Hon Hakeem Sulaimon said the Councilors deserved to be commended for standing firm with their decision to support Governor Ambode for re-election, saying they have done what party leaders failed to do.
He said: “I congratulate you because those who are supposed to be the conscience of our party have failed to do so but you (Councilors) have been courageous enough to come out and endorse His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State for second term.
“Yesterday, we had a meeting with Councilors here and while the meeting was going on, some people quickly went online. Vanguard online to be specific and they said Councilors in Lagos State shunned Akinwunmi Ambode.
“Those behind the false news know the implication of the endorsement because Councilors are truly the grassroots’ managers because elections can only be conducted at the Ward level and that Councilors are the true representatives of the people at the Ward level.They know that with Councilors being with His Excellency, an attempt to manipulate the process will be very difficult, and that was why they were desperate to present fake news to the public,” Sulaimon said.
The AMSG boss said the Governor was particularly appreciative of his endorsement by the Councilors, assuring them that he was committed to their welfare and issues surrounding their work in the various LGAs and LCDAs across the State.
“The Governor is not only appreciative of the fact that not only that you (Councilors) came to endorse him again yesterday but that after you heard the fake news, you have come again to physically debunk the report which your massive turn out here,” Sulaimon said.
While urging the Councilors to go out enmasse to mobilize members of the party and vote for Governor Ambode on Monday, Sulaimon urged them not to be intimidated, adding: “Once you have your membership slip, insist on the fact that you must vote.”