- Much has been said concerning why Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, of Lagos conceded defeat to his opponent (Babajide Sanwo-Olu) in the recent gubernatorial APC primary
- Some sources opine that Ambode accepted his fate in an effort to avert any possibility of impeachment by the ruling party
- Others political analysts believe that the governor made the move in order to calm tensions that have been triggered by the election drama in the state
Most Nigerian political thinkers and analysts on Wednesday, October 3, said that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos conceded victory to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his opponent in the battle for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket in an effort calm rising tension and avert impeachment.
After the declaration of Sanwo-Olu's victory, the expectations was that the governor would kick against APC's acceptance of Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the primary, which was initially cancelled by the party's National Working Committee (NWC).
READ ALSO: APC NWC endorses Sanwo-Olu’s victory
But contrary to popular expectations, just hours after the NWC's confirmation of the poll, the governor in a live broadcast accepted defeat and congratulated Sanwo-Olu.
A source said that before and after the broadcast, Ambode had contacted Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the APC's national leader and some party heads in a bid to assure them of his loyalty to the party.
“He (Ambode) did not want the matter to get to that level; that is why he accepted the defeat to reduce the tension in the state and stop any panicky action by the party elders. He also wanted them to leave him in peace to complete all his projects,” the source said.
Another source revealed that the ruling party's resolve to uphold the result was influenced by the presence of relevant government agencies, including representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the primary.
A third source disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari left the decision to the APC's national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who had earlier said there was an election in Lagos.
The governor, in his concession speech said that although events of the last few days had been characterised by intense political activities which created tension, the interest of the state superseded that of any personal ambition.
He, therefore, urged members of the party and all Lagosians to throw their weight behind Sanwo-Olu. Ambode said: “The APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved state must always supersede that of any person or group.
:It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC Primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and urge all Lagosians to immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections.”
Promising Lagosians that he would work to ensure a smooth transition in 2019, Ambode also said that the progress of the state was non-negotiable, adding that he will always be devoted to the growth of the state.
The governor commended Tinubu, the leadership of the party and all Lagosians for the support extended to him, and urged the people to continue to support the APC.
However, the convener of Lagos solidarity forum, Comrade Mark Adebayo, on Wednesday, October 3, said that Lagos was being driven towards destruction by enemies of democracy.
In a statement, the group's head stated that the state APC primary was “another hatchet’s job." His words: “Every society that has ceased to exist starts from the point of aggravated injustice that provokes intractable anarchy.
“Unfortunately, Lagos State is being pushed in the direction of that precipice by forces which can best be described as, not only enemies of democracy, but enemies of the people. These same forces have been responsible for the mobile retrogression of Nigeria since 1999 that we have moved into civilian governance. Their weapons have been domination, imposition and brazen overthrow of the people’s mandate.
“The shameful shenanigan orchestrated by the APC governorship primary committee chaired by Clement Ebri, the former Cross River State governor erroneously thought to be a man of impeccable integrity was another hatchet’s job executed in the service of merchants of inhumanity and derogation of all elements of societal value. The time has come for Lagosians to rise up through a mass action to liberate ourselves."
Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported that Ambode had finally accepted his loss of the gubernatorial primary election of the APC conducted on Tuesday, October 2.
The governor congratulated Sanwo-Olu, winner of the exercise. Sanwo-Olu polled 970,851 votes ahead of the governor who secured 72,901 votes.
Ambode, who appealed to residents of Lagos to give Sanwo-Olu the needed support in the 2019 election said the APC is a great party.
Lagos Governor: Is Sanwoolu a better candidate than Ambode?| NAIJ.com TV