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12 Sep 2018

Two APC aspirants battle Ambode for Lagos ticket

Two new aspirants for the Lagos State governor under the All Progressives Congress’ umbrella emerged on Tuesday, fuelling speculations that all was not well with the incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.

The aspirants, who were former commissioners in the state, Dr Obafemi Hamzat and Jide Sanwoolu, were said to have claimed to have Tinubu’s backing.

The incumbent governor, Ambode, was also said to have the APC national leader’s backing when he declared on Monday.

A visit to the party’s state secretariat on Tuesday did not yield fruit as the office was deserted by party officials.

However, some workers at the secretariat said the trio of Ambode, Hamzat and Sanwoolu were likely to contest the governorship ticket in the direct party primary billed to come up in two weeks’ time.

However, reports from sources said the mandate group controlled by Tinubu had endorsed Sanwoolu.

A source said, “Sanwoolu is now the man to beat. Did you see the Lagos APC Chairman, Tunde Balogun, and other big APC chieftains at Ambode’s second-term declaration?”

Another source said, “The governor (Ambode) got a clearance from Tinubu before picking the party’s nomination form.”

An online news platform, TheCable, on Tuesday claimed 57 council chairmen loyal to Tinubu had met and pledged their support for Sanwoolu.

The online paper further quoted an ally of Tinubu, James Odunmbaku, as saying, “Sanwoolu is the incoming governor of Lagos.”

When contacted, Tinubu’s media aide, Mr Tunde Rahman, said the aspirants should say when Tinubu endorsed them.

He said, “Can you ask the aspirants to tell you when he (Tinubu) endorsed them? Let them tell you when he endorsed them.”

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