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Quick Take: Ambode passes litmus test and survives Aregbesola’s coup

Osun Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, APC leader Biola Tinubu and Lagos Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode

Politics

Quick Take: Ambode passes litmus test and survives Aregbesola’s coup

A plot to block a second term bid for Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has failed, according to a report by ThisDay.

According to the report, the failed plot was orchestrated by Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, a staunch loyalist of former Lagos governor and party leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

According to the newspaper which revealed its source as Fouad Oki, a factional leader of the APC in Lagos, the conspirators launched the campaign against Ambode before Tinubu who himself has had some differences with Ambode over some issues like the Visionscape waste management deal. According to the report, an alternative candidate and plan had already been proposed to Mr. Tinubu for his consideration.

The Conspirators: Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Lands, Hon. Bayo Oshinowo.

Ambode’s Backers: Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu and House of Reps leader, Femi Gbajabiamila were reported to have prevailed with Tinubu to back Ambode for a second term.

“The APC leader will openly endorse Ambode for second term any moment from now,” an APC chieftain told ThisDay.

The Arguments In Favor of Ambode

No. 1:  He is not a fighter 

“First, it is essentially because Ambode is committed to Tinubu’s political ideology. Second, it is because Ambode never fought back despite all allegations and attacks against him.

“To date, his loyalty is unwavering. Despite all attacks against him, Ambode never fought back. Rather, he displayed maturity. He kept quiet all through and continued with governance. Ambode has a high level of loyalty to the APC and its leadership. He has been consistent.”

No 2. The Litmus Test 

Remember Akinwunmi Ambode was the Accountant General of Lagos State? Yes, the gist in the report is that he refused to yield any information to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that could be damaging to Tinubu. This happened around the Obasanjo administration. According to a party chieftain,  “Tinubu never forgot Ambode’s sacrifice for him, even when he never nursed governorship ambition. Ambode was incarcerated at the EFCC custody for days. Yet, Ambode refused to implicate the APC leader. Apart from his performance, he has never betrayed public trust; neither has he betrayed his political leaders in the state. This episode was another test for Ambode. In my opinion, Ambode has passed.”

Something else we know

According to insiders, Ambode recruited Musiliu Obanikoro, a former political rival into the APC fold to stop Aregbesola’s plan to represent Lagos West in the Senate. Ambode believes only a veteran like Obanikoro has the clout to stop the incumbent Osun state governor who holds a larger than life sway in the politics of Lagos due to his previous political positions in the state.

READ: Koro vs Aregbe: APC Lagos West senate primary already looking like a nail-biter

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