Lagos East leaders seek unity, support for Governor Ambode
Despite expectation by his supporters that Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode would have a smooth sail to reelection both within his All Progressive Congress (APC) platform and the gubernatorial contest, prominent leaders of the governor’s eastern senatorial district have harped on the need for the party to close ranks to ensure a second term.
Led by Senators Gbenga Ashafa and Anthony Adefuye as well as Otunba Olorunfunmi Bashorun, the politicians who are members of the APC said they should not take chances in the coming election.
Ambode is believed by many to have impacted positively on the growth and development of Lagos as his governance style have endeared him to the electorate.
The governor also stands a better chance than his predecessors, Bola Tinubu and Raji Fashola, who had formidable opposition in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in their 2003 and 2011 reelection bids.
For Ambode, the case is different because the APC is in control of both the centre and Lagos, a situation which political observers concluded must have buttressed the performance of Ambode, whose administration in less than three years has initiated and executed more projects than any of his predecessors. His 2018 budget of N1.046 trillion was also the first in the history of the state.
While it is almost certain that Ambode may not have any serious external opposition either in the PDP or other fringe political parties, no individual politician is also nursing the ambition of contesting against him in 2019.Even some PDP stalwarts in the Southwest, Chief Olabode George and Prince Dayo Adeyeye once commended the governor for improving on the state of infrastructure in the state.
The incumbent governor is also likely to reap the benefit of the crisis-ridden PDP family in Lagos, which has not been able to find its feet after the 2015 governorship election.However, the recent gathering of Lagos East APC leadership, which was ordered at the instance of Tinubu, was aimed at uniting members ahead of 2019 general election.
Although Ashafa, who currently represents the district, said the meeting was to assess elected leaders from the area and if need be a vote of confidence would be passed, said, “Such practice may not be applicable to other states but Lagos being a unique state, is always a pacesetter.”
Contrary to the rumour that area is divided over Ambode’s second term, the lawmaker said, “The presence of many members from across the five local governments of Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikorodu, Kosofe and Somolu as well as the 11 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) of Agboyi-Ketu, Bariga, Eredo, Igbogbo- Baiyeku, Ijede, Imota, Ikorodu North, Ikorodu West, Ikosi-Isheri, Ikosi- Ejinrin, and Lekki and others indicated that we are a big united family.”
He also said in the 2015 governorship elections, it was only Lagos East zone that gave APC 100 percent votes and support, saying, “In Lagos central, there were presence of PDP representatives and also in Lagos West, opposition scored some points.”He noted that irrespective of the advantages the APC might have ahead of the 2019 election “it would not be to the best of our interest to enter the preparatory years for the election as a divided house. It is therefore imperative of us to resolve every differences if there are, before that time.”
He stated that if there is any issue within the APC family, it is better resolved before intense politicking begins in order to deliver the zone.
Basorun, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) said Ambode has not only done well, he deserved the support of the district for second term, citing the ongoing construction of Igbogbo-Ijede road as one of the projects being executed by the governor that would positively affect the lives of the people if completed.
He urged party chieftains in all wards and local governments in the district not to discriminate against new members in the party.A former lawmaker, who represented Epe Federal Constituency from 2011 to 2015, Mr. Lanre Odubote said the performances of Ambode since 2015 are beyond what anybody could be looking for alternative in 2019.
Other leaders from the district who also expressed support for the governor are Chief Alebiosu Bushura, Lagos East leader; Chief Abiodun Ogunleye, former deputy governor of Lagos; Senator Anthony Adefuye, Chief Lanre Rasaq; former Speaker Lagos Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji and Chief Shosanya.
Also included were former Lagos East Senator, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora; member House of Representatives, Mr. Jimi Benson; member Lagos State House of Assembly, Segun Olulade among others.
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