By OBINNA EZUGWU
Race for Lagos State governorship seat is heating up as billionaire business man, Femi Otedola, reportedly accepts the opposition People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) ticket for the 2019 polls, even as the fate of incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode hangs in the balance as plot to replace him with Hon. Babajide Sanwo-Olu gathers steam.
Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu, who disclosed Otedola’s move, noted that the PDP had offered him its ticket and the oil mogul who is currently on vacation, has accepted it.
He shared the news on his Twitter handle, @DeleMomodu: “Breaking news: Lagos 2019 promises to be interesting. PDP offers Femi Otedola governorship ticket. He’s accepted and personally confirmed to The Boss newspaper.”
On his Instagram page, Otedola shared a video of himself enjoying a ride in a miniature vehicle. He captioned the video: “Never too old to catch some fun.”
Meanwhile, Ambode’s quest for a second term is looking increasingly difficult as 57 council chairmen loyal to Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Ambode’s estranged godfather, have met and pledged their support for former Commissioner for Establishments and Training, Hon. Sanwo-Olu, who is alleged to be Tinubu’s preferred choice.
A video currently trending on social media had shown the council chairmen who are the most influential grassroots mobilisers under the direct primary system adopted by APC to pick governorship candidates, holding a meeting during which they signed up to support Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu who had variously served as Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Planning and Honourable Commissioner for Establishments and Training during the administrations of Tinubu and his successor, Babatunde Fashola, is presently Managing Director of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC). He had since picked the APC nomination form, alongside Obafemi Hamzat
At a meeting held after he picked up his nomination form, James Odunmbaku, an ally of Tinubu known as “Baba Eto” in the political circle, said “Hon. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the incoming governor of Lagos.”
Business Hallmark had previously reported that Ambode had incurred the anger of several political stakeholders in the state, including Odunmbaku, with his policies.
The governor had for instance, stripped Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), run by Odunmbaku, the responsibility of waste disposal in the state and subsequently handed the responsibility to a Dubai based company, Visionscape.
The governor has also been accused of forming his own political structure to rival that of Tinubu in the state.
“My ears are on the ground,” a source in Lagos APC told Business Hallmark on Tuesday. “The maga (Ambode) has made too many enemies for himself. And also want to form his own caucus.”
The governor is also being threatened with impeachment by the state House of Assembly controlled largely by Tinubu following his decision to pick APC’s nomination form on Monday, sources said.
Ambode had, after picking the ruling party’s nomination form on Monday, told party faithfuls in Alausa to join him to build a prosperous state driven by a vibrant economy, equity and justice.
“In these three and a half years as your governor, I have seen visible proof that we can achieve unbelievable things when we all come together with no more than our believe in our dreams.
“But there is still a lot more to be done and I am not tired. I am sure you feel the same way because we all envision a better Lagos of our dreams.
“So, I humbly call you again to give me your support as I seek to continue with your mandate to steer the affairs of our state; let us achieve more,” Ambode said.