Conflicting Reports Emerge On Ambode, Tinubu Rift
Conflicting reports have emerged today over the alleged rift between the current Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, and a former Governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, over the latter’s refusal to espouse the former’s second term bid.
Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been in the news in the past few days because of an alleged rift over the second term bid of Ambode.
Although he too has consistently denied it, Ambode’s relationship with Tinubu is strained, culminating in the latter’s decision to back Jide Sanwo-Olu for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket.
Sanwo-Olu came into reckoning in Lagos politics after he obtained the state governorship form last Tuesday and immediately got the backing of the Mandate Movement in the Lagos APC.
While the Mandate Movement is led by Tinubu, who was Ambode’s political godfather, it is understood that the chairmen of the 57 councils had also declared support for Sanwo-Olu.
Tinubu had refused to back Ambode’s second term ambition despite pleas by notable people in the state and the country.
It was gathered that Ambode’s wife, Bolanle had on Monday tried to save her husband’s job when she met with Tinubu in Osun State and tried to pacify him to change his mind. The meeting did not yield positive result.
The Punch reports that both the state and national leaders of the party met on Wednesday and mounted pressure on the Lagos governor to accept the decision of the state party leaders.
It was gathered that Ambode, however, told them that he would prefer to go ahead with the direct primary option of the party in the state.
A source was quoted to have said: “Ambode was told to step down and forget his second term ambition. He was told to publicly endorse Sanwo-Olu as his successor. He was promised a ministerial appointment after the APC might have won the presidential election. He was even told to pick a ministry of his choice.
“But Ambode seemed not to be pleased with the directives of the leaders as he declined the ministerial dangle. He also told them to allow the APC primary process to continue as planned. For now, the meeting is still continuing and there is no compromise in sight.”
However sources informed Nigerian Guardian that Tinubu, out of respect for former governors of Osun and Ogun States, Chief Bisi Akande and Aremo Segun Osoba, promised to let pass his grouse.
But with a condition: his political loyalists in Lagos, who have made up their minds that Ambode must go, must be consulted.
It was also learnt that the two advocates then led the incumbent to Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who is perhaps the closest loyalist of Tinubu.
On the advice of the former governors, Ambode was said to have prostrated pleadingly, while the Osun governor expressed his grudges and those of Lagos party members. He also explained why the members insisted they wanted Ambode out.
The news outlet further quoted sources as saying that during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC governors, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu led the plea with Tinubu.
“It is not in the culture of Hausa people to prostrate. What we normally do is express respect to our elders or leaders by saying Ranka Dade. But today, I am going to break that protocol,” he reportedly said, and prostrated.
Unable to hold his emotions, the national leader burst into tears, at which point, Buhari stood up, moved closer to Tinubu, and implored him to give Ambode a second chance.
Consequently, Tinubu called for a meeting of the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) to hold yesterday, the outcome of which would determine the incumbent’s fate.