Humiliated Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has accepted his fate, conceding defeat in the Lagos State governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr. Ambode, in a state broadcast, congratulated the winner, Babajide Sanwo-Olu despite the controversy that beclouded the conduct of the primary, urging party members to queue behind him and ensure victory for the APC in 2019.
Mr. Clement Ebri, the Chairman of the APC National Working Committee overseeing the Lagos governorship primary was on Wednesday pressurized into endorsing the result of the primaries held on Tuesday, which the latter had earlier rejected.
Mr. Ebri had on Tuesday cancelled the election, saying they had not conducted the election.
Notwithstanding Ambode said, “Dear Lagosians, APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved State must always supersede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC Primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and urge all Lagosians to immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections and work for the success of our dear party.
“As Governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new Governor, come May 2019
“We remain one family and unite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward. The progress of Lagos state is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your Governor and one to which I will forever be devoted.”
The governor had been deserted in the primary by APC stalwarts, because, as many believe, Ambode refused to allow the “Chop, I Chop” Lagos politics. Even his deputy and some of his commissioners supported hiis opponent in the primary.
In a last minute effort to save his job, the governor had held a world press conference in Lagos, in which he castigated his rival as a felon, who was arrested in the United States for spending fake dollars, alleging that he was therefore unfit to be governor.
As at the time of filing this report, it was stil unclear what Ambode’s next move would be.
There had been speculations that he might defect to another party, so as not to end up as a one-term governor.
APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, had vehemently opposed Ambode’s second term, claiming that he had deviated from the Lagos State blueprint, which he created when he was governor between 1999-2007.
Despite leaving office, Mr. Tinubu has continued to rule Lagos State by proxy.