Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has denied a report by The Nation newspaper, a publication owned by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, alleging that he is working for the victory of the PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, in next Saturday’s governorship polls. The paper had also alleged in its March 1 story which had no bylines or identified sources that Ambode worked with agents of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the presidential election.
In a statement by his spokesman, Habib Haruna, Ambode said he publicly accepted the APC’s decision on the primaries which he lost, and so “will never take any action to undermine the prospects of the party.”
Back Story: The Nation report had alleged that Ambode was working with the PDP through the former Commissioner for Energy & Mineral Resources, Wale Oluwo. It also pointed out some alleged activities of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi who backed the governor during the APC primaries as proof that Ambode was working against the APC.
Ambode’s rebuttal: The governor said he cannot be linked to actions taken by other people simply because they shared his vision in the past “but have proceeded to pursue their own interests as adults and citizens without any influence from or recourse to the governor.” He said he has “everything to gain from the victory of the party’s candidate Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State on March 9. He looks forward to handing over the affairs of the state to the candidate of the APC come May 29.”
Takes subtle shot at Tinubu: “It is therefore disturbing, unfair and sad that a respected medium such as The Nation, which enjoys the goodwill of members of our party and is appropriately positioned to verify the falsehood of these fictitious and sponsored hatchet job chose not to observe the journalistic dictum of ‘if in doubt, leave out in the breach.'”
Demands Apology: Ambode demanded that the paper apologises to him for “the unjustifiable aspersions cast on his person by wrongly presenting him to right thinking members of the public as a disloyal saboteur trying to frustrate his party’s campaign and electoral victory. Nothing can be further from the truth.”
He promised to spare no effort in ensuring that Sanwo-Olu and all the 40 APC candidates in the House of Assembly poll are duly elected on Saturday.