- The record has been set straight on how Akinwunmi Ambode, a former governor of Lagos, did not get a second term ticket
- There have been suspicions and rumours that Ambode was removed from office through underground workings by Bola Tinubu
- But Dele Alake, a former commissioner for information and strategy, said Ambode only lost at the governorship primary and nothing more
Dele Alake, the director of media and communications of the presidential campaign council of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has reacted to a claim that his principal denied Akinwunmi Ambode a second term as governor of Lagos.
During a Twitter Space organised by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT) Media Centre, on Sunday, August 28, Alake made it clear that Tinubu did not reject Ambode, contrary to popular suspicion, Daily Trust reports.
The former commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos noted that Ambode was only defeated at the primary by his successor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and that this was decided by votes, not by Tinubu.
Tinubu did not take the ticket from Ambode
Alake explained that while Ambode might have had some flaws and made wrong moves at one point or the other, it was not Tinubu's responsibility to choose who governs Lagos, even if he has the right to support a preferred candidate.
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“In a political competition, there must be supporters here and there. Yes, Fashola’s successor (Ambode) came into office, he was supported by Asiwaju as Asiwaju supported Fashola. But let me use this opportunity to clear one point, a misconception that Ambode wasn’t given a second term. It is not true.
“The governorship mandate is not for Asiwaju to give or take. It is for the people of Lagos State to give or to take or withdraw. Ambode was in office, for whatever reason he might have committed, of course he did commit gaps and faux pas but he also went through election. Maybe people have forgotten or they have selective amnesia, Ambode went through the political process and lost.
“Asiwaju did not take the ticket from him. He contested the primaries with Babajide Sanwo-Olu and lost. The primary was conducted in the open all over the state and the media covered it and it was shown everywhere. Why do people always succumb to such partisanship occasioned by blind prejudices.
“Yes it was Asiwaju’s right to support any candidate or aspirant, it is a natural phenomenon.”
But a political observer, Mamah Christopher, speaking on Monday, August 29, does not seem to share the same thought with Alake.
Christopher alleged that Tinubu, in the build-up to the primary, had said that Ambode is not a good party and as such, must have had a hand in his defeat.
"But in the build-up to the primary election, Tinubu made it clear that Ambode is not a good party man, so how can you exonerate him from Ambode's failure to return?"
2023: Ambode defects from APC to Labour Party? LP chairman speaks
Meanwhile, the Lagos chapter of the Labour Party (LP) had reacted to claims that Ambode had defected to the party from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ifagbemi Awamaridi, the chairman of the LP in Lagos, on Thursday, July 7, debunked the unconfirmed rumour and maintained that the former governor has never made such a decision.
Instead, Awamaridi made it clear that he is still the governorship flagbearer in the state ahead of the 2023 general elections.