The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a Presidential hopeful, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, today, (Friday), publicly endorsed the incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, to run for a second term.
Tinubu also sanctioned Dr Obafemi Hamzat, his Deputy, to also continue as the Governor’s running mate in the coming General Elections in 2023.
The public endorsement final put paid to insinuations that the Sanwo – Olu will not be running for a second term based on an agreement allegedly said that he signed when coming into the office in 2019.
The coast was cleared for the duo at the party’s stakeholders’ meeting held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa on Friday, May 6, 2022, when Tinubu openly raised the hands of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat in approval of their bid to continue in office beyond 2023.
Before today, there have been rumours that the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) had rejected Sanwo – Olu’s re – election.
The endorsement by the APC National Leader, has now put paid to these speculations, especially those being circulated on online media platforms that Tinubu has endorsed a former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Civil Service, Mustapha Olorunfemi, to replace Sanwo – Olu.
In the same vein, Tinubu’s endorsement also assured Hamzat that he will continue as Sanwo – Olu’s Deputy contrary to the news making round that Sanwo – Olu and the party have dumped him.
While endorsing the duo, Tinubu said the Governor and his Deputy have built an unbreakable team to raise the bar of excellence in governance and service delivery in the State, with visible achievements and progress to show for their efforts. This, the APC National Leader said, earned the duo the opportunity to return for a second term, and not a blank endorsement which many politicians sought.
He added that Lagos under Sanwo-Olu’s leadership has remained a State of pride for residents and other Nigerians who crave responsive governance and progress.
“We have a brilliant Governor at the helm of affairs, who is supported by his deputy to build an unbreakable team that has raised the bar of excellence in governance in Lagos. I specially thank Dr. Hamzat, who has been a very good assistant and a pillar of support to the Governor.
“Sanwo-Olu, with Hamzat, has raised an impenetrable team. I commend both of you and all members of the cabinet. You have all done wonderfully well and I must say that I am very proud of you.”
The raising of Sanwo-Olu’s hand by Tinubu was preceded by a motion moved by the Vice Chairman of APC (Lagos East), Hon. Saidat Oladunjoye, for open endorsement of the Governor by the party’s leadership.
The motion was seconded by a member representing Alimosho Constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Kehinde Joseph. This attracted a resounding approval from all stakeholders in attendance.
Speaking during the stakeholders meeting, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Asiwaju Tinubu paid the N50million fee for APC Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for his second term bid.
“Asiwaju Tinubu is a generous man and he is doing a lot for people. He paid for my APC nomination and expression of interest forms to run for the second term,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu expressed appreciation to Tinubu for his guidance and thanked the GAC leaders for standing by his government despite personal attacks they suffered from those the Governor referred to as “wayward children” who turned against the party elders after benefiting from them.
The Governor said it was time for the party members across levels to foster cohesion and work for the APC’s success in the State and at the federal level.
Sanwo-Olu, who described Tinubu as a “priceless symbol” of Lagos, said all hands must be on deck to ensure the State was not robbed of the presidential ticket of APC at the national primaries of the party.
“It is time to come together as determined party members and show genuine love towards our National Leader, who is our priceless symbol and pride in Lagos. We are taking him national and we must ensure his house is fully united“, he said.
The stakeholders’ meeting, convened at the instance of Tinubu, was attended by Lagos APC chairman, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, party executive members, GAC members, senatorial leaders and stalwarts, all local councils chairman in the State and aspirants for various positions.