A former Lagos state commissioner for Commerce and Industry Jide Sanwo-Olu has joined the governorship race of the state in next year’s general election.
Sanwo-Olu is contesting the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket against incumbent governor of Lagos state Akinwunmi Ambode.
Prior to the declaration, speculations have it that all is not well between the national leader of the
APC Bola Tinubu and Ambode. It was also rumoured that Ambode was on the verge of defecting to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
James Odumbaku, popularly called “Baba Eto”, who is believed to be very powerful within the political camp of Tinubu, on Tuesday endorsed Sanwoolu for Lagos State Governor.
“Honourable Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the incoming governor of Lagos state,” Baba Eto said.
But, a source close to the governor told The Guardian that Ambode still has a chummy relationship with his political godfather.
The source also denied that the governor was planning to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“There is no rift and there can never be a rift,” the aide told The Guardian. “It is not possible for the governor, the poster boy of the party, to join the PDP.”
However, the source noted that there was no way difference in opinion on direct primaries could have caused a rift between Tinubu and Ambode, since the governor was the only candidate.
“As I speak, there is no contender for APC governorship primary with Ambode.“Nobody is coming out; even in PDP, nobody is coming out. The governor is the only person that is contesting.” the government source said.
About a week after, the claims of the source needed no further evidence to prove it was true when Ambode in company with top officials of the state government bought the nomination and expression of interest form of the APC to seek re-election.
“As I seek to continue with your mandate to steer the affairs of our State, I humbly call on all Lagosians to again give me your support. I ask you to believe again and together, let’s achieve more.” Ambode tweeted after acquiring the form at the party’s secretariat.
Days after, Jide Sanwo-Olu who is a former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Budget and Planning, Establishment and Training, is reportedly the preferred candidate of the Mandate Group, a pro-Tinubu support group.
Asides being a top official of the state government in previous administrations, Sanwo-Olu was once an aide to former deputy governor Femi Pedro and later to former governor Bola Tinubu.