• Face-off to strengthen APC, says chair
Twenty-four hours after a report by The Guardian on the seeming halt of reconstruction works on the Oshodi-Airport Road and the Pen Cinema Flyover in Lagos State, the contractor, Messr Hi-Tech Construction Nigeria Limited, has returned to site.
There have been reports of face-off between Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who allegedly owns a stake in the construction firm.
Ambode’s quest to retain his seat in the next year’s election had come under serious threat from powerful actors believed to be sympathetic to the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader and erstwhile governor.
Two former commissioners, Mr. Femi Hamzat, and Jide Sanwo-Olu, have obtained nomination forms to seek the party’s ticket in its direct primary holding on September 25.
Sanwo-Olu, a one-time Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, is said to be enjoying the backing of the Mandate Group, a political group suspected to have Tinubu’s tacit support.
During his formal declaration on Sunday, Sanwo-Olu had praised erstwhile military governor, Brig.-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, for contributing immensely to the prosperity of Lagos.
While the conflict within the ruling party rages, work on the two projects had come to an abrupt stop, a development, sources close to the firm, blamed on alleged non-payment of a N20 billion fee by the state government.
However, there appears to be some reconciliatory moves on the projects. Investigations revealed that some agreements may have been reached at a meeting held with government on Monday but the terms were not disclosed.
However, the battle for the party’s ticket by the three gladiators would strengthen internal democracy within the fold, according to the state APC chairman, Babatunde Balogun.
He disclosed yesterday in Ikeja that the immediate past state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Moshood Salvador, and six others had been inaugurated to screen no fewer than 230 aspirants jostling to represent the platform at the House of Assembly elections.
Balogun spoke while receiving a PDP chieftain and former Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Remi Adiukwu, who defected from to APC at the party secretariat.
He debunked the claim that the emergency of the ex-commissioners to challenge the incumbent had weakened the party structure.
His words: “I don’t know why many are looking at the issue negatively. What is happening now is democracy in action. In our party, we have three loyal members aspiring to represent the APC at next year’s governorship in the state.
“This isn’t strange rather it would strengthen the internal democracy within the party. They all have legitimate rights to aspire for any positions in the country, including Lagos.”