• GAC insists on direct primary for gov, others
• Ashafa declares to run for third term
A Yoruba sociocultural group, Yoruba Ronu, has cautioned the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State against stopping Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s reelection for for a second term.
Its Secretary General, Akin Malaolu said in a statement yesterday that it was surprised at the gang up by some political leaders including APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the governor’s second term ambition.
“It is important to remind the political leaders in Lagos that APC and Ambode’s victory at the 2015 polls was due to many factors, one of which was the role played by leaders of Yoruba Ronu forum to ensure his victory.
“Our decision was due to the altercations between the Oba of Lagos and the Igbo community over the lagoon saga that turned political and we are prepared to work for him regardless of his shortcomings.
“We, therefore, caution that the threats to deny Ambode his second tern and fair performance so far may snowball into massive protest votes, if care is not taken,” it said.
The group said APC leaders’ hypocrisy in Lagos State has gone too far, adding that they have deviated from commonsense to political carelessness, which will have consequences on the presidential and other elections if the party goes into the 2019 elections without resolving distractions it has created.
The group added that it was putting APC and its Mandate and Justice groups on notice that the Lagos electorate and the Southwest are not in agreement with their plot to deny Ambode a second term in office.
We, therefore, beseech all to sheath their swords for better political negotiations to reduce the political tension that has enveloped Lagos and the Southwest.
However, the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) has insisted on direct primaries for the governorship hopefuls including Ambode.
Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, Yomi Finnish, said the party would use direct primary to select candidates for all elective positions ahead of next year’s general elections in a free, fair and peaceful process.
Meanwhile, representative of Lagos East senatorial district, Gbenga Ashafa, has declared his intention to run for a third term in the Senate and to participate in the primaries scheduled for Saturday.
Spokesman of APC, Joe Igbokwe told The Guardian that there was no going back on the direct primary option.
Ashafa’s declaration is coming against the backdrop of unconfirmed reports that Tinubu had asked him (Ashafa) to step down for Bayo Osinowo, who currently represents Kosofe 1 at the state House of Assembly.
Declaring his intension at Magodo yesterday, Ashafa solicited support of Lagos East ahead of Saturday’s primaries.