A stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state Senator Anthony Adefuye has revealed that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s perceived anger cost him a second-term ticket.
Ambode, who succeeded Babatunde Fashola in 2015, fell out with national leader of the APC and former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Political observers believe that Ambode’s rift with Tinubu resulted in his embarrassing defeat to Babajide Sanwo-olu in the party’s governorship primary election for the 2019 polls.
The incumbent governor got 72,901 votes while Sanwo-olu, a former commissioner, polled 970,851.
This happened after Tinubu had publicly declared support for Ambode’s challenger, saying that the governor had deviated from the party’s blueprint for development in Lagos.
But Adefuye, a member of the Lagos State Governors Advisory Council (APC), said party leaders in Lagos East fought to secure Ambode’s office.
He was speaking at a reconciliation meeting held at CMD Shangisha, Lagos, which brought together many stalwarts of the party in Lagos East, which houses Ambode’s Epe area.
Adefuye said that leaders of the party in the district did their best to have a meeting with Ambode before the issue went out of hand.
He said: “People accused us of removing Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“We saw this crack four months ago and we decided to meet with our Lagos Central Senatorial Leader, Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi, and we went to see Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“We asked Tinubu if there was any problem, and he said that there was a problem and he narrated it.
“We prostrated and asked him to call Ambode and speak with him.
“We left the place and started calling Ambode to give him a hint of the meeting, but he did not pick our calls.
“Asiwaju Tinubu said that he was not picking his calls too. I actually tried my best.’’
He also said the party leaders made efforts to visit the Epe home of the governor on the second day to see him which proved abortive.
“We rose up to defend Ambode. We didn’t just follow Asiwaju like sheep, we fought and we tried,” he added.
“Those of us in the East nearly burst into tears for the opportunity we lost in Lagos East.
“I fought tooth and nail to make sure that the position was not taken away from us. It was a great opportunity that we lost.
“Anyone that is not a party man should not be elected into positions. Take this advice and make sure you don’t make the same mistake.’’
He advised political office holders to fight for the people to prevent them from revolting.
“Politics is dynamic; it is not for uncontrolled display of anger. This life is also dynamic. Let us be together,’’ he added.