A Lagos-based group, Visioners for New Lagos, VNL, on Sunday, vowed to kick against any attempt to impose a former Accountant-General of the state, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode on the state as its next governor.
The group’s coordinator, Mr. Bambo Akin-Johnson, also warned a national leader of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, against imposing a candidate on the party and by extension the people of Lagos State.
He said while his group remained sympathetic to the APC, it would not sit back and watch internal democracy being threatened.
Akin-Johnson added that members of the group were ready to “fight to the finish” if Tinubu and his allies insisted on the candidature of the state’s former Accountant General.
He claimed that the APC leader had “confided in some of his close confidants” about the choice of Mr. Ambode, stressing that Lagos did not belong to any individual, as such, the group was prepared to prove this in 2015.
Mr. Tinubu is widely regarded as a king maker in the APC having single-handedly installed five out of the six governors in the South-West geo-political region under the platform of the party. He is also believed to have more than a passing interest in who succeeds his protégé, incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, whose tenure comes to an end in May 2015.
Akin-Johnson noted that in spite of the ideals of the APC as a mega party, Tinubu had refused to drop the habit of imposition of candidates.
According to him, “There is no doubt about the fact that Tinubu has settled for Mr. Akin Ambode as his governorship candidate in 2015. Why no one is opposed to the person of Ambode aspiring to the office of the governor, we take exception to his imposition. If anything, he must be a product of a credible process in the emerging new Lagos.
“The sentiment of playing the religion and zonal card as if the two factors have consciously been part of the Lagos political system will be counter-productive. In fact, Tinubu’s enemies cannot wait to see him fail since he has chosen to arrogate to himself the power of life and death as if there was no Lagos before him.
“The idea of zoning is well understood. Taking it to the East is a clever way of eliminating some of the strong candidates perceived as standing in the ways of their ploy, by which time the other contestants would be shoved aside for the preferred Ambode without recourse to what other stakeholders, particularly party members, think”.
As at the time of going to press, attempts to get an official reaction from Tinubu were unsuccessful as calls and sms to his media assistant, Sunday Dare’s mobile phone were neither picked nor replied.