A governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, has reiterated his readiness to serve Lagosians, if elected as governor in the 2015 general election.
The aspirant also spoke about his vision for the APC, saying the party would liberate Nigerians from poverty, if it wins the presidential election.
He spoke when party leaders and supporters converged on the Akinwuni Ambode Campaign Organisation’s office at the General Hospital Road, Gbagada, Lagos East Senatorial District, for the inauguration of the office and the steering committees for 57 councils.
The colorful ceremony was witnessed by APC grassroots leaders, including House of Representatives member, James Faleke; former Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs, Abdulateef Abdulakeem; his Rural Development counterpart; Paul Kalejaye; former old Mainland Council boss, Otunba Tayo Oyemade; Rasak Muse, Mr. Anifowose Abiola, Bolaji Are, Bode Tijani, Mr. Sulaiman Odueso and Mr. Daisi Oso.
The masters of ceremony were former Kosofe Council Chairman Tunde Braimoh, Yaba Local Council Vice Chairman Mrs. Bola Lawal Olumegbon and Mr. Ahmed Seriki.
Ambode called for unity and cohesion in Lagos APC ahead of the governorship primaries.
He also urged his supporters to fortify and defend his structure during electioneering.
The former accountant-general and permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance, promised to work for the progress of the state, urging his supporters in the 57 local governments to put more effort into their door-to-door and neighbour-to-neighbour mobilisation, ahead of the primaries.
Ambode, who spoke in Yoruba and English, said: “Many party members have resolved to support my bid for the governorship. We are already in the vehicle. We will get to our destination with joy. I am ready to serve Lagosians. Our party has a mission to salvage Nigeria. We will want to create a new level of leadership to challenge the status quo and liberate our people from poverty”.
Abdulakeem, who said the opening prayer, pointed out that the aspirant has the backing of Muslims in Lagos and prayed that he should win the primaries and general election.
The former lawmaker added: “With the help of the Almighty Allah, I will deliver the Lagos Muslims. I see Ambode as a symbol of divine intervention. I have come here to douse the tension that Muslims are against a Christian governor. What has happened in the Central African Republic will not happen here. We will not run Lagos on the basis of religion.
“When you enter the plane, do you ask whether the pilot is a Christian or Muslim? When there is a fire, do you ask whether the landlord is a Christian or Muslim? Muslims in Lagos will work for the success of Ambode”.
Stressing that politics is not “a game of mouth”, but of action, the former adviser said: “All other aspirants are coming to work for the success of Ambode. So, don’t fight anybody”.
Oyemade commended the APC governorship front-runner for his legacies in the civil service, recalling that when council allocations were seized by the Obasanjo Administration, he evolved the financial strategy of generating revenue for the fund-starved councils.
Faleke described Ambode as a competent candidate, assuring all that he would build on the foundation laid by former Governor Bola Tinubu and his successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
He said: “I have a personal right to be here and support who I want to support. There are so many aspirants. I am not forced to support Ambode. I knew Ambode years ago; right from the time he was working as a council treasurer in the local government. He has been a good politician in the civil service, a team player, a honest man and a corrective leader.
“He was the accountant-general when I was the chairman of Conference 57. We worked together. He is humble and God has decided to lift him up. By the grace of God, he will be the next governor. My own support for him is to deliver my local governments – Ojodu, Ikeja and Onigbongbo”.
Faleke, who noted that Fashola has performed in the last seven and half years, said Ambode would continue to follow the standard he has set.
He added: “Ambode will run a government of continuity. He is well-bred and knowledgeable. Let people stop their campaigns of calumny. This game is a game of identification. Come out and be fishers of men for Ambode”.