Lagos state governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, has formally declared his intention to run.
He made the declaration on Sunday at a ceremony held at City Hall on Lagos Island. Rolling out his plans for the state if elected next governor, he promised to immediately restore fully the glory of Lagos, tackle environmental peoblems and relieve residents of the state of the persistent traffic gridlocks and hiccups.
Party bigwigs at the event, which took place at City Hall on Lagos Island include Cardinal James Odunmbaku aka Baaba Eto, Chief Sunny Ajose, former Head of Service and Vice-Chairman, Lagos West APC; Alhaji Abdulai Enilolobo, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Chief Kaoli Olusanya, Chief Demola Seriki and Dr. Tola Kasali.
Others are Hon. James Faleke, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, Hon. (Mrs) Lola Essen, Chairman, Conference 57; Hon. Wahab Alawiye, former Lagos Island LG boss and former member, Lagos Assembly; Mr. Tayo Ayinde, DG, campaign organisation for Sanwoolu, who was also Chief Detail to former Governor Tinubu, among others.
With Sanwoolu’s declaration and the calibre of party men at hte ceremony, fears that current Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, may not be able to contest for a second term, heightened. He would now be contesting the party’s direct primary slated for September 26, with Sanwoolu who is believed to have the support of National leader of the party and former governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Sanwoolu, a three-time commissioner in the state, promised to go rekindle the Lagos State Economic and Development Strategy initiated by Tinubu.
According to him, “this vision put together by eminent Lagosians prepared our state ahead for the growing challenges. The most concrete manifestation of Asiwaju’s leadership and love for the great people of our state; I feel privileged to be part of that process that made it happen, I assure you that it shall continue to be the road map when I become the next civilian Governor of the state.”
“This foundation has survived the test of time because Asiwaju was able to recruit excellent and brilliant successors. But without the ratification of these men by Lagosians who had voted massively for them during the general election, his wish wouldn’t have become the popular choice of the people. So we didn’t take the people for granted,” Sanwoolu added.
Promising loyalty to Lagosians and leaders of the APC, Sanwoolu said: “I am sending a clarion call to all our members that there is a lot to be done to achieve a Lagos of our dream. I present myself as a capable and competent and tested hand to make Lagos greater.
“I declared that I shall be a true party man in the real definition by the words and in running an inclusive government according to the ideology of APC and long-term benefits of citizens.
“Loyalty in my view is the currency of politics. I shall be loyal to the people of the state and leadership of the party.
“I urge my party members to join me in elevating the state in all facets of human endeavours through improvement and enlightenment”.
Last week when news went round that Tinubu had turned his back on Ambode, the man he supported to become governor in 2015. With today’s development, many who dismissed the reports may begin to reconsider.
There are speculations that Ambode may leave the APC if he fails to clinch the ticket. But some sources say the party leaders, after failing to change Tinubu’s mind, were doing everything they can to prevent Ambode from leaving.