By Samuel Adegoke
Facts have emerged why the immediate past governor of Lagos State Akinwumi Ambode was dropped as a candidate for Lagos State ministerial slot.
Newspeakonline exclusively gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari already chose Ambode for one of the two ministerial slots for the state as an alternative for the second term ticket denied him by the Lagos All Progressives Congress (APC) but that the top party leaders stood vehemently against his choice.
Their position was based on their conclusion that the former governor practically rubbished the party structure which produced him as governor against all odds in 2015. They also argued that the governor ran the finances of the state to the level that it has been difficult for his successor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to find a sound financial footing for his administration.
Buhari was said to have appealed to the party leaders to allow the choice of Ambode to fly in order to minimize the disgrace he suffered in failing to get a second-term ticket but the latter stood their ground. All appeals by the president failed to convince the leaders that Ambode will do better this time.
It was learnt that high-level discussions went on for a long time as Buhari believed that they would back down after some time but his permutation failed. The Lagos APC leaders remained adamant, insisting that Ambode was the worst governor they produced. They also insisted that he can not represent the interest of Lagos State well, and by extension, the party, having been disgraced during his struggle for the second term ticket.
When Buhari still insisted on picking Ambode, the party leaders were said to have frankly but respectfully told the president that he would have to choose between them and the former governor. It was only at that level that Buhari decided to settle for Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora in the last minute.
The reason may also account for why Mamora was given a minister of state slot in the new cabinet.
Ambode fell into disfavor of Lagos State APC during his second year in office. He was accused of veering off the tradition of governance in the state and administering the state like a personal business. He was further accused of grossly limiting the powers of commissioners and oppressing permanent secretaries.