2023: Afenifere Endorses Ambode’s Ally For Lagos Gov Race
The Lagos State branch of the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has endorsed the governorship candidate of the BOOT Party in the state, Wale Oluwo.
Afenifere chairman in Lagos, Tunde Onakoya, on Wednesday, said the group, through the candidature of Oluwo, will “conquer” the tight rein of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu on Lagos.
Onakoya spoke during the unveiling of the Wale Oluwo Campaign Organisation in the Anthony area of Lagos.
“For us, we have been in politics for many years. The present presidential candidate of the APC (Tinubu) used to be a member of Afenifere, he came from the US (United States) and joined us and we know how much Afenifere contributed in raising him.
“He has left us and has not replenished what he got from us. It is through Mr Oluwo that we are going to conquer him,” the Afenifere chieftain stated.
Also, another Afenifere chieftain who also doubles as the director general of Oluwo campaign, Lanre Anjolaiya said the group remains committed to the presidential bid of Labour Party’s Peter Obi but Afenifere will support Oluwo for the 2023 governorship election in Lagos.
Oluwo, a long-term ally of ex-governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode dumped the APC after he protested exclusion from the party’s governorship primary on May 26, 2022. He later joined the BOOT Party and emerged the governorship candidate in Lagos.
Oluwo, a former Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources during the Ambode administration, vowed to challenge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s re-election bid in 2023.
Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, Oluwo said he already had the BOOT Party as a “backup plan” before the APC governorship primary at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in May because he knew the “antics” of the ruling party.
He said, “I am proudly Afenifere and I believe in the time-tested ethos and programmes of Afenifere, enunciated by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his subsequent successors under the philosophical caption of ‘Freedom for all and life more abundant’.”
Oluwo vowed to “return the wealth of Lagos back to the people of Lagos” and “birth a fairer Lagos that creates opportunity for all, not just a few”, “reposition Lagos as an investment destination that is globally competitive”, amongst others.
The BOOT Party governorship candidate said his campaign manifesto will be released in the coming weeks. He also launched the party’s “solution series” which he said would tackle some of the major challenges of energy, transportation, amongst others facing Lagosians.
Where Is Ambode?
Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, Ambode is the only former governor of the state who was in office for a single term. Tinubu was governor between 1999 and 2007 before he handed over to now Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who was in office from 2007 to 2015.
READ ALSO: Tinubu Can’t Claim Glory For Fashola, Ambode’s Achievements – APC Chieftain
Ambode took over in 2015 but lost his re-election at the APC primary in the 2019 electioneering process due to intra-party squabbles as APC strongman in Lagos (Tinubu) was reported to have favoured the incumbent governor (Sanwo-Olu), over Ambode.
Since he ended his single term in 2019, Ambode has not been seen at political or social functions with his predecessors – Tinubu and Fashola. He has also not been seen at events with the incumbent governor.
The former governor has also been reticent at the few times he was pictured at APC events at the national level like in May 2021 when he was appointed the deputy chairman of the South-West sub-committee of the Contact and Strategy Committee of the ruling party.
There were reports that Ambode would contest the party’s governorship ticket with Sanwo-Olu at the primary in May 2022. Rather, his ally, Oluwo, threw his hat in the ring but lost to Sanwo-Olu.
Unlike Fashola and Sanwo-Olu, Ambode has not publicly endorsed Tinubu’s 2023 presidential ambition and has not been seen at any political event linked with Tinubu’s aspiration for Aso Rock but the months ahead of the February 2023 presidential poll are still much very pregnant.
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