Fact Check: Ambode Was Denied 2nd-Term Ticket By Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Not Tinubu

by Fatai Alimi
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If you think Lagos state is just one of the states in Nigeria where things are done without any economic blueprint, then you are mistaken.

Lagos state under the APC has a 10-point development agenda that are expected to be strictly followed. The affairs of the political office holders chosen and elected by the people are checked and guided by the highest decision-making body called the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) to ensure the original Lagos development blueprint is strictly followed without any deviation

The idea of the council was brought forward and headed by the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and it consists of major stakeholders of the party within the state overseeing the affairs of the party. The body is charged with making major decisions such as mode of primaries, candidates of the party in elections and even the executives of the party.

Tinubu, through the council, has maintained a firm grip on the structure of the party since he left the Alliance for Democracy (AD) on whose platform he was elected governor in 1999 and 2003 to form the Action Congress (AC) which metamorphosed to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before it becomes APC in 2013.

The members of the Governor’s Advisory Council include all the Senators representing Lagos state: Solomon Adeola (Lagos West) and Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East) and Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central). It also includes The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; former governor of Lagos State and current minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa; ex-Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji and former deputy governor Mrs Idiat Oluranti Adebule.

Apart from these elected politicians who are admitted to the council, the core members are 85-year-old Prince Tajudeen Olusi; Otunba Henry Ajomale (former Lagos APC chair), Prince Abiodun Ogunleye (ex-deputy to Tinubu), Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Otunba Bashiru Alebiosu, Omooba Murphy Adetoro, Sen Anthony Adefuye, Alhaji S.A Seriki, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Bashorun and Prince Rabiu Oluwa. Others are Chief M. A Taiwo, Alhaji Mutiu Are, Dr Yomi Finnih, Omooba Muyiwa Sosanya, Prof. Tunde Samuel, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, Mr Wale Edun and a former APC Deputy National Woman Leader, Mrs Kemi Nelson. By virtue of their positions, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Femi Hamzat are also members of the council today.

Akinwumi Ambode is the only former governor excluded from the council when it was reconstituted last year. However, his deputy, Adebule was added to the list. Former deputy governors Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Sarah Adebisi Sosan and Femi Pedro were also not included, perhaps because they fell out with the party.

According to the Lagos APC spokesman, Seye Oladejo, GAC “is a council of advisers, a warehouse of knowledge and wisdom that people in government and the party can tap from. All of them in that council are mentors in their own right. If people are still wondering why Lagos is the shining light of the progressives, the answer cannot be too far from their activities. Some states are adopting the same process by bringing their experienced hands in terms of politics and governance,” he said.

And that is the body that denied Akinwumi Ambode a second-term ticket, not Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Explaining why, the Chairman of the party in Lagos, Tunde Balogun, in an interview with PUNCH, said that Ambode was not picked by the APC to represent the party during the 2019 governorship election because he deviated from the party’s programmes.

He said “The APC as a party started from Alliance for Democracy. From AD, when Asiwaju Tinubu was the governor, we had a 10-point agenda for the development of the state. These areas touch on transportation, health, education, security, and others. When he (Tinubu) was there, he did a lot in the area of transportation, health, and the environment before he left office after eight years. Babatunde Fashola took over and followed the same programme to the letter and you found development all over the place. When Fashola sought re-election, he won with a very large margin because of his performance. When Ambode took over, at the beginning he was adhering to the programme of the party but after some time, he deviated. That singular act and mistake cost him his second term.

There are too many misconceptions about ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU, and not until people begin to listen to the actual facts with open minds, they will continue to live with the follies.

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