Nigeria: Sanwo-Olu says Ambode a shameless liar after drugs, fake dollars claim by the governor
Lagos, October 1, 2018 (AltAfrica)- The battle for succession to the Lagos state government house has gone nasty after claims and counter claims by the main actors in the race with Babajide Sanwo-Olu, an All Progressives Congress governorship aspirant in Lagos accusing the state governor Akinwunmi Ambode of making false claims about him.
Ambode had told a world press conference on Sunday that Sanwo-Olu was unfit for the office governor having been arrested and detained in the United States for months for spending fake dollars in a night club
He also accused the aspirant of being a drug addict who had undergone rehabilitation at a Lagos State-owned general hospital.
“This particular aspirant is somebody that has been arrested for spending fake dollars in a nightclub in America, and he has been detained for months,” Ambode said.
“He doesn’t have the competence to do what he is being propelled to do. This is somebody that has gone for rehabilitation before. The records are there at the Gbagada General Hospital.”
But Sanwo-Olu said in a statement that none of the governor’s claims was true.
He claimed that Ambode was aware that he travelled to the United States in August. He said he would not have been able to do so if he truly had committed the crime.
“That the governor claimed that I underwent some unidentified type of rehabilitation at the Gbagada General Hospital was also shameless and untrue,” Sanwo-Olu added.
Ambode’s Sunday press conference came less than 24 hours before the APC governorship primary election in the state.
With a spectre of lost dangling above his head, his personal attack against his rival for the APC ticket in Lagos was a part of his attempt at whittling the chances of Sanwo-Olu, who has been endorsed by state’s lawmakers, chairmen of local councils and Ambode’s estranged godfather and APC’s national leader Bola Tinubu, of winning the ticket.
Although Ambode insisted that there was no”rift” with Tinubu, the former Lagos State governor said the governor was no longer capable of moving the state forward.
Explicitly placing his trust in Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu described his anointed choice as “a young man endowed with superlative vision and commitment.”
He said earlier on Sunday that his decision to not back Ambode for a second term was because he alienated people from the government and deviated from the state’s master plan.
There has been uncertainty about Ambode’s re-election after Sanwo-Olu, currently the Managing Director of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) and former Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, declared their intention to challenge the governor in primary election.
As a result, the Mandate Movement, a powerful political machine of the National Leader of the APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, endorsed Sanwo-Olu for the governorship contest, thereby heating up the state’s political climate ahead of the primary election scheduled to hold Monday.
Ambode’s travail had attracted the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba, Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), pleading for reprieve for Ambode.
With the presidential intervention, the APC leader Tinubu decided to consult the GAC, the state’s highest advisory political organ comprising 22 APC chieftains across the three senatorial districts. But in its resolution, the GAC directed Ambode and the two other aspirants to go for the direct primary election