The tension and anxiety that enveloped the Lagos metropolis as a result of the contentious All Progressives Congress (APC) between the incumbent Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and his arch-rival Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was on Wednesday defused, as the governor displayed a spirit of sportsmanship by conceding defeat in the primary held on Tuesday in the state and congratulated Sanwo-Olu.
The governor in a state wide broadcast said the interest of the party and state supercedes that of individuals no matter how powerful and glorified.
Ambode said, ‘’Fellow Lagosians, the last few days have witnessed intense political activities that have gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity. I strongly believe that the time has now come for the State to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years are not lost.
‘’Dear Lagosians, APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved State must always supercede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC Primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and urge all Lagosians to immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections and work for the success of our dear party.
‘’As Governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new Governor, come May 2019.
‘’I therefore appeal to all our party members that we remain one family and unite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward.
‘’The progress of Lagos state is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your Governor and one to which I will forever be devoted.
‘’I wish to use this opportunity to thank our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the leadership of our great party at state and national levels, all party faithfuls and all Lagosians.
‘’I thank all Lagosians for their faith and trust in me. I urge you not to relent in your support for our party as we prepare for the General Elections.’’
Meantime, the winner of Lagos State governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has also thanked Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, his opponent in the contest, for putting up a good fight.
Sanwo-Olu, in his acceptance speech on Wednesday after being declared the winner of the election, said Ambode’s added credibility to the primaries, just as he wished the governor well in the remaining months of his administration.
The results of the primaries which held across the 245 wards of the state, on Tuesday, October 2, saw Sanwo-Olu polling 970,851 votes to beat the incumbent governor, who scored 72,901 votes.
The results were initially contested by Ambode’s supporters, who alleged harassment.
The APC panel sent from Abuja to conduct the election said on Tuesday there was no election, and announced it would be conducting a fresh primaries in the state, but that had been overruled by Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, and his National Working Committee (NWC).
The outcome of the primaries has finally nailed Ambode’s second term ambition.
The governor now has up till May 29, 2019 to vacate the Government House, Alausa, his party having dumped him as its flag bearer for the 2019 general elections.
Sanwo-Olu, who also thanked the leadership of the APC at both state and national levels, as well as elders and members of the party for massive support given him, promised he would not betray the confidence reposed in him.
He said the battle to retain Lagos in 2019, and consolidate on the gains of the APC in the state, has begun.