A former governor of Lagos State and APC chieftain, Sen. Bola Tinubu on Friday, endorsed Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat for second term in office.
Tinubu gave the approval as he raised the hands of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat at an APC Stakeholders’ Meeting in Ikeja, Lagos.
He said that Sanwo-Olu and his deputy had built an unbreakable team to raise the bar of excellence in governance and service delivery in the state, with visible achievements and progress to show for their efforts.
According to him, such visible achievements earned the duo the opportunity to return for second term, and not a blank endorsement which many politicians seek.
Tinubu, a presidential hopeful on APC platform, said Lagos under Sanwo-Olu’s leadership had remained a state of pride for residents and other Nigerians who craved responsive governance and progress.
”We have a brilliant governor at the helm of affairs, who is supported by his deputy to build an unbreakable team that has raised the bar of excellence in governance in Lagos. I specially thank Dr Hamzat, who has been a very good assistant and a pillar of support to the governor.
”Sanwo-Olu with Hamzat has raised an impenetrable team. I commend both of you and all members of the cabinet. You have all done wonderfully well and I must say that I am very proud of you,” he said.
The raising of Sanwo-Olu’s hand by Tinubu was preceded by a motion moved by the Vice Chairman of APC (Lagos East), Mrs Saidat Oladunjoye, for open endorsement of the governor by the party’s leadership.
The motion was seconded by a member representing Alimosho Constituency in the House of Assembly, Mr Kehinde Joseph.
The APC Leader, however, said that the party in Lagos would not prevent any aspirant vying for any position from testing their strength at the primaries.
He said that all candidates that would be fielded by the party across elective positions must go through a delegate electoral system.
”Aspirants who are showing interest in positions from House of Assembly to governorship, go and get your forms; you are going to contest primaries. There will not be any favouritism in the primaries.
”We want you to contest and test your popularity. Nobody will ask you to step down for another aspirant. Let all aspirants mobilise their supporters; if you win, you win. If you lose, there will not be a refund of the nomination form,” he said.
Tinubu charged all leaders holding the party structure at the local government level to rise above their challenges and work with the community leaders in their respective councils, to mobilise for APC victory at the general elections.
He directed the resolution of all grievances and disagreements causing disaffection among party members ahead of the primaries, stressing that division would not bring any good to party candidates standing for election.
Speaking during the stakeholders meeting, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Tinubu paid the N50 million fee for APC Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for his second term bid.
”Asiwaju Tinubu is a generous man and he is doing a lot for people. He paid for my APC nomination and expression of interest forms to run for the second term,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu expressed appreciation to Tinubu for his guidance and thanked the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) Leaders for standing by his government, in spite personal attacks they suffered.
The governor said it was time for the party members across levels to foster cohesion and work for the APC’s success in the state and at the federal level.
Sanwo-Olu, who described Tinubu as a ”priceless symbol” of Lagos, said that all hands must be on deck to ensure the state was not robbed of the presidential ticket of APC at the national primaries of the party.
”It is time to come together as determined party members and show genuine love towards our National Leader, who is our priceless symbol and pride in Lagos. We are taking him national and we must ensure his house is fully united,” he said.
The stakeholders’ meeting, convened at the instance of Tinubu, was attended by Lagos APC chairman, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, party executive members, GAC members, senatorial leaders and stalwarts across all local councils in the state.