Buhari and Ambode in closed-door meeting, pressure on Ambode to step down
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja met behind closed door with Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The battle on who gets the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State continued on Wednesday with the party leadership mounting pressure on the incumbent Governor to drop his second term bid and endorse his opponent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor would be updating the president on latest political development within the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State.
Sources tell Elombah News that the governor’s political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the leadership of the APC in Lagos State are mounting pressure on Ambode, to drop his second term bid.
The governor and Tinubu have been in the news in the past few days because of an alleged rift over the second term bid of Ambode.
Tinubu, who is reported to have endorsed Ambode’s opponent within the APC, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had refused to back Ambode’s second term ambition despite pleas by concerned individuals and several socio- political groups from within and outside Lagos state.
NAN, however, gathered that governors under the platform of APC, who met on Wednesday night in Abuja, had on behalf of Ambode, sought the intervention of President Buhari in the APC crisis in Lagos state.
NAN reports that the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, delivered the governors’ message to the president few minutes before his meeting with Ambode.
A source in the presidency told NAN that the president might end the tussle between Ambode and the Mandate Group, led by the APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
NAN reports that the president may also meet with other APC stakeholders in Lagos state within the week as part of efforts toward resolving the rift.
Sanwo-Olu, a former commissioner in the state, on Sunday formally declared his intention to vie for the Lagos State governorship ticket of the APC, promising to restore the glory of the state when he was voted in as the governor.
Notable APC leaders in the state, who were either allies of Tinubu or his followers, were at the declaration.
On Monday, Ambode’s wife, Bolanle had tried to save her husband’s job when she met with Tinubu in Osun State and tried to pacify him to change his mind. The meeting did not yield positive result.
Our correspondent learnt that both the state and national leaders of the party met on Wednesday and mounted pressure on the Lagos governor to accept the decision of the state party leaders.
It was gathered that Ambode, however, told them that he would prefer to go ahead with the direct primary option of the party in the state.
A source said, “Ambode was told to step down and forget his second term ambition. He was told to publicly endorse Sanwo-Olu as his successor. He was promised a ministerial appointment after the APC might have won the presidential election. He was even told to pick a ministry of his choice.
“But Ambode seemed not to be pleased with the directives of the leaders as he declined the ministerial dangle. He also told them to allow the APC primary process to continue as planned. For now, the meeting is still continuing and there is no compromise in sight.”
Our correspondent also learnt on Wednesday that Ambode had instructed his camp not to speak to any journalist and wait for the electoral process to pan out.
However, Elombah News gathered that the state APC leaders were still insisting that Ambode must go as of Wednesday evening