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Buhari meets Ambode in Aso Rock over re-election bid



Buhari meets Ambode in Aso Rock over re-election bid
  • lMedia creating political earthquake in Lagos –APC

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met behind closed doors with the Governor of Lagos Sta¬te, Akinwumi Ambode and Governor Rochas -Okorocha of Imo State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Ambode was accompanied to the villa by his Aide de Camp (ADC), Olum¬ide Raheem, a Deputy Superintendent of P¬olice, while his counterpart, Okorocha, came with his Chief of Staff, Uc¬he Nwosu. The meeting, our correspondent gathered, is not unconnected with the crisis rocking the re-election of the Lagos State Governor in the 2019 general elections. The two governors met with the President sepa¬rately. Both Ambode and Okorocha did not spe¬ak to State House Correspondents when they left the villa. It was also not clear at press time what Ambode and Okorocha came to do in the Presidential villa, Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reliably learnt that Ambode was to update the president on latest political development within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State. The governor’s political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the leadershipof the APC in Lagos State, were opposed to Ambode’s re-election bid. Tinubu, who is alleged 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 sociopolitical groups from within and outside Lagos state. APC governors, who met on Wednesday night in Abuja, had on behalf of Ambode, sought the intervention of President Buhari in the crisis in Lagos state. A source in the presidency told NAN that the president might end the tussle between Ambode and the Mandate Group, led by Tinubu. The president may also meet with other APC stakeholders in Lagos State within the week as part of efforts toward resolving the rift. Meanwhile, the APC has blamed the media for its alleged role in fuelling the political crisis that hit the party in Lagos State. National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, who spoke in Abuja after a meeting with APC governors, dismissed the insinuations that Ambode was embattled over his reelection bid due to the said rift with his political godfather. Oshiomhole accused journalists of creating earthquake out of the situation. He argued that the entrance into the race by others does not indicate a vote of no confidence, but an indication of the democratic nature of the ruling party. “The attempt to call him an embattled governor is wrong. There is no APC governor that is embattled and because we are democratic, the best way to measure democracy is the presence of more than one person showing interest in an office. That does not make any other person embattled. “But of course, the media can create this impression that there is an earthquake in Lagos, there is no earthquake. At every level, I have seen people claiming that in one or two offices, there was no opposition. In every other office, we have more than one candidate expressing interest. Those people who are currently occupying those positions are not by reasons of those new expressions of interests embattled. “I think our party in Lagos is at peace, there are conversations going on at the ward level across the 8,500 wards or thereabout. Across the country, conversations are going on within the APC family. Conversations are going on in each of the 774 Local Governments across the country. “Our party members are negotiating, they are persuading, they are doing compromises and they are competing, because we are progressing. Across the 36 states, our party activity is at its peak and that is how it is even at the centre. So, it will be unfair for anyone out of his own prejudice to label anyone as embattled or being pressured. Everyone has been active,”Oshiomhole said.

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