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course, we have a stabilizing force in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. I must tell you, he has been a reliable leader and he has delivered on many occasions. So, he is a man that can be trusted and relied on. He is dependable and reliable. He has been helping and directing the party towards progress and victory. He has been a stabilizing force for us and that is why we abide by some of his decisions. He has been a leader that has led us to victory upon victory. As Alliance for Democracy (AD), we controlled one state in South-West at a time, but through effort, we have six states now.
If Tinubu directs the party leaders and members to back a particular person among the three aspirants for the governorship poll, will you go toward that direction?
I have told you that he has being a pathfinder. For us, he has been a reliable leader; he has been a leader, who has led us to victory upon victory. He is our leader and if he says something, we will look at it as we have always seen wisdom in what he is saying over the years.
Will Tinubu’s candidate emerge as the next governor of Lagos State?
The peoples’ candidate will emerge. All APC members will elect the candidate. So, the wishes of the majority of the registered members will prevail and that is why we ask all registered members to participate.
Have you put necessary logistics in place for the direct primary?
Yes, by the grace of God. Of course, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will supervise the exercise. The media will be there too. We will make sure things are properly put in place.
The factional chairman of the party in the state, Fuad Oki, has threatened to stop the primaries through legal means. What is your take on that?
If it is through legal means, it means he will go to court. He has being doing that; going to court. If I have my way, I will not even talk about them. They are strange members of our party. We need to reach out to them and bring them in rather than exchanging brickbats in the media. They are all my brothers and we want to work together.
Have you made any move to reach out to him and his group?
Of course, I have been reaching out to some of them, so that we can work together and still continue to work as we were working together. Fuad Oki used to be the Lagos APC Vice Chairman (Lagos Central). One way or the other, we have different views now but that does not mean we should break as members of the party. We can still work together and reconcile with them. And I want us to see that in any competition, especially in political contest, one person must emerge. As a leader of the party, my duty is to be fair to all and carry everybody along. So, I want to be seen as being fair and neutral to all and that is why you don’t find me in any of the aspirants’ declaration.
Barring any last minute change of mind, Governor Ambode is expected to battle Hamzat and Sanwo-Olu for the Lagos APC governorship ticket? What are the party leaders doing to ensure that the outcome of the primaries does not affect your APC’s chances in 2019 elections?
By the grace of God, it wouldn’t bring down our party. Rather it will even strengthen internal democracy in our party. We have reliable and experience leaders, who know what they are saying. And we would still work on it. If they have to go for a primary, one of them by the grace of God will become our candidate and we will all work for him.
How many aspirants collected nomination forms for the 40 seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly?
About 230 aspirants have obtained the nomination forms. It is a huge number and it is more than many other states. We were first of all given 200 forms and we have to request for additional 50 forms.
How confident are you that APC will retain Lagos State in 2019, and are you not threaten by PDP and other opposition parties’ quest to win the state?
Lagosians have come to embrace APC as a reliable and dependable party. We have shown over the years that we have been the leading state in terms of infrastructural development and maintenance of institutions. When you talk about education, health, road construction and transportation, we are the leading the state. This is because we have the right party in the state and we have had continuity over the years, so we will continue to develop. We have being delivering on our promises. We don’t have any opposition in Lagos. In fact, the PDP state chairman has just joined APC and we will continue to decimate PDP in Lagos. We are working towards a landslide victory in Lagos State in 2019 and we will achieve it.
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