By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
Will Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu be the standard-bearer of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 gubernatorial election in Lagos State?
This question has finally been answered by an open endorsement of the Governor and his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, for a second term in office by the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the entire members of the Lagos State chapter of the party.
At the party’s stakeholders’ meeting held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday, Tinubu physically raised the hands of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat in approval of their bid to continue in office beyond 2023. This development puts all rumours surrounding the recent endorsement of Sanwo-Olu for a second term by the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) to rest.
Tinubu’s endorsement of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat has also laid to rest the speculations in some quarters, especially some online news platforms few days ago that the APC National Leader dumped Sanwo-Olu for a former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Civil Service, Mustapha Olorunfemi.
Tinubu said the Governor and his deputy have 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. This, the APC National Leader said, earned the duo the opportunity to return for second term, and not a blank endorsement which many politicians sought.
Tinubu, a leading presidential hopeful on APC platform, said Lagos under Sanwo-Olu’s leadership had remained a State of pride for residents and other Nigerians who crave responsive governance and progress. He said: “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.”
The raising of SanwoOlu’s hand by Tinubu was preceded by a motion moved by the Vice Chairman of APC (Lagos East), Hon. 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, Hon. Kehinde Joseph. This attracted a resounding approval from all stakeholders in attendance.