Despite the endorsement of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for a second term in office by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State Governors’ Advisory Council (GAC), and his nomination form received, the Ambode Campaign Organization (AMCO), the political structure of the former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has decided to challenge the incumbent Gov. Sanwo-Olu at the 2023 gubernatorial elections primaries.
Although it is not quite certain under which party’s umbrella Ambode will be running, AMCO group on Saturday said, it will not only challenge Sanwo-Olu’s gubernatorial bid, but that the group is also against the presidential ambition of the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to AMCO, APC should not just be imposing aspirants/candidates on residents of Lagos state, but the party should also reflect and embrace the wishes of the electorates.
The Ambode Campaign Organization (AMCO) said this through its coordinator, Mr. Olawale Oluwo, the former Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources in Lagos state.
Olawale Oluwo reiterated that the AMCO group is fully interested in the next election and will therefore participate in all the processes.
He added AMCO’s readiness to challenge the dominant political force in Lagos state and restore power back to the people.
Spokesman Oluwo argued that, “As far as we know, the Governors’ Advisory Council (GAC) is like an NGO, not known by the constitution.” He therefore advised the Lagos state APC to stick to the guidelines of its constitution.
Oluwo again stated that although the GAC can make recommendations, and sponsor candidates, but it should not control the party.
He therefore again made public that AMCO can as well sponsor and pick candidates just as the GAC sponsored and pick Gov. Sanwo-Olu for a second term in office.
“AMCO will participate in all the elections. We would pick our candidate for the governorship primaries. We will pick our candidate and we will go to the field. It’s not sustainable for a set of people to continue to decide who gets what in this state. We want to work with like minds. That change that was frustrated in 2019 made me leave the party, but things have changed with the new leadership in the party at the national level.”
Oluwo expressed his optimism that with the emergence of Abdullahi Adamu, as the new national chairman of the ruling APC, there will be fairness and justice, and that with this, AMCO members can operate in a free and fair environment.
While rating Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s performances so far in Lagos state, and his second term ambition, Oluwo said, “we sent our people to the field in the last four months to feel the pulse of Lagosians. The data we got from the field seems to suggest that he has not done well.”
“You cannot compare our administration with that of Sanwo-Olu. Yes, he completed some projects of Ambode and he neglected some.” With emphasis, he assured Lagosians that, “AMCO will be approaching politics from a completely different perspective… Our approach is not that of a godfather… We want people to play an active part in the politics of the state. Our members have been collecting election forms but they are not making noise about it. But people will begin to know them by next week.”
He further stated that, AMCO is not ready to join force with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fight the ruling APC in the state, but that the AMCO group is ready to challenge the status quo from inside.
In Oluwo’s words,
“We want to challenge them from inside. If they want to cooperate we will cooperate with them, but if they refuse, then let us go to the field. We are ready for a coalition, a broad coalition to defeat the status quo. If the people want change, AMCO is ready to lead that change”.