Dele Alake, Director of Media and Communications of the Campaign Council of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, has explained why former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode did not get the second term ticket.
Alake said Ambode didn’t get second term ticket because incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu defeated him at the 2018 primaries.
He stated this during a Twitter Space hosted by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT) Media Centre, on Sunday.
Ambode was said to have fallen out with the leadership of the party controlled by Tinubu which led to his defeat in the direct governorship primary held in 2018.
Responding to a question asked by the Moderator, Alake, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy under Tinubu, said Tinubu did not deny Ambode the second term ticket.
According to him, Ambode went through the primary with Sanwo-Olu and subsequently lost.
He said, “In a political competition, there must be supporters here and there. Yes, Fashola’s successor (Ambode) came into office, he was supported by Asiwaju as Asiwaju supported Fashola. But let me use this opportunity to clear one point, a misconception that Ambode wasn’t given a second term. It is not true.
“The governorship mandate is not for Asiwaju to give or take. It is for the people of Lagos State to give or to take or withdraw. Ambode was in office, for whatever reason he might have committed, of course he did commit gaps and faux pas but he also went through election. Maybe people have forgotten or they have selective amnesia, Ambode went through the political process and lost.
“Asiwaju did not take the ticket from him. He contested the primaries with Babajide Sanwo-Olu and lost. The primary was conducted in the open all over the state and the media covered it and it was shown everywhere. Why do people always succumb to such partisanship occasioned by blind prejudices.
“Yes it was Asiwaju’s right to support any candidate or aspirant, it is a natural phenomenon.”
He stated further that Sanwo-Olu emerged the same way Ambode was elected in 2014 among the array of other aspirants who are equally qualified.
“The current Deputy Governor contested and I remember more than 12 others contested with him. Ambode emerged the winner. So will all the others that lost now accuse Asiwaju of not giving them the ticket.
“Now fast forward to 2018, it was direct primary that was done in all the words and communities, designated centres and the man lost and Sanwo-Olu won. So will it be Asiwaju’s fault that he supported Sanwo-Olu or whatever. That’s the game of politics. So Ambode went through the political process. He was not denied. If he had been denied the opportunity to take part in the process, we could have said, ‘okay, he was denied.’”