In spite of mounting opposition to his second term bid, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s kinsmen and women have resolved to take the battle to God in prayers.
An indication to this effect came from Adeyemi Ikuforiji, a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, as he urged Epe indigenes to pray for Mr Ambode’s successful clinching of the All Progressives Congress’ ticket at the governorship direct primary scheduled for September 29.
Mr Ikuforiji made the appeal at the grand finale of Kayokayo festival in Epe on Saturday night.
Epe is home to Mr Ambode and the late Governor Michael Otedola.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos APC’s Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), the highest decision making body of APC in Lagos, met on Saturday night where it resolved that the chapter must hold its primary to determine its governorship candidate.
The decision may have put paid to hopes that the party would clear the coast for Mr Ambode’s bid by asking his challengers to step down for him.
Among his challengers are Jide Sanwo-Olu, a former Commissioner for Training and Establishment, believed to have been backed by Bola Tinubu, APC national leader and ex-governor, and Obafemi Hamzat, also a former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure.
A source close to the 22-member GAC meeting held at Mr Tinubu’s Ikoyi residence told NAN that the party insisted that Mr Ambode must go through the primary with others.
“We met and deliberated extensively on the governor’s second term bid and our forthcoming primary.
“After the deliberations, we resolved that the party should hold the primary to pick its candidate because that is just the right thing to do.
“We are a democratic party that believes so much in internal democracy, so we think we should allow everyone to sell themselves to members who will eventually determine their choices, ” the source who attended the meeting said.
Among those who attended the meeting are Anthony Adefuye, Tajudeen Olusi, Mr Ikuforiji, and Abayomi Finnih, who is scheduled to address the press on Monday on the outcome.
Mr Ikuforiji, however, urged the people to be calm and support the governor in prayers for him to be successful in the re-election bid.
He said prayer became necessary because of the “speculations” that Jide Sanwo-Olu has been tipped to succeed Mr Ambode as the next governor on APC platform in 2019 election.
Also addressing the gathering, Adedoyin Adesanya, the Chairman, Epe Local Government, stressed the need for peaceful coexistence and be focused.
He said the people of Epe should live in peace and harmony for the progress of the community.
Earlier, Alade Saliu-Okulu, the Chairman, Organising Committee, thanked sponsors and attendees, noting that this year’s festival was better than the previous editions.
He advised the winner of a brand new car at the festival to make a good use it and support the staging of other editions.
The activities marking the Epe Kayokayo festival which started on Sept. 14 were rounded off at mid-night of September 22 with several artistes on the bandstand.