Speaking the Nations Mind

Ambode Visits Buhari Over Rift With Tinubu

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Governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode took his peace shuttle to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, yesterday, where he sought President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention in the rift with his estranged godfather and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Ambode’s quest for re-election recently ran into murky waters when Tinubu and members of the Mandate Movement, which worked for his election in 2015, withdrew their support for him.

After facing the APC screening committee in Abuja yesterday, Ambode stormed the Presidential Villa, where he met with President Buhari. The meeting lasted barely 20 minutes.

Although no official statement was issued after the meeting, it was gathered that discussion centred on the rift Ambode has with Tinubu and his political family in Lagos.

Sources revealed that Ambode sought President Buhari’s intervention, as his effort to reconcile with Tinubu and other chieftains of APC in Lagos had hit the rocks.

Ambode, who was his boisterous self, greeted and shook hands with everyone he met, both on his way into the Presidential Villa and out of it. He however, refused to talk to journalists, having signalled that he would not entertain any question and briskly walked away.

Ambode’s visit to the Presidential Villa appears to be a last-ditch effort to save his political career that came to jeopardy when Tinubu and the Mandate Movement encouraged Managing Director of Lagos State Development Corporation, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to join the governorship race, as possible replacement for Ambode, who was accused of alienating APC leaders in Lagos State in his three and half years in office. Since then, he has made spirited effort to get the forgiveness of Tinubu and other aggrieved persons to no avail.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) met on Tuesday and also ruled out backing Ambode for a second term.

According to a competent source, “members were adamant on not backing the incumbent and the meeting ended without any headway. That was why another meeting was scheduled for tomorrow.

“Remember that the governor was at the Osun State governorship rally with Asiwaju and other stakeholders, who prevailed on the former Lagos State governor to give him a second chance. There and then, Asiwaju said the matter was beyond him and that it would be tabled before the GAC. The governor probably thought that with Asiwaju’s statement, the matter may, truly, be resolved, but when the GAC meeting ended and there was no favourable response, the governor headed to Abuja to meet with President Buhari. Nothing is settled as at yesterday night.”

Yesterday, activities in Alausa, the seat of power in Lagos, were at its lowest ebb, as has been the case since Ambode’s travails.

A source, which works in one of the ministries within the secretariat, expressed worry at the slow pace of activities in government.

Said he: “We have never seen the Government House, Alausa, this quiet. For instance, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, was supposed to brief the media on the 2018 United Nations International Day of Peace and CMC Stakeholders’ Conference.

“Rather than the commissioner, it was the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Funlola Odunlami, who briefed the media. The event was initially scheduled for September 14 but, it was just done today (yesterday).”

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