Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, may be in another political storm following revelation of an alleged plan by him to retire the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, if elected into office for the second term.
Ambode is allegedly hatching the plan alongside his Personal Assistant, Mr. Bunmi Ariyo, and the State’s Attorney General, Mr. Niji Kazeem. The report revealed that Governor Ambode and his team are seeking to take over the political structure of Lagos APC from the founding fathers whom they believe had had enough to themselves.
It was also gathered that the embattled governor had penciled Kazeem as the person whom would be taking over the state’s seat of power in 2023 and had also used the state’s resources to turn the duo into midnight billionaires. In our finding, it was learnt that the trouble confronting the governor’s second term ambition began several months ago after news of Ambode move to make Kazeem his successor got to Asiwaju Tinubu and other leaders of the party.
A source close to the National Leader, Bola Tinubu, disclosed that the governor’s case had been decided and that the actions and body language of Ambode spoke volumes on his alleged plan to hijack the party’s structure from leaders and members, who had labor hard to put in place the power house the governor’s was enjoying. The source stated that any political redemption for Ambode must start with exclusion of the two people that had been the devils behind the throne and that they have continuously been feeding the governor’s ego in last three years.
The source claimed that both Ambode’s personal assistant and the state Attorney General have snatched much power that the governor could not form any decision on his own without the duo. “The two are powerful and rolling in billions of cash and real estate and have being unsparing of anyone perceived as an enemy. They have single-handedly led Ambode on the road to politcal golgota,” he said.
In a related development, another source who anonymously spoke on the issue revealed that that Kazeem was Ambode’s ally and that both the Attorney General and Ariyo were the governor’s booster. The source credited Kazeem of being the brain behind an alternative political structure for Ambode, ‘APLUS’, and that of plan to totally isolate and jettison the national leader from the party structure. He said that the political plan was that Kazeem would be taking over after Ambode’s eeigh years and that the move had been hatched.
The source revealed that the Kazeem lobbied to become Attorney General, even though the Lagos APC’s leadership and Tinubu had other more experienced party faithfuls for that position. He claimed that the Attorney General started attacking Tinubu months after Ambode persuaded the leader and securing his current position and that the Kazeem regards the Lagos state former governor with disdain. “Kazeem brags of being a true Lagosian and that not even Tinubu can stop them”.
It was further revealed that common boast among the governor’s circle was that of move to retire Tinubu from politics once Ambode secure second term victory, but the alleged isolation and exclusion of Tinubu loyalists and core party leaders and dis-empowerment of thousands of APC mobilizers, being the Ambode agenda, became thwarted after the leaders got hint of the plan.
There were allegations that Ambode kitchen cabinets were awash in money and that billions of funds available to both kazeem and Ariyo came from contracts being awarded exclusively by the governor. Sources from the state house said that Ariyo was a defacto deputy governor and that commissioners practically worship the PA so that they could be saved from the governor’s bad list.
One of them said that the Ambode’s PA acts as Deputy Governor and that the state’s executives bend to his demands and threats. “He does not pick calls or returns calls after several weeks. He has become a recluse. Constantly plotting behind the scenes he is one that has stepped on so many toes. He described Tinubu as a money monger.
“Bunmi is disrespectful and pompous since he is a billionaire. When Tinubu did not endorse Ambode, kazeem, Ariyo, Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, and Commissioner for Work and Infrastructure, Ade Akinsanya, told the governor not to lose sleep. They assured him that he can fight back with the money he has power as a sitting governor. Not just Ambode but his kitchen cabinets are the problem of Lagos. They can no longer be trusted with power,” the source said.