Lagos 2015: Dollar Rain as Tinubu Woos Delegates for Ambode, 11 Other Aspirants Plot Counter Moves
Frontline aspirant for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos state, Akinwumi Ambode yesterday doled out thousands of dollars to party leaders during series of meetings held at the Bourdillon, Ikoyi residence of the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who appears to be backing the controversial aspirant.
Tinubu had earlier called for a meeting of the party’s state executive, where they were reportedly given USD$25,000 each, with the instruction that they to go and work for Ambode.
Party LGA chairmen who were also hurriedly invited to the venue for 10:30am arrived and at the end, each of them left with USD$20,000 and the same message. They were also asked to drop the bank account numbers of delegates from their local govt areas with a promise to pay in N1 million for each of the delegates from the 57 local council areas, one of the officials who attended the meting said.
But while Tinubu and Ambode were busy wooing the party leaders with thousands of dollars, other members of the party were busy strategising and setting a dangerous trap for them.
At the same time Tinubu’s meeting was going on, 11 other frontline aspirants gathered at the poolside of Protea Hotel, Ikoyi to deliberate on their agenda against imposition of any candidate with a resolution to demand for direct primary as a modality for choosing the most popular candidate for the seat. The meeting held after 13 of them were handed their clearance certificates to contest the election by the party executive at the same venue.
While the meeting was going on, two members of the party who earlier in the day filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos to nullify any primary election held with the delegates list already compiled by the compromised Dele Ajomale led state executive of the party, brought the court papers to the venue to serve all the aspirants. In far away Abuja, another set of party members from Lagos staged a protest at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja where they demanded that the party must use direct primary for choosing its Lagos governorship candidate.
At the end of the meeting by 11 of the aspirants, they all resolved in a communique which will be released later to demand from the party leadership that the election be conducted through direct primary. Their position, they also agreed to communicate to the party leadership tomorrow in a letter which will be delivered to them at a meeting they called for, between them and the party leaders. As usual, only Ambode and a new entrant, Sutton evaded the meeting.
The move by the 11 aspirants it was gathered is a fallout of the determination of Tinubu’s associates without any exception and party members to stop his quest to single handedly impose a candidate on the party as done in 2007. Deeper than this is the battle of wits between Tinubu and Fashola with the latter battling his former boss to end the culture of imposition within the party. As a result, the incumbent governor seemed determined to fight his godfather to a standstill eventhough he is still fighting the battle through proxies at the moment but the coming days may see the two men right inside the ring face to face.
Fashola is bitter that Tinubu is trying to impose Ambode who he (Fashola) eased out of his government in 2012 due to manipulation of IGR figures as his successor. The volume of funds rolled out in the last 24 hours by Fashola to support his own anointed aspirant, Olashupo Shasore and to outspend his boss may well push the two gladiators to the breaking point where they will have to settle for a neutral candidate or they lose all to the PDP waiting in the wings to reap from the face-off.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org