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OPINION: Haba… why can’t they leave Ambode alone?

By Babatunde Ogunjinmi

Having read a specious write up by an author who is not bold enough to come out with his identity making sundry allegations against Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to the effect that he is secretly funding the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jimi Agbaje, against that of his party – All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, I thought as a lawyer and a close watcher of politics in Lagos State, it is necessary to puncture such fallacious and baseless accusation with facts and figures.

In the drivel put up by the said faceless author, it was alleged that Governor Ambode gave a whooping N1billion as first trench to Agbaje without giving Sanwo-Olu a ‘single kobo’ and that the Governor was even in Dubai recently hobnobbing with opposition elements to the detriment of APC.

The author went on to further make other laughable and insidious insinuations that Governor Ambode had been working against the interest of the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, among others without any infinitesimal evidence to back up such idiotic claims.

It is a well-established fact that Governor Ambode has shown grace (in the words of Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu) ever since the events culminating in the emergence of Sanwo-Olu as the APC candidate for next year’s governorship election in Lagos State.

First, Governor Ambode publicly congratulated Sanwo-Olu in a statewide broadcast and immediately took steps to unite members of the party, especially those who felt aggrieved with the way he was treated at the primaries.

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To show that the said author is confused, in one breath he said Governor Ambode is yet to give a ‘single kobo’ to Sanwo-Olu, but in another breath, he admitted that Governor Ambode donated 76 cars to the APC governorship candidate. That is inconsistent and only shows that the author is on a paid job and a misadventure that is not in sync with reality.
Aside from the 76 cars rightly and shamelessly admitted by the author, Governor Ambode has taken other steps to galvanize the people and his supporters to vote for the APC, including collapsing his campaign structure into that of Sanwo-Olu and the APC.

Aside preaching the message of unity and hope and campaigning for Sanwo-Olu publicly at the slightest opportunity, Governor Ambode has also been involved in the peace and reconciliation efforts of the APC to pacify aggrieved members of the party over the fallout of primaries in the Southwest.

In Abuja recently at the National Consultative Forum of the National Committee of Buhari Support Group, Governor Ambode was seen reminding Nigerians of the havoc wreck on the country by the PDP, and the need to re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari and all APC candidates across all levels to consolidate on the transformation embarked upon in the last three and half years.

It is appropriate to remind jobbers like this author that the Governor’s action has earned him accolades from the President who asked other aspirants to emulate his selfless act of not abandoning the party because he was aggrieved with the outcome of the primaries.

After the resignation of Mr. Wale Oluwo from the State Executive Council and his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Ambode immediately summoned a meeting of all APC leaders in the Epe division, where he made it clear that he had submitted fully to the decision of the party, and that they should escalate the message to the people that APC is his party. What do people want this gentleman to do again?

Aside from the President who has commended the Governor for showing true sportsmanship, Borno State Governor and Chairman of the APC Peace and Reconciliation Committee for the Southwest, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has equally commended Governor Ambode.

In his words, Shettima said: “Governor Ambode is my own politician of the year and the ultimate peacemaker. We are here essentially to build bridges of understanding, to reconcile with our aggrieved members and seek ways to make appropriate recommendations to the NWC (National Working Committee) of the party for us to make progress as a family and to make amends where necessary.

“We have a lot to learn from Governor Ambode; he demonstrated courage, he demonstrated unparalleled generosity of spirit that has never been shown by any Nigerian politician. Many people were spoiling for a fight. I believe that power is from God and believe me, the kind of respect that his actions have generated for him across the nation is much more than spending 18 years in power,” end of quote.

Even the Deputy Governorship candidate to Sanwo-Olu, Dr Obafemi Hamzat publicly commended Governor Ambode for being a man with a large and great heart, and so one can understand the stupidity of a faceless author who is just trying to create a friction where actually there is none.

Perhaps this author resides in another planet not to have noticed the accolades that the governor has received in the past few weeks.

Governor Ambode has demonstrated uncommon courage and character and the only thing left is to admonish fifth columnists around town to appreciate him, and not denigrate him with needless and distractive write-ups.

Abeg make una allow this man finish his term gracefully now, at least he told the whole world that he has moved on. Haba…kilode!

By Babatunde Ogunjinmi, a lawyer, resides in Egbeda, Idimu.

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