Tinbubu in dilemma, Ambode hopeful of peaceful resolution
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State was waiting yesterday to receive a strict code of conduct he must follow after high level interventions from Abuja brought rekindled hopes for him to get a second term ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The interventions ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, according to high level sources, led to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo meeting with national party leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu up to the early hours of yesterday.
National Party chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole also met with Tinubu yesterday on the issue in the latter’s Asokoro, Abuja residence.
Tinubu who was still in Abuja as at press time yesterday was still contemplating on how to rally the troops towards Ambode following the pleas.
“Asiwaju is in a quagmire as the matter of Ambode has been taken away from him as it is a problem for him to go and ask the foot soldiers to soften towards the governor.”
Oshiomhole, Saturday Vanguard gathered, had as at press time yet to meet the governor who was in Abuja yesterday.
Oshiomhole arrived Lagos also yesterday for Senator Oluremi Tinubu’s Lagos Central Senatorial town hall meeting. Sources said that he was expected to meet the governor after the town hall meeting.
It was gathered that the party chairman did not want to see Ambode before seeing Tinubu. Having seen Tinubu in Abuja, Saturday Vanguard gathered that the party chairman would meet with the governor possibly after the Senator Oluremi Tinubu town hall meeting.
Central to the interface between Tinubu and Osinbajo and with Oshiomhole Saturday Vanguard gathered was the importance of winning Lagos in the forthcoming general election.
A high level source privy to the developments who pleaded not to be named on the basis of the sensitivity of the issues said that President Buhari while respectful of Tinubu’s feelings urged Osinbajo and Oshiomhole to intervene towards a harmonious resolution in the interest of the party.
“They (Osinbajo and Oshiomhole) respected Tinubu’s views but because of the closeness of the election and the huge population of Lagos they don’t want anything to harm the party in the state.
“For Tinubu, because of the interest of the party, he is ready to soften, but the challenge he has is how he is going to convince the foot soldiers who feel that the governor has dealt with them badly and has so pauperized them and they are the ones saying, never, never.
“So, Tinubu is now in a quagmire because the foot soldiers are the ones going to deliver in the election. So, the confusion he is in now having is whether if he allows him whether his foot soldiers will not rebel and cause problems.”
“They are angry that he has pauperized them, doesn’t pick calls, he cuts off the local governments and that if they leave him that they would all die in the second term.”
Based on the interventions, it was learnt that there was a gravitation that the governor would have to provide guarantees of good conduct in the second term.
“If they allow him and it works, he is going to make serious commitments that he is going to change, very, very serious commitments and they would put measures to check him in the event he continues in his ways, but I can assure you that talks are ongoing,” a source said.
Ambode had been particularly accused of arrogance towards party men and depriving the grassroots of patronage. One touchy matter was the replacement of PSP operators in the disposal of waste with Visionscape. The Ambode camp was nevertheless effusive in its assertion of loyalty to Tinubu and the party yesterday.
A source close to the governor told Saturday Vanguard yesterday, “Ambode cannot fight Asiwaju and I can assure you that the matter is being resolved at the highest level and whatever has happened must be put behind all for the interest of the party and the state.”
“I can assure you that the governor remains 100% loyal to Tinubu and that you can take to the bank,” the source said yesterday.