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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has ruled an automatic second term ticket for the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Tinubu who said endorsement of Sanwo-Olu does not translate to an automatic ticket ,saying ,the party in Lagos would not prevent any aspirant vying for any position from testing their strength at the primaries.
Tinubu said this at the party’s stakeholders’ meeting held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa on Friday, where he physically raised the hands of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, in approval of their second term bid.
The endorsement came amid reports that the APC national leader had dumped Sanwo-Olu for a former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Civil Service, Mustapha Olorunfemi.
He noted that all candidates that would be fielded by the party across elective positions must go through a delegate electoral system.
Tinubu said, “Aspirants who are showing interest in positions from House of Assembly to the governorship, go and get your forms; you are going to contest primaries. There will not be any favouritism in the primaries.
“We want you to contest and test your popularity. Nobody will ask to step down for another aspirant. Let all aspirants mobilise their supporters; if you win, you win. If you lose, there will not be a refund of the nomination form.”
Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Tinubu paid the N50million fee for APC Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for his second term bid.
“Asiwaju Tinubu is a generous man and he is doing a lot for people. He paid for my APC nomination and expression of interest forms to run for the second term,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile.
Sanwo-Olu expressed appreciation to Tinubu for his guidance and thanked the Governor’s Advisory Council leaders for standing by his government despite personal attacks they suffered from those the governor referred to as “wayward children” who turned against the party elders after benefiting from them.
The governor, who described Tinubu as a “priceless symbol” of Lagos, said all hands must be on deck to ensure the state was not robbed of the presidential ticket of APC at the national primary of the party.
He said, “It is time to come together as determined party members and show genuine love towards our National Leader, who is our priceless symbol and pride in Lagos. We are taking him national and we must ensure his house is fully united.”
The stakeholders’ meeting, convened at the instance of Tinubu, was attended by Lagos APC chairman, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, party executive members, GAC members, senatorial leaders and stalwarts across all local councils in the state.