Lagos APC faces uphill task reconciling factions

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The Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) may go into the next governorship election a disjointed family, as it is yet to design an appropriate strategy to reconcile aggrieved members before the campaign, scheduled to start on November 18.Following its controversial primaries in which the incumbent governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode lost the return ticket, after he was defeated by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, other aggrieved lawmakers who failed to get return ticket are also said to be angry.

The Guardian gathered that some party members, especially the leaders were worried that rather than Tinubu setting up a genuine reconciliatory machinery to bring all aggrieved members and zones on board ahead of the campaign, Sanwo-Olu has gone round the three senatorial districts on a thank you visit.

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The situation was worsened during the week, when the State House of Assembly distanced itself from Visionscape company, a foreign waste management body Ambode engaged, but directed the Private Sector Partnership (PSP) to return to work, a decision interpreted as a subtle move by Tinubu to get the incumbent impeached.

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A source from the party disclosed to The Guardian, yesterday, that as long as Tinubu and the party leadership continue to treat the Fouad Oki-led faction of the executive as irrelevant, with the determination to stamp it out instead of genuinely reconciling and reintegrating it, the party may pay seriously for it in the next governorship election.

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Another challenge the party may face is Lagos East zone’s disposition, from where the incumbent governor comes. Members of the district are allegedly waiting to take their pound of flesh for being denied a second term, unlike Lagos West and Central, which produced two-term governors.

It was also discovered that party members in Lagos West are uncomfortable and bear a grudge about the choice of Sanwo-Olu’s running mate.There is also fear of how to get money to fund the campaign, perhaps one of the reasons the state lawmakers are allegedly making frantic move to interrogate the Commissioners for Environment and Finance.

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Already, external forces are interested in the ruling party’s internal affairs on the basis that Tinubu cannot continue to dictate who rules the state since 2007.The PDP governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who narrowly lost to Ambode in the last election, is allegedly reaching out to aggrieved APC members, with the hope of getting their support.

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Indeed, the 2019 governorship election in Lagos is going to be fought on the premise of taking Lagos away from Tinubu’s firm control and not necessarily a battle between Sanwo-Olu and Agbaje.

MEANWHILE reports that APC has submitted the name of Governor Nasir El- Rufai’s aide, Uba Sani to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as candidate of Kaduna Central Senatorial zone in the 2019 elections may have intensified the crisis facing the party in the state.

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Already, the incumbent Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, has resigned his membership of the party, following the party’s decision to shelve the automatic ticket offered to him to contest the forthcoming elections on its platform.Though in the letter dated October 19, 2018, and addressed to APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the Senator did not give reasons for his action, he has been in a running battle with his state governor, who is bent on ensuring the Senator does not return to the upper chambers.Besides, the Special Adviser on Politics to Senator Shehu Sani, Comrade Ahmed Suleiman told The Guardian in a telephone interview that “Senator has decided to leave APC because of the ungentlemanly way politics is being played in the party.”

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