An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Mr Jide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday said he did not believe national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would ask him to back down on his ambition.
Sanwo-Olu made the statement during an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos.
A journalist had asked him whether he would step down his ambition or not if Tinubu asked him do so.
NAN reports that Sanwo-Olu, a former Commissioner for Training and Establishment, was reported to have been adopted by party chieftains loyal to Tinubu and the 57 council chairmen to puncture the second-term bid of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.
Ambode had declared his second-term bid on Monday, while Dr Obafemi Hamzat, a former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, had also obtained and submitted his nomination form for the race.
The state party chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun had told newsmen on Wednesday that the governorship ticket was open to all aspirants.
Sanwo-Olu told newsmen that he did not think Tinubu would ask him to step down for Ambode or any other aspirant, as the party leader is a firm believer in internal democracy.
“Your question is if my national leader (Tinubu) asks me to back down at the end of the day, what will I do?
“You see, I really don’t know which side of the divide you want us to stay.
“Sometimes, people will say this man (Tinubu) is imposing and he is not allowing aspirants to contest for positions.
“They say there is no internal democracy. But this man is a democrat who will allow democracy to rule and thrive.
“My aspiration has nothing to do with an individual; my national leader is my national leader and he is the leader of everybody.
“Therefore, his passion is about Nigeria and not Lagos alone. The movement we have started is participatory democracy, and so there is no basis for him (Tinubu) urging me to drop my ambition.
“Asiwaju is a democrat, and I trust he will allow the process to go on without any rancour.
“On September 25, by the grace of God, the entire APC members will vote for me as the candidate to represent them in the 2019 elections,” he said.
The aspirant said he was motivated to seek the number one seat in the state out of the need to deliver innovative and an inclusive government.
He said he would bring about a state which everybody would be proud of, if elected as governor.
The aspirant said he would be a listening leader and would do so many things differently to actualise the Lagos of everybody’s dream.
Sanwo-Olu decried what he called the filthy state of Lagos environment and said that he would restore the cleanliness of the state if elected.
He said his mission to reposition the state was on course and he would formally declare his bid on Sunday.
NAN reports that party chieftains, including the immediate past Vice Chairman of the party in the state, Chief James Odumbaku and former commissioner, Mr Tola Kasali, were with Sanwo-Olu at the session.
Some federal and state lawmakers, including Mr Rotimi Agunsoye, were also at the session.
Council chairmen, councillors, members of his campaign team and other party members were in attendance as well.