Lagos All Progressives Congress (APC) members got a challenge yesterday —to target three million votes in next year’s elections.
Party stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said this is to reinforce its relevance in the Centre of Excellence.
“We have six million votes in Lagos. Your target should be half; three million or the entire six million. We must deliver over three million votes in Lagos,” he said.
However, to succeed in the exercise, the former governor urged members to renew their faith in reconciliation, embrace peace, work for unity and embark on the aggressive mobilisation of the electorate.
Tinubu spoke at the APC stakeholders’ meeting, which was held at the party’s secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja. The meeting was attended by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule, the governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his running mate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, members of the APC Gubernatorial Advisory Council (GAC), party officers, and flag bearers for parliamentary elections.
In a show of magnanimity, Ambode, who said the party is supreme, reiterated his endorsement of the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat ticket by raising up the hands of the candidate and his running mate, urging other aggrieved aspirants to emulate his example.
He called for what he described as a platform for continuous reconciliation and compensation for aggrieved aspirants, who should be assured of “promissory notes”.
Dr. Adebule, who predicted failure for the PDP, alerted party members to the danger of voided votes, advising them to thumbprint the ballot paper with their index finger.
Sanwo-Olu promised a government of continuity, if elected, urging Lagosians to vote for a party of progress.
Frowning at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Jimi Agbaje’s remark that Lagos State was in bondage, Hamzat said the state was liberated from bankruptcy 19 years ago when former Governor Tinubu worked assiduously to increase its internally generated revenue from N600 million to N31 billion.
At the meeting were party chairman Tunde Balogun, his deputy, Prince Sunny Ajose, vice chairmen Ashipa Kaoli Olusanya (Lagos East) and Chief Funso Ologunde (Lagos West); Secretary Dr. Wale Ahmed, Southwest APC Women Leader Mrs. Kemi Nelson, State Women Leader Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, Publicity Secretary Joe Igbokwe, his deputy, Abiola Salami, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, Chief Rabiu Oluwa, Prof. Tunde Samuel, former House of Assembly Speaker Joko Pelumi, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, House of Assembly members Rotimi Abiru and Gbolahan Yishawu, Ademorin Kuye, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Yemi Alli, Hakeem Bamgbola, Shamusideen Olaleye, Mrs. Toun Adediran and State Legal Officer Demola Sodiq.
Tinubu, who thanked the party leaders, particularly Ambode, for respecting the wish of the party, prayed that the governor will live long. He also expressed gratitude to party elders for their reconciliatory moves.
Thanking the party faithful for their love, loyalty, support and commitment, he said: “Party supremacy and party discipline have been demonstrated. We came out of the GAC meeting where we decided on direct primary and you endorsed it.”
The former governor explained the delay in launching the official campaign, saying that the chapter was waiting for the release of the list of candidates by the electoral commission.
Reiterating the importance of the polls, Tinubu said: “Where we are going is more important. Here in Lagos, we must maintain a strong outing for APC, a party of progress, development and economy. We must differentiate between a developmental economy and a container economy. We will not accept to get Nigeria corrupt again.
“We suffered 16 years of their failure and fake promises. We have made progress in Lagos We have become the fifth largest economy in Africa. We have six million votes in Lagos. Your target should be half; three million or the entire six million. We must vote en masse for President Muhammdu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, our governorship candidate, senators, House of Representatives and Assembly candidates, and later, our chairmen and councillors.”
The party leader said the task before members is to gird their loins and use their votes to resist the PDP’s plot to capture Lagos, instead of regressing to intra-party quarrels and bickering.