Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has conceded defeat and congratulated the winner of the Lagos APC governorship primaries, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Ambode, in a state broadcast on Wednesday, urged all Lagosians to immediately support the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections and work for the success of the party.
“Fellow Lagosians, the last few days have witnessed intense political activities that have gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity.
“I strongly believe that the time has now come for the state to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years are not lost.
“Dear Lagosians, APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved state must always supercede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“As governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new governor, come May 2019.
“I therefore appeal to all our party members that we remain one family and unite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward,” he said.
Ambode said that the progress of the state was non-negotiable, as it was a project he had passionately worked for in the last three and half years as governor, and one to which he will forever be devoted.
“I wish to use this opportunity to thank our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the leadership of our great party at state and national levels, all party faithful and all Lagosians.
“I thank all Lagosians for their faith and trust in me. I urge you not to relent in your support for our party as we prepare for the general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chairman of the Lagos APC National Working Committee (NWC) panel on governorship primary, Mr Clement Ebri, had earlier on Wednesday declared Sanwo-Olu as winner of the primary election.
Ebri said that Ambode scored 72,901 votes, while Sanwo-Olu scored 970,851 votes to clinch the APC ticket for the 2019 governorship election.
Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, praised the leadership of APC and the defeated governor of Lagos for a free and fair conduct of the primary.
He also thanked members of the party and the general public, including non-Lagos people, for their continued support.
Sanwo-Olu promised to be fair and relate with everyone, irrespective of the divide to move the state forward.
NAN reports that Ambode’s gesture ends weeks of political uncertainty and tension, after he fell out of favour with his political godfather and national leader of the APC, Asiwaju BolaTinubu.
Tinubu, after voting at the primary, said although Ambode had done well in governance, he was not a good party man.