BARING any last-minute changes, former governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, may pick the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms, on Friday, to contest the 2023 governorship race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Ambode was governor of Lagos state for one term. He lost the APC ticket in the build-up to the 2019 elections to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, current governor of the state.
But a close ally of Ambode told Vanguard that the former governor has concluded plans to pick the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms to contest on the APC platform, this week.
The source, who spoke in confidence, said: “I am talking to you as a friend that he (Ambode) may likely come out this week on the platform of the APC.
From what I know, he may likely contest against Sanwo-Olu at the governorship primary.
“Before the close of the sale of forms, oga (Ambode) will pick the Nomination and Expression of Interest Form. There is a likelihood that he will buy the forms on Friday.”
His intentions‘ll be revealed soon —Oluwo
Similarly, a former Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources and Chairman of the Akinwunmi Ambode Campaign Group, Mr Olawale Oluwo, said the former governor’s intentions will be revealed soon.
Oluwo, who spoke to ARISE News about Ambode’s intentions for the upcoming election, noted that structures are in place to challenge Governor Sanwo-Olu for the APC governorship ticket.
The Chairman of the Akinwunmi Ambode Campaign Group said that Ambode will “announce his political ambitions by Friday”.
He also dismissed reports that the Ambode campaign group has been banned.
“Governor Ambode will announce his plans within the week. I think the closing for the sale of forms is Friday.
“Even the president of Nigeria, can he ban an association? When the constitution of Nigeria says that there is freedom of association, we are all members of the party (APC).
“To be able to ban an association, there is a process and there must be probable cause that the association is engaging in criminality or treason or bad things that threaten the security of the state. The president himself or the authorities will have to go to court and get an order to proscribe.
“Nobody can use saliva and ban any association because it is guaranteed by the constitution. That statement by the APC PRO that AMGO has been banned is a completely reckless statement.
Femi Pedro Replaces Late Kemi Nelson in GAC
A former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro, has made a comeback from political oblivion and relegation. He is now back to political relevance and wielding enormous powers, at least at the state level.
At the time he was poached from the banking sector in the early 2000, where he was at that time, the Managing Director of defunct First Atlantic Bank, to be Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s deputy in Lagos, he wielded some degree of power and was naturally courted by many who requested one favour or the other from him. But that wasn’t for long as no sooner had he tasted power than he began to tussle with his benefactor over his choice of successor in the twilight of his boss’ administration.
Pedro wanted to succeed his boss but the latter didn’t think he was the right man for the job. In anger, he began to throw tantrums, resigned and moved to another party, hoping to fulfill his ambition. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as he wanted and that was the beginning of his end.
The Lagos State House of Assembly naturally decided to impeach him for alleged gross misconduct and subsequent forfeiture of all his entitlements as Deputy Governor of Lagos State. He suffered badly for seven years for his political miscalculation. He became relegated in the scheme of things. After some soul searching, he swallowed his pride and went back to his boss when he couldn’t remedy his situation. He was accepted back albeit, warily. He had to prove his loyalty and after a few tests he passed.
First, he got a pardon from the State House of Assembly orchestrated by his former boss, for his impeachment. This was after the House considered his plea to be forgiven in a letter he wrote them in 2015. Then he was given a federal appointment, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), courtesy of the influence of his former boss. To further restore his political relevance, he was recently appointed to the Council of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, the highest decision-making body of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State.
His appointment may likely be a replacement to the vacant position of the late former women leader in South West APC, Kemi Nelson who was a commissioner during Tinubu’s tenure as governor. Until her death weeks ago, she was the only female in GAC, a position she earned due to her closeness to Tinubu and her immense contributions to the party in Lagos State. With Pedro’s appointment, one can rightly say that he is back to political reckoning.
Breaking: Lagos Assembly Passes Victim, Witnesses Protection Bill
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to protect witnesses and victims in the state.
The ‘bill for a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and protection of witnesses and for connected purposes’ was passed during plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa.
The bill stipulates provision of assistance and protection to victims and witnesses who have vital information that could help ensure effective prosecution of cases, but who face intimidation due to their cooperation with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies.
A part of the bill further states: “Every person, including security agents shall render assistance to victims of accidents or crimes and ensure that such persons are taken to the nearest hospital for immediate
care and treatment.
“A public or private hospital shall provide immediate and adequate treatment to an accident victim or any person with gunshot and severe injuries or wounds.”
It stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill.
“A private hospital that receives accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform the agency within Forty-Eight (48) hours of his admission, and forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members or relations cannot be identified or where the victim is indigent, and subject to the approval of the request by the agency, it shall forward records of the treatment to the agency,” the bill states.
With the bill scaling a third reading during plenary, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy to the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.
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