As decision day for All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to pick or elect their Lagos State governorship candidate gets closer, the over-beaten drum of Akinwunmi Ambode as the likely flagbearer of the party for the February 2015 governorship election has not subsided, even in the face of barrage of criticisms surrounding his name as the alleged anointed candidate of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Akinwunmi Ambode’s kite was flown few months back by some few highly-placed politicians and well-connected people in the state that he’s the supposedly preferred choice of the power that be to succeed Governor Fashola. One of those highly placed people is the Oba of Lagos, his Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
To say Oba Akiolu has been at the forefront of Ambode’s governorship ambition campaign would be tantamount to stating the obvious. During the recent launch of a book on the biography of Ambode titled “The Art of Selfless Service”, Oba Akiolu who was at the occasion said all other aspirants of the party were great but God and the elders have chosen Ambode as a suitable successor to Governor Babatunde Fashola.
“When the APC leader, Bola Tinubu chose Gov. Babatunde Fashola in 2007 to succeed him, it was met with stiff opposition but today Tinubu has been justified. We see a similar character like Governor Fashola in Ambode. The APC can go ahead with their primaries but the elders of the state have met and agreed that Ambode should be the next governor of Lagos”.
Needless to say Oba Akiolu’s open endorsement of Ambode cropped up chain of reactions among APC members in the state, especially among other governorship aspirants of the party. However, we can exclusively tell you that in continuation of his support for Ambode, the Oba of Lagos took the campaign of the former Lagos State Auditor-General to the recently concluded holy pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Sources at the holy land who just returned among the over 3,000 Lagos pilgrims revealed to us that while addressing Lagos State Pilgrims at Mecca, Oba Akiolu who was the leader (amir l hadj) of the pilgrims, enjoined each and every one of the pilgrims to vote for the man the APC leaders raised his hand up and endorsed for Lagos State 2015 governorship election. In fact, the monarch was said to have told the congregation in categorical term that, ‘the person whose hands we have raised up is the anointed and he would be governor in 2015, so everyone should vote for him’.
This statement from Oba Akiolu, according to our sources, was greeted with murmuring from pilgrims who were not pleased with it. The pilgrims were said to have practically shouted down the monarch with noises of ‘no, no, don’t bring politics here!’.
Sensing that the oral campaign would not buy the crowd, Oba Akiolu was said to have devised another idea by doling out the sum of 50,000 U.S. Dollars to pilgrims from Lagos ‘for their welfare’, according to our source.