Jide Sanwo-Olu, Bola Tinubu’s anointed to become the next Governor of Lagos State, has played down the influence of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader in the emergence of the next Governor, saying it is the people who will do the actual voting.
As reported by SahahraReporters on Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu, rather than incumbent Akinwunmi Ambode, has already been endorsed for the APC governorship ticket by the 57 local council chairmen in the state — acting on Tinubu’s instructions.
But speaking at the National Secretariat of the party while submitting his nomination and expression-of-Interest forms in Abuja on Wednesday, Sanwo-Olu said that as a 53-year-old, he is a full-grown man, his interest is in Lagos rather than in serving as someone’s puppet.
He also claimed that Tinubu hasn’t been deeply involved in the affairs of the state as is being perceived by the public.
“I have just submitted my expression of interest and nomination forms to contest 2019 election under our great party. Just to formally let you know that, the exercise has been concluded and I will be taken formal declaration speech when I get back to Lagos State,” he said.
“Like I said, I am 53 years myself. There is no doubt that things would be said here and there. A man that is standing in front of you, full-grown man with several years of experience… like I said, it is about the Lagos of our dream; it is about the Lagos we want to take to the next level.
“I think it has nothing to do with our leader and there is no denial that he's our national leader. And he takes back position not only in the state but in the national, and you know he has interest in the well-being and improvement in Nigeria's dream. So, by extension, Lagos is a dream that he is pertinent about and we will continue to refer to him as our leader but most important thing is I am in front of you, this is who I am, this is what I have come to express to you and Lagos, certainly will be a better place to live for all us.”
He also spoke about his “vast experience in private and public sectors” and called for the redefining of the Lagos project.
When asked to confirm his endorsement by 57 local government chairmen in the state, Sanwo-Olu said it is “work in progress”.
“In terms of endorsement, it is a work in progress,” he said.
“People have been asking questions, people are yet to know the kind of person I am. Soon, whoever emerges is the best; it will be very preemptive of me to stand before you and say I have been supported by 57 people, that means I am going to sleep. Mandate group is my people; we are in the same family and we will continue to work together.
"At the end of the day, it is Lagosians that will elect us and we are not going to be restricted; we will get to everybody that we need to get to. We will not take anybody for granted.”