The battle for the Lagos State governorship seat has entered a new phase as former Accountant General of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode declared his intention to enter the contest to succeed Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ambode who made the declaration at a well attended rally at the Onikan Stadium, said his interest in the race is borne out of his desire to ensure the continuity of the progress which he said Lagos has witnessed under Governor Fashola.
The aspirant who promised to run an all inclusive government, that will accommodate everyone irrespective of tribe, religion, gender or background, dispelled the rumour about his origin, declaring that “Lagos is my state and you are my people. I shall work to serve you.”
Promising to offer genuine leadership that will be accountable with all the principles of good governance, Ambode, said, “No matter your age, sex, tribe or any other status, as long as you reside in Lagos, we will make Lagos liveable for you.”
Commending the people for the level of support given him since he started his state-wide consultations about his intention to run, the former Auditor-General for Local Government said he is emboldened by the support he is receiving to march ahead with his ambition, knowing that since Lagosians are behind him, he is on sure footing.
“The presence of thousands of supporters today is an attestation of the state-wide consultations that we commenced since last year. The acceptance and popularity of my candidacy, the great turn out and the fantastic support we have received from every corner of the state and beyond, from all sectors and various religious persuasions confirm that this is a divine moment in the history of Lagos State.
“In recognition of this support, I, Akinwunmi Ambode, in your presence and in the presence of God, formally put myself forward to run for the position of the governor of Lagos State,” he said.
Ambode who said he is hinging his ambition on ‘Continuing the Progress, Securing the future’ said, “I stand before you today in the spirit of the continuity of excellence that Lagos is known for. My vision and mission is to create a clean, secure and prosperous Lagos State that is driven by a vibrant economy and supported by quality service, equity and justice.
“Our message is Lagos, Lagos is leadership, Lagos is accountability, Lagos is good governance, Lagos is opportunies and Lagos is service. This is what I stand for,” he said.
Earlier, while presenting the aspirant for the declaration, the chairman of Bariga Local Council Development Area and chairman of Lagos State Conference of 57 chairmen, Akeem Sulaiman, (Oris) said all local government chairmen in the state are behind the aspirant and will work to ensure his emergence.
Sulaiman who commended Ambode for the role he played in ensuring that Lagos State did not crumble on the weight of seized local government funds during the era of President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he withheld local government funds meant for the state, said he was confident that with Ambode as governor, Lagos will experience a turn around.
Among the many dignitaries that graced the occasion were party leaders and political office holders including members of the House of Representatives Dr. Samuel Adejare, Hon. Yakub Balogun, Hon. James Faleke, former commissioner in Lagos State, Mrs Teju Phillips, Kaoli Olusanya, Femi Onanuga, Hon. Babatunde Ogala among others.