By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
President’s Men Shop for His Replacement, Move Against Tinubu
Hope that President Muhammadu Buhari will intervention to reconcile Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode with his estranged godfather and former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu may have dimmed.Multiple Aso Rock source inform that some loyalists of the President are working on the theory that the Ambode/Tinubu tiff provides a perfect opportunity to free the state from the clutches of the ex- governor who is also National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
To achieve this purpose, this Magazine learnt that Buhari is under pressure not to intervene to reconcile the two leaders so that Tinubu wil have his way by openly endorsing his choice for Ambode’s replacement, Jide Sanyaolu. A day after Governor Ambode purchased the APC governorship nomination form, Sanyaolu, a former Commissioner in the Tinubu administration,flew to Abuja and returned to Lagos with the same form and immediately got endorsements by a political group in the Lagos APC linked to Tinubu, the Mandate Group, as well that of all council chairmen in the state.
With Sanyaolu displacing Ambode and the latter moving to another political platform, possibly former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s African Democratic Congress, ADC according to insiders, to actualize his second term ambition, Aso Rock elements pushing for Tinubu’s castration politically, source told The Source, will easily utilise the opportunity the split afforded to spring a candidate on Lagos who will run on the platform of one of the fringe parties but will move to the APC after victory.The dark horse’s guber campaign will be heavily funded and his dramatic victory programmed and aided by presidency’s elements.
The calculations are that the emergence of a governor in Lagos not tied to Tinubu’s apron string- not known to him, not anointed by the him, not funded by him and not supported by him-will deal a lethal blow on the APC’s National Leader’s firm hold on Lagos and subsequently destroy his reign as the undisputed political colossus in the South west.
Meanwhile, Ambode’s attempt to down play the high voltage rift between him and the former governor has failed to thaw ripples created by the quarrel.Several factors that could have given rise to the parting of ways have been advanced by commentators. One of such factors was the alleged reversal of many of Tinubu’s legacies by the embattled governor. Another is the revelation of how Alpha Beta, a company linked to Tinubu, mindlessly ripped Lagos state and federal government off through tax evasion and money laundry to the turn of N150 billion. Erstwhile Managing Director of the Company, Dapo Apara opened the can of worm last week in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.Tinubu’s camp is reportedly accusing Ambode of engineering the explosive revelation.