Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the report that its candidate for the forthcoming October 31, 2020, Lagos East senatorial bye-election, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, is being deliberately prepared by the leadership of the party to deny Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu opportunity of seeking re-election on its platform in the 2023 governorship election.
In a statement, yesterday, the media office of APC for the Lagos East bye-election said Sanwo-Olu personally endorsed Abiru’s senatorial aspiration and worked for his emergence as the party’s candidate.
“This claim is as good as the figment of the author’s imagination. Sanwo-Olu is a strong supporter of Abiru’s senatorial aspiration. He also endorsed him. There is no basis for a power struggle,” the statement said.
The spokesman of the media office, Mr. Seye Oladejo, in a telephone conversation with The Guardian said the report that APC was planning to use Abiru to upstage Sanwo-Olu in 2023 was not only false but also malicious and must have been orchestrated or sponsored from the camp of the opposition.
The APC said there was no basis for a power struggle between Sanwo-Olu and Abiru, saying: “They are both party faithful and utterly committed to the progress and prosperity of Lagos and Nigeria at large contrary to some media reports.”
The party also dismissed the claim that the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, imposed Abiru and that the candidate’s sudden resignation from Polaris Bank Plc raised suspicion that might lead to a power struggle in the state ahead of 2023.
“The publication misconstrued the extensive consultation and consensus that preceded the emergence of Abiru, and also erroneously claimed that the APC National Leader, Tinubu, imposed Abiru on the party’s leaders in Lagos East and Lagos State. This claim is far from the truth.
“Tinubu encourages all party adherents and faithful to seek their aspirations while promoting the values that the APC stands for.
“However, in order to manage conflicting interests of all aspirants seeking the party’s nomination for the senatorial bye-election, the leadership arm of Lagos APC, Governance Advisory Council (GAC), embarked on broad consultation with all party leaders and aspirants in Lagos East Senatorial District. After the all-inclusive consultation, the consensus was reached in favour of Abiru, hence his subsequent affirmation,” the party said.