Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s re-election bid received a major boost on Wednesday as a former People’s Democratic Party governorship candidate, Ade Dosunmu and a Labour Party’s Lagos Central Senatorial candidate during the February 25 National Assembly poll, Adesunbo Onitiri dumped their parties to work for the governor’s re-election.
Dosunmu and Onitiri, who defected to APC with thousands of their supporters across Lagos State, declared their intentions to join the ruling All Progressives Congress and work for the party during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.
They made the declarations on Wednesday during a meeting with Governor Sanwo-Olu and APC leaders at Lagos House, Marina.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also received chairmen of 13 political parties, who are members of the Conference of Political Parties as well as members of the Eyo Alakete Pupa Ikolaba Ekun led by Uthman Sodipe-Dosunmu. They all pledged their support towards the re-election bid of the governor.
Speaking during the event, the defectors said they have seen what Sanwo-Olu had achieved in the last four years and decided to align with his government.
Dosunmu, who defected to APC with members of the Lagos State PDP as well as House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates of the party, said their endorsement of Sanwo-Olu for re-election was in the interest of Lagos State.
He said their decision to join APC was based on the dynamic leadership of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the manner with which the incumbent Governor Sanwo-Olu has been piloting the affairs of Lagos State since he assumed office about four years ago.
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a man of exceptional dynamism, a listener, and a good crisis manager. I must state that his inspiring personal style of leadership is equally deserving of my humble commendation. The steady and self-assured way he has been piloting the affairs of Lagos State cutting across every sector with characteristic skills and sobriety is commendable. His great exploits in the areas of infrastructure development, youth empowerment, education, health, direct foreign investment, and transportation (rail and land transportation) among others are enormous.
“I want to urge all members of the APC in Lagos State to see this current political realignment as a unique opportunity for greater mobilisation, consolidation, and breaking of new grounds in the build-up to the Governorship and State Assembly elections. A vote for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a vote for strong collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria under the able leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This will no doubt bring unprecedented development to Lagos State and enhance the quality of life of its resident.
“My teaming supporters and I will spare no effort to work for wider acceptability and electoral victory for the APC – our new party, in Lagos State come March 18, 2023,” he said.
Also speaking, Onitiri, the Chairman of the Elders Committee of the Labour Party, said Governor Sanwo-Olu is the most competent and most qualified among all the gubernatorial candidates.
He said: “We are here with our members to join hands with our able brother, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure that he has a second term by the grace of God. We are prepared to work with you because we know you are a tested and trusted hand.
“You are the most competent and most qualified. We have seen what you have done in the last four years. We are here to endorse you as a governor for the second term. Lagos State Prominent Indigenes are with you. We will campaign and vote for you.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu while receiving the defectors said the APC had the ambiance of togetherness to accommodate all of them.
He commended all the defectors and assured them that he will not disappoint them for supporting his re-election.
In another development, the national leader of the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, has endorsed the re-election bid of Sanwo-Olu, urging the electorate in the state to queue behind the APC candidate in order to consolidate on the achievements recorded in the in Lagos.
The Afenifere leader in a press statement said Lagos is an important nation’s commercial city and the pride of the Yoruba race, saying the evolving physical and socio-economic developments of the city should not be thwarted.
He said the State would gain more under the incoming Tinubu administration than when it is in the hands of the opposition.
The elder statesman urged Lagosians not to make the mistake of buying into the gimmick of those bent on reversing the achievement Lagos had recorded.
Fasoranti also described the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election as “a reflection of the electoral will of the majority of Nigerians”, congratulating the former Lagos Governor for his victory.
The Yoruba leader said he aligned with impartial electoral observers to give the Independent National Electoral Commission a pass mark for the conduct of the presidential election, which he described as “free, fair and credible”, despite the challenges that threatened to derail the process.
The elder statesman urged the electoral umpire to build on the gains of the presidential elections and improve on the feat recorded in the conduct of gubernatorial elections coming up next Saturday across the federation.
He said: “I want to use this opportunity to recognise and appreciate the achievements of the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is seeking re-election for a second term on the platform of APC. Lagos as the economic nerve centre of Nigeria and by extension of Yorubaland deserves the very best. Governor Sanwo-Olu has been through the mill and crucible of politics, business, and public administration, occupying various positions in government since 1999 and garnering requisite experience which he has displayed in the last four years to the admiration of all and sundry.
“I am convinced that these giant strides should be sustained in the city with the third largest economy in Africa. I therefore wish to join my voice to those of other patriotic Lagosians that there is need for continuity in the state by lending my support to the second term bid of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as governor of Lagos State. In addition, I believe that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as APC President will benefit Lagos State more if the state has an APC Governor to compliment whatever the President has for Lagos State.”
Fasoranti acknowledged Sanwo-Olu’s achievement in the provision of physical infrastructure in various sectors of the Lagos economy, including transportation, education, housing, security, health and agriculture.
He added that the response of Lagos State Government to stop the spread of Coronavirus pandemic was worthy and commendable.
He said: “Sanwo-Olu’s achievements include but are not limited to the Blue Line rail, Imota Rice Mill, Red Line rail, the Proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge, numerous housing projects in different parts of Lagos, and road projects across the state. These projects, when fully operational, will employ over a million Nigerians, mostly youths, thereby substantially reducing unemployment in the country.
“I am convinced that these giant strides should be sustained in the city with the third largest economy in Africa. I, therefore, call on the good people of Lagos State to come out en-masse on Saturday to cast their votes for the governorship candidate of the APC, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.”