Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday debunked reports on some online platforms that he has dropped his reelection bid to back one of his challengers, Jide Sanwo-Olu. He said he is still in the race.
He spoke just as Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who contested against him on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform in 2015, declared his intention to run again.
Sanwo-Olu, a former Commissioner for Establishment & Training, unfolded his agenda for Lagos at the City Hall on Lagos Island, on Sunday.
He declared on the All Progressives Congress (APC) crest.
He had earlier announced a campaign council to push his bid to clinch the ruling party’s ticket.
Sources close to his campaign team said he is preparing to face the governorship screening panel at the APC National Headquarters in Abuja.
In statement yesterday, Ambode’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) Habib Aruna debunked claims that the governor has withdrawn for the race.
The statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to a falsehood spreading across social media platforms on the endorsement of a candidate for the Lagos State Governorship position by His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“There is no iota of truth in the said statement and it did not emanate from the governor or his office. We are not oblivious of the desperation of some misguided individuals who are hell-bent on fanning the embers of discord within the Lagos APC.
“The tremendous strides and infrastructural development embarked upon by H.E will be completed by him within the constitutional stipulated time.”
Former Works & Infrastructure Commissioner Dr. Obafemi Hamzat has also declared his interest in the APC governorship race.
Before Agbaje ended speculations about him running again yesterday, Mr. Deji Doherty had collected the PDP governorship nomination form.
The party had earlier offered its platform to businessman Femi Otedola.
Agbaje reportedly confirmed his intention in a telephone chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said: “It is true that initially I did not want to re-contest, but I had so many people urging me to run.
“I bought and submitted my nomination form shortly before it closed. I will be part of the PDP Lagos governorship primaries, billed for September 28.”
Agbaje said that he was confident he would win the elections, if he picked the PDP guber ticket to run.
On the upcoming primaries, Agbaje said he was confident that the leadership would create a level playing ground for all the aspirants, as has been the norm in the PDP.
He said: “Our primaries have always been open, fair and free for all. This is what we are known for, and that is the way. (The Nation)