Southwest All Progressives Congress (APC) Women Leader Chief Kemi Nelson yesterday warned party members about the danger of underrating the opposition in Lagos State in next year’s governorship election. Also, Lagos West APC leader Prince Rabiu Oluwa called for unity and understanding among party leaders and members to avoid the repeat of the electoral defeat in some federal constituencies in 2015.
The party elder recalled that Lagos APC lost some Houses of Assembly and Representatives seats due to unresolved post-primary crises that hit the platform.
While Nelson charged the party faithful to gird their loins and work hard for victory, Oluwa, a member of the Governorship Advisory Council (GAC), said the party should go into the polls as a united fold.
The party elders spoke at Ikeja during the “thank you” visit of the Lagos State governorship candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to Lagos West APC elders and leaders.
Accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, his campaign manager, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, Dr. Tola Kasali, Ashipa Kaoli Olusanya, Bayo Ajisebutu and Segun Dawodu, the flag bearer and his entourage were received by Oluwa, Chief Oladele Ajomale, Dr. Abayomi Finnih, and other party chiefs.
Reflecting on the challenges triggered by the politics of nominations, the flag bearer waved an olive branch, promising to meet all aggrieved aspirants and incorporate them into his campaign structures. Sanwo-Olu said: “All our former aspirants who were not successful at the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and even senatorial primaries; we must reach out to them so that they will not harbour bitterness and a sense of injustice.
“We will meet them individually and collectively. They have their followers. They must remain in the party. It is not just we versus them or them versus we. We own the party and state together.”The flag bearer also acknowledged that much work has to be done to retain power, urging the political family to prepare for the task ahead. “Work has just started. The work is not for APC alone. It is for all Lagosians. We have to tell our church members, customers in markets, neighbours, our friends. Let us unite as we forge ahead in the election.”
Oluwa, who presented a golden horse to the candidate, said: “We need to unite. In 2015, we lost some votes, especially some House of Assembly and Representatives seats. It was due to in-fighting. We have work to do. It is a big work. Sanwo-Olu said he wanted 2.5 votes from Lagos. It is not easy. We can’t stay home and achieve that. We have to work. “The campaign manager, Ayinde, who is also from the West District, said the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat ticket was gathering momentum, nothing that 1,000 people have voluntarily enlisted in the campaign team. Urging Sanwo-Olu to forge ahead with excitement and optimism, he added: “Our people are behind you. Our leaders in the district are behind you. We will not fail you. Ewe will deliver you. By May 2019, you will be the governor of Lagos State.”