Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, has called on members of the ruling party to “come together as one and work hard for victory at the general election”.
The Lagos APC governorship candidate made this call in his acceptance speech which was personally signed by him and sent to Africa News 24 on Friday.
Sanwo-Olu, who stressed that in a democracy, it is not possible that everybody would vote for a candidate in the primary, noted that he respects the opinion of those who were not persuaded about his candidacy.
The statement reads in full: “From the depth of my heart, I express my profound gratitude to our teeming party members who gave me a resounding victory in the recently concluded governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.
“I am overjoyed yet humbled at the confidence reposed in me by the majority of our members to fly the flag of our party in next year’s governorship election. My joy stems not just from my victory, but also from the fact that our party has demonstrated in Lagos State that intra-party democracy can indeed be deepened through successful direct primaries. The party belongs to every card-carrying member and they have made their choice.
“I most humbly thank the national leader of our party, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), our indefatigable stalwart and pillar of all seasons, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our national chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomole and members of the National Working Committee (NWC), our national and state legislators, members of the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) in Lagos State, our local government chairmen and councillors, the state, local government and ward executives of our party, our market men and women and indeed every card-carrying member of the APC in Lagos State.
“I have emerged as nothing but the symbol and the servant of our collective struggle for the continued progressive transformation and radical modernisation of every facet of Lagos State.
“The position of Governor of Lagos State is not one of pleasure or one that affords the opportunity for limitless glamour. It is one that demands the highest degree of discipline, dedication, industry, commitment and sense of purpose.
“I do not take lightly the fact that you have entrusted me with the responsibility of flying the party’s flag for this esteemed office at the next election. For me, the mandate you have placed on my shoulder is a sacred trust, which I will respect and value every minute, every hour and every day.
“I am aware that in a democracy, a government exists only on the platform of a party. “Something”, as the lawyers say, cannot stand on “nothing”.
“A government has the most basic task of implementing as faithfully as possible the policy platform of the party. You have definitely not elected me as your candidate to become the master of the party. This is why I have said before and reiterate now that if by the grace of God, I am elected governor of Lagos State, I will run an administration that listens and responds to the yearnings of the people. A government that is open and inclusive is my promise to Lagosians.
“There is no doubt that I stand, today, on the shoulders of giants who have been in this position before in this dispensation. There is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Pathfinder and chief architect of the new Lagos that is unfolding before our eyes and to the admiration of all. There is Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the actualizer, who built on the foundations laid by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with passion and competence. There is the incumbent, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who has done his bit. I am proud to have played key roles in all three administrations. I thank Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the good fight he fought in the true spirit of democracy and even more importantly, for his grace and generosity of spirit with which he has accepted the outcome of the primaries and congratulated me. He remains my friend, brother and compatriot. I promise to devote all the spiritual, mental and physical energies God has endowed me with to contribute my quota towards ensuring that Lagos takes a quantum leap forward under my tenure.
“In a democracy, it is not possible that everybody would vote for me in the primary. I respect the opinion of those who were not persuaded about my candidacy. Now that the primaries are over, I enjoin every member of the party to come together as one and work hard for victory at the general election. On the path of progress, peace and prosperity, Lagos shall neither fail nor falter under the banner of our great party and so help us, God.”