A national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has predicted an abysmal showing for the Peoples Democratic Party in the 22 July council polls in Lagos state.
He said the PDP will win nothing.
In contrast, he said his party is assured of sweeping the entire 57 local council because Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had lived up to expectation.
He added that the people at the grassroots were anticipating the reenactment of the superlative performance across the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas.
He said if performance and purposeful leadership were the criteria for voting, the electorate would vote for the APC chairmanship and councillorship candidates as they voted for Mr Ambode two years ago.
Mr Tinubu pleaded with members to accept the decision of the party to give automatic tickets to 18 former chairmen in recognition of their loyalty, commitment and efforts and the decision that the sole administrators who took over from the Executive Secretaries (ES) should not contest election.
The former Lagos State governor spoke on preparations for the elections at the enlarged meeting of APC stakeholders held at the party secretariat. Acme Road, Ogba. It was attended by Mr Ambode, party elders, apex leaders, party officers, legislators, members of the State Executive Council, grassroots leaders, aspirants and their supporters.
Lagos APC chairman Oladele Ajomale inaugurated a seven-man Lagos APC Local Government Appeal Committee headed by former Deputy Governor Olufemi Pedro.
Other members of the committee are the APC Assistant legal Adviser, Toke Benson (secretary), former Secretary to Government Adenrele Ogunsanya, Aderibigbe, Idris Thany, a lawyer, Femi Laoye and Solomon Aina, a former council chairman.
Also, a five-man State Electoral Committee headed by Tokunbo Afikuyomi was set up to conduct a credible primary. Other members of the committee are Senior Special Assistant to Ambode on Political Affairs Adekunle Olayinka (secretary), Alabi Macfoy, Hakeem Oris, Sade Abiola-Agbalajobi and Tayo Alabi.
Mr Ajomale urged the members of the two committees to be above board in the discharge of their assignments, adding that eyes would be on them before and during the exercise.
Mr Ambode enjoined party faithful to work round the clock to ensure victory at the poll, adding that the state can only make steady progress, if the party controls the local governments.
He attributed his victory in the 2015 poll to the dedication of party members and leaders, especially Mr Tinubu, urging the party faithful not to relent in their quest for electoral victory.
Mr Ambode said: “Almost exactly two years after, we have cause to thank God. I am able to look back that the confidence you give me two years ago and all of you working together to make sure I defeated the PDP candidate was no small feat.
“I have come here, not only to attend this meeting, but to say a big thank you to all of you. I want to thank you for being the first set of people that believed in me and thereafter, God has been so gracious. He has not allowed me to disappoint you. I want to say a big thank you to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the state APC chairman and Exco members for supporting that cause.
“If there is any party remaining in Nigeria today, that party is manifested in all the good things coming out of Lagos State. Why are we here; we are here to count our blessings and renew the cause of unity to move forward as one great party.
“I want to implore all of us, whatever it is that would have transpired, it is very clear that this coming council election is all in your hands; just the same way we have done in the last two years, my call to all members of our great party is that all 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas must be won by APC without exception.”
Mr Tinubu revisited the 2015 general election, lamenting that the APC lost some national and state legislative seats to the PDP in controversial circumstances.
Describing the election as very challenging, he recalled how former President Goodluck Jonathan invaded Lagos with huge money to woo voters and create confusion.
He lauded the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, noting that his exemplary leadership led to the defection of six PDP legislators to the APC.
Turning to Mr Ambode, Mr Tinubu urged him to increase security presence in Surulere to check violence.
He said the growing wave of violence was worrisome, adding that the menace should be nipped in the bud.
Mr Tinubu said: “I urge the people of Surulere to be patient and peaceful. We will all benefit from the party.”
The former governor hailed Mr Ambode for his sterling performance, saying he did not let the party down.
At the meeting were Deputy Governor Idiat Adebule, House of Assembly Speaker Obasa, House of Representatives Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, former university don Prof. Tunde Samuel, APC Vice Chairman Funso Ologunde and former Information and Strategy Commissioner Dele Alake.