The All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship aspirant, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has branded Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos a liar for claiming that he was arrested in the United States for spending fake American dollars at a night club and was rehabilitated for unknown ailment at the Gbagada General Hospital.
Ambode came hard on his opponent on Sunday when he said Sanwo-Olu was unfit to be governor of Lagos as he was arrested in the US for spending fake dollars and detained for months.
According to Ambode: “Now, the truth is this, the aspirant that is being put up to compete against us is not fit and proper person. This is the truth party leaders and party members have been misled to understand that he is a better candidate than myself. I have done everything in the last three years and half to serve people selflessly and the poor. This particular aspirant has been arrested for spending fake American Dollars in a night club in America and was detained for months.
“He also knows that he does not have the competence to do what he is being propelled to do. The records are there in the Gbagada General hospital, Lagos. This is somebody that has gone for rehabilitation before. We do not want to go so far. We know our leadership should have a rethink because the truth is this, I will not stand here, on the mandate of Lagos State residents and allowed our great party, APC to fritter away that opportunity to put in somebody that opposition will easily kick-out because of credibility; so I appeal to all our leaders, they should have a rethink. This is not about me. It is about the greatest opportunity that APC has to change the progress of Nigeria to better a place.”
Reacting to Ambode in a statement, Sanwo-Olu said he would not join issues with the governor or debase the exalted office, but said he would clarify some erroneous statement made by Ambode.
“His allegation that I was arrested for spending fake dollars at a night club in the United States was untrue. In fact, the governor knows I travelled to the United States just last month. I would not have been allowed to travel or even get a visa if I had been involved in what the Governor falsely alleged.
“That the Governor claimed that I underwent some unidentified type of “rehabilitation” at the Gbagada General Hospital was also shameless and untrue. Promulgation of salacious rumour should not be part of the job description of a governor. This is not the stuff of high office. People should question whether it is ethically right for the Governor to turn what should be confidential medical information about a citizen into a weapon of political warfare? But for avoidance of doubt, let it be stated that I never received any treatment whatsoever at the Gbagada General Hospital,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said he felt sad for Lagos as he watched the press conference by Ambode, saying that many things he said were beneath dignity of the people and the exalted office he held.
“Perhaps, the tension and anxiety of the moment got the better of him. If given a chance at cooler reflection of what he said, I am sure he would regret his descent into such low conduct. In this vein, I forgive him and hope he regains his balance and proper comportment no matter the outcome of tomorrow’s contest. After all, we are both here to improve Lagos not to wrestle in its streets,’ he said.
He added that instead of making a convincing defense of his performance, Ambode sought to sow fear into the hearts of Lagosians, stressing that Lagosians were intelligent and brave people.
“They can see through the smoke and the fog. I am here not to tear my opponent down but to help build Lagos up. With me, you will hear about progress on education, health, sanitation, proper tax levels, economic development, infrastructure, jobs, public services and other things that enhance the lives of people. I am a serious person and this primary is a serious matter. I have not the time or inclination to attack character when there are so many real issues to address.
“We will continue to focus on the issues that matter in the lives of the people of Lagos. Lagosians want an answer to the sanitation crisis and loss of jobs caused by Mr. Ambode’s Visionscape misadventure. Our people will want to know why Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has not been able to build a single General Hospital in the State when his immediate predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) built 11 General Hospitals. Lagosians are waiting to hear what our solutions are. They want to know why hundreds of competent civil servants got summarily dismissed and how this has undermined public services.
“As a candidate for the party’s nomination and hopefully as your next governor, my approach will not be to sling insults but to propose solutions to the problems of the day,” he stated.