“[Ambode] holds no grudge against anyone. He has assured me and he loves the people of Lagos State and has submitted to their will.”
Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has explained why his counterpart in Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, did not secure a second term ticket in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Bagudu claimed Ambode didn’t get the favour of the APC leadership because he might have stepped on toes.
However, the governor said posterity would be kind to Ambode for his laudable projects, particularly his rice revolution initiative which, he said, helped make the country self sufficient in rice production.
Bagudu, who spoke yesterday in Lagos, during the closing ceremony of the 18th edition of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, (COWLSO), reportedly pleaded with the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on behalf of Ambode, for him to get the party’s second term ticket.
“We have worked on farms in Kebbi State and, without Ambode, there wouldn’t have been LAKE Rice. And, the significance is that it helped revive the We Can Do spirit in Nigeria.
“My friend, Ambode, doesn’t like to be praised. He is a very private person and I always see the reflection of him in me. And, I often imagine how does private people function in a public world like politics? He has done a lot for Lagos. He has continued in the tradition. And understandably, he might have offended some people. I have done so. And, many before us have done so. But, he has demonstrated grace and being the believers that we are, we believe that history will judge him kindly.
“He holds no grudge against anyone. He has assured me and he loves the people of Lagos State and has submitted to their will,” the governor said.
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Praising Ambode for the LAKE Rice Initiative, Bagudu said apart from rekindling hope in the ability of Nigerians to achieve a lot for the country, the project also led to 90 per cent reduction in rice Importation.
“He (Ambode) supported the Nigerian Rice Initiative and in turn, without Mrs Bolanle Ambode and the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials and the great women of Lagos State, who encouraged and supported the LAKE Rice and the Nigerian Rice project, that wouldn’t have been possible and so, I thank you all for what you have done for Nigeria and what we have done to show that it is possible.”
Ambode, in his address, said the LAKE Rice Initiative has significantly impacted on the economic fortunes of not only Lagos and Kebbi states, but also, the entire nation.
He said Bagudu also deserved commendation for the success of the partnership and congratulated executives and members of COWLSO for another very successful conference.
He said it is on record that his wife, along with other hardworking and committed members, succeeded in taking the association and the annual conference to a higher level.
“The opportunity to be part of a conference such as this is a privilege which also comes with a corresponding responsibility.”
In its communiqué, read by wife of the secretary to the state government, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, COWLSO said government must put structures and policies in place, to address the issues of children having children.