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“Perhaps the tension and anxiety of the moment got the better of him” – Sanwo-Olu on Ambode’s Allegations

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Jide Sanwo-Olu

Lagos gubernatorial aspirant Jide Sanwo-Olu has released a statement in response to incumbent governor and aspirant Akinwunmi Ambode‘s press conference held on Sunday.

Both men are vying for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for the 2019 governorship election in the state.

At the press conference, Ambode alleged that Sanwo-Olu was arrested for spending fake America dollars at a nightclub in the U.S.

The governor also said Sanwo-Olu had undergone rehabilitation at Gbagada General Hospital according to medical records, adding that he’s unfit to run a state.

Responding, Sanwo-Olu, who has been endorsed by APC national leader and former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu, debunked the claims saying he’ll not engage in personal attacks against the governor as he holds the governor’s office in high esteem.

See the full statement below:

I felt sad for Lagos as I watched Press Conference by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. Many things he said were beneath the dignity of our people and the exalted office he now holds.

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.”

Let it be heard by all that I hold the people of Lagos State with great respect and affection. Their welfare is my utmost concern and it is what drives my pursuit for the governorship nomination of the APC.

As such, I also hold the office of Governor of our state in high esteem. I shall never consciously do anything that will undermine the dignity of the office nor will I engage in personal attacks against the holder of that officer.

My pursuit of office will continue to be based upon issues that matter to Lagosians and not on attacks against someone’s character, even when he attacks mine. For anyone to engage in unwarranted character attacks against me, [it] reveals more about that person’s character than it says about mine.

However, I must clear up some inaccuracies in the Governor’s statement. His allegation of that I was arrested for spending fake dollars at a night club in the United States is 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 I underwent some unidentified type of ‘rehabilitation’ at the Gbagada General Hospital is 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.

Today, instead of making a convincing defence of his performance, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode sought to sow fear into the hearts of Lagosians. But Lagosians are an 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 cast 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.

5 Comments

  1. Prime Babe

    October 1, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Not very coded shade

  2. Ephi

    October 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Ambode went below the belt with the personal attack, so unnecessary, and this response above is quite mature. I’m indifferent towards both Tinubu and Ambode, but everyone seems to have turned their backs on Ambode.
    Ambode, you better go and beg chaplain ?

  3. Felo

    October 1, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    What Ambode said about Sanwo-Olu is exactly the reason Politicians travel abroad to treat ordinary headache. Nothing is sacred anymore in Nigeria. Your medical records is available for the highest bidder. Dr`s break Hippocratic oath as they please. No professionalism. What a shame! The uninformed youth will still blame Buhari for this as well. We are all responsible for Nigeria`s failure. Change begins with you. Hopefully, the next generation will fix this country.

    • Ovadje

      October 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

      @Felo, while agreeing with your bigger point about professional standards, please don’t EVER justify people who are entrusted with public funds to fix healthcare services (among other things) using what is often taxpayer funds to travel abroad for healthcare services.

      BTW, the health of candidates for electable public office (and holders of such public office) is actually a legitimate issue of public concern, particularly if it is a mental health issue (as this case seems to imply). We can debate HOW such information is publicly disseminated, but most definitely not if it should. Who knows, if Nigerians had prior knowledge of the state of Umaru YarAdua’s health, they may have never voted him into office and saved Nigeria almost 2 years of virtual paralysis as he secretly battled with ill-health. Look at our current president and his ongoing battles with ill-health, costing the nation not just tons of money in overseas treatment but even more if the rumors of an Aso Rock Cabal has any veracity to it.

      Elected public officers (in fact, arguably all public officers) are NOT like private citizens. They are entrusted with the taxpayers’ funds and life savings, the security of the nation (or parts thereof), and literally the lives of the citizenry/population. It is of legitimate public interest to know if any such person holding a position of public trust is kuku-for-cocoa-puffs or just ill, before we step into the booth, so as to make an INFORMED decision either way. Whenever someone VOLUNTARILY seeks to exercise life-and-death control over others, he gives up a certain expectation of privacy and is/should be held to a different standard than the regular Jide Smoe!

  4. Ovadje

    October 2, 2018 at 11:32 am

    PS: In the US (as with myriad other countries), if the president has as much as a weird-looking pimple (yes, I exaggerate…lol!), a press conference is held on it at Walter Reed and the White House. In Nigeria, we the taxpayer paid (albeit without our voluntary consent) for our elected president to spend months abroad on treatment and to this day we do not even know what was/is wrong with him. You have to wonder what if our president is actually being treated for mental health issues, and one day the voices in his head tells him to launch a pre-emptive military attack on the Republic of Chad?!

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