A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Ambassador Abayomi Mumuni is under pressure to declare his intention to contest the Lagos Central Senatorial District against Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
Though Senator Tinubu has not formally declared her intention to return to the upper chamber, many of her supporters, including some party leaders, have endorsed her re-election bid for the third term. The decision, our correspondent gathered, has however been condemned by Mumuni, who vowed to contest against Tinubu during the state primary election of the APC later this year.
It would be recalled that the 2011 gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) had bemoaned the unilateral decision of some of the APC party leaders to endorse Tinubu’s 3rd term bid “at the expense of other interested party members”.
Mumuni, while speaking on the purported endorsement, accused the leadership of the defunct ACN in the current ruling party of not respecting the merger which they signed before the 2015 general elections. He also alleged that members of the defunct CPC in Lagos have been marginalised and abandoned at the State and National levels.
Mumuni said he believes he could have defeated Senator Tinubu in 2011 if he had not jettisoned the senatorial ticket for the gubernatorial slot in the interest of President Buhari.
He said, “But I changed my intention because there was no governorship candidate for the defunct CPC in the South West, except Barrister Shittu in Oyo State. With me, we were the only two CPC gubernatorial candidates that supported President Buhari’s bid to become Nigeria’s President. My withdrawal from the senatorial election gave Asiwaju’s wife an edge in the election.
“My mandate has always been the Lagos Central Senatorial District, which is my constituency. I am a son of the soil. I contested against Obanikoro and Ade Dosumu in 2003 and 2007. Come 2019, there are no two ways to it, I am going to contest against her and I will defeat her in the primaries. Even if I don’t get the ticket, we will go back to CPC and I will still defeat her.”
It was gathered that since Mumuni expressed his readiness to challenge Senator Tinubu, he (Mumuni) has been under pressure by his supporters to declare his ambition and start campaigning in earnest for the 2019 general elections.
A source at one of the meetings said some party bigwigs in the state have been begging him (Mumuni) to run against Tinubu.
Mumuni, in one of the meetings in Lagos, was also reportedly advised to leave the party if he does not win the primary election against Tinubu. They assured him of their unwavering support to wrestle power from Tinubu in her bid to seek the third term at the Senate.
The source said, “Mumuni is a phenomenon. His influence cuts cross Nigeria, and it is certain he would defeat Senator Tinubu at the primaries. If he doesn’t get the ticket, we will support him to wherever he goes. He is our leader and we are ready to return to our former party, CPC once he is ready.”Some of his South-South friends have volunteered to sponsor the printing of no fewer than 250 big banners, to be mounted across the 5 local governments, 8 LCDAs and 170 wards in Lagos Central, in preparation for Mumuni’s declaration”, an APC chieftain and former CPC member disclosed.