8th March, 2019
No fewer than 28 political parties under the aegis of Coalition of Progressive Lagos Gubernatorial (CPLG), on Friday denied withdrawing and endorsing Babajide Sanwo-Olu, APC candidate for Saturday’s election.
Dr Francis Ajayi, Chairman of the group, said in Lagos that if candidates had intentions to withdraw from the contest, they would have made it known earlier.
According to him, those who claimed to be governorship candidates are hired and not candidates.
30 governorship candidates under the aegis of Forum of Governorship Candidates in Lagos State had on Wednesday endorsed Sanwo-Olu.
The endorsement took place at Excellence Hotel, Ogba.
Ajayi said: “The Coalition of Progressive Lagos Gubernatorial in Lagos State strongly dissociates itself from the assertion that we have withdrawn from the race and have endorsed Sanwo-Olu.
“It is not true; we are countering the alleged buying of some governorship candidates for the sum of N100, 000 each, to step down.
“We are not for sale,” Ajayi said in a statement.
He advised the party in power not to toy with peoples mandate saying that the people had made their choices.
The group chairman urged electorate to vote wisely for a ‘stitch in time saves nine.’
Chief Mike Okereke, the governorship candidate of United Progressive Party (UPP), said that he could never collect such amount to withdraw from the Saturday’s race.
“The people who collected that money are not governorship candidates; they are members of various political parties who claimed to be contestants.
“No governorship candidate like me who have spent his money to purchase a ticket for N3 million, printed posters and billboards will go and collect 100,000 to step down,” Okereke said.
Okereke said there were procedures that should follow should candidates wanted to step down.
He said: “if you want to organise governorship candidates to step down for you, you should do what other states did.
“The candidates will come and take pictures with you, address the press, then they announce their endorsement and support for you, as was done in Port Harcourt, Benue and Anambra.”