*Says: ‘Lagos cannot continue this way’
Wale Elegbede and Muritala Ayinla
Barely 48-hours after a public declaration of his intention to contest the Lagos State governorship seat in 2023, a former Commissioner for Home Affairs in the state, Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef, has resigned his membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Abdullateef, who served as a cabinet member during the administration of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, revealed his decision to quit the APC in a statement signed by him and titled “My 1st October Speech. My Resignation From The Ruling Party (APC)”.
The former Commissioner, who had also represented Oshodi Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, on Tuesday at the launch of his political movement, “Iyepe 2023 We Fit Do Am” in Ikeja area of the state on Tuesday, declared his intention to contest the 2023 governorship election in the state, stressing that the movement was meant to create political awareness among Lagosians.
But a few hours after the launch of his governorship ambition movement, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa sacked Abdul-Lateef as his Special Adviser on Islamic Religion, citing conflict of interest between Abdul-Lateef’s assignment and his political ambition.
But while giving reasons for resigning from the APC, Abdul-Lateef explained that some leaders of the party he is close to have rejected his decision to contest the number one seat in the state, hence his decision to leave the party in order not to create disunity within the party.
The statement reads: “I launched a movement IYEPE 2023 because I believe that the Nigerian Constitution allows freedom of expression and the rights of all citizens to participate in bringing about the needed transformation in all sectors of the economy.
“I am an indigene of Lagos state and an Awori by birth. I therefore have a duty to take positive steps including admonitions and practical reorientation of our people towards the ideal society we crave for.
“My desire is to win the pleasure of my Lord, which no political position can replace and that is why I am not desperate. I will be totally fulfilled when I am able to make efforts to enlighten our people about good governance, welfarism, the growth and development of the youth, the care of the elderly, the growth of the private sector, the ideals of Constitutional Democracy and better lifestyles for the leaders and the led.
“This movement has been rejected by some close leaders I respect. I have therefore decided to leave the party in order not to create disunity within the party.
“Please do not persecute or victimise my followers who have chosen to stay in APC. I leave them all in the care of the Lord. I am more concerned about paradise and I am not afraid of death.
“I will continue to preach the word of God and invite all Nigerians regardless of their religions, colour and race to be determined to be different. WE CANNOT CONTINUE THIS WAY.”
The former commissioner, however, expressed his appreciation to the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who according to him, assisted him greatly to occupy very enviable positions in the government.
“I thank all past governors I worked with and apologise to those I may have offended while switching support due to party loyalty.
“I appreciate the current Governor Babajide Sanwoolu who is really working hard to make Lagos state better. I urge all Lagosians to join hands with the governor to move Lagos to a greater height.
“The Speaker of the House of Assembly is a personal friend and brother who has been very generous to me. Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, may the Lord continue to bless you. I appreciate your support and we shall remain brothers,” Abdul-Lateef said.