– Leaders of APC in Lagos state are reportedly plotting to impeach Governor Akinwunmi Ambode
– Ambode was defeated by Babajide Sanwo-Olu during the party’s governorship primaries
– The Lagos House of Assembly had on Thursday, October 18, ordered PSP to resume refuse collection work immediately and declared Ambode’s Vissionscape as illegal
A plot to sack embattled Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state before the expiration of his single term on May 29, 2019, is reportedly being mapped out by some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nigerian Tribune reports that the plot, which is now at an advanced stage, according to sources on both sides of the divide, is mainly being hatched by the elite in the party but being sold to the rank and file as a last-minute solution to feared defeat of the party in next year’s governorship election.
We gathered that a factional chairman of the state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Fuad Oki, has warned the state House of Assembly to drop its threat to impeach Governor Ambode or it would incur the wrath of Lagosians.
It was gathered that a Lagos-based civil rights movement, Save Lagos Group (SLG), said it had concluded arrangements to picket the House of Assembly next week over what it termed illegal impeachment process against Ambode, warning the Hon. Mudashiru Obasa-led Assembly against being used by those it called selfish individuals to impeach the governor.
According to the newspaper, one major weapon to get the public to the pro-impeachment side, is the raging issue of heaps of refuse in the state, which has become a major talking point with the House of Assembly directing the restricted PSP operators to resume work all over the state.
The state is contracted to Visionscape for major refuse disposal engagements, while the PSP operators who hitherto had the entire space to themselves are now restricted in their operations.
The “sacking” of the PSP operators had been a major contentious policy issue for the Ambode administration.
On Thursday, October 18, the state legislature ordered the local service providers back to work, including areas where they had been barred by the state environmental laws, passed by the assembly.
A top source in the dogfight was quoted to have said that the discontent of residents of the state over the challenged capacity of Visionscape to handle the refuse business is now being explored by the party elite to push their agenda through.
It was learnt that after the appearance of the commissioners summoned by the state Assembly, the lawmakers would launch an investigation into the payment allegedly made to Visionscape on the order of the governor, after the Assembly had pronounced the foreign firm a ghost.
The “accountability” probe, according to a top anti-impeachment element, will likely be spread to other contractual issues with the Assembly expected to pronounce the governor guilty of misapplication of state funds, among other impeachable offences to be listed against him.
“These people (lawmakers and their patrons) are forgetting history. Is this not the same nonsense they tried with Fashola (former governor)? What came out of that process? They are inviting crisis and they would have it,” the source said.
It was learnt that though all commissioners but two have deserted the governor who was stopped by the same party elite from seeking a second term in office, his camp is not planning to allow those behind the impeachment plot to have a field day or a smooth passage.
“Yes, we are very aware they are planning to impeach Akin (Akinwunmi Ambode) and we are saying, let them try it. I am surprised with the way the media is allowing these people (pro-impeachment camp) to get away with impunity. Is legislative motion not mere advisory? Can they order the governor around in the name of motions?
“Imagine them usurping executive function by directing PSP operators back to work. Will they pay them? Maybe those ones want to work for free. Party members are not buying their ploy and they would be shocked next year.
“Do they think Lagosians are fools? Because Akin went back into his shell after the charade of primaries, do they think he is a fool? Let’s wait and see. There is always a limit to nonsense like this,” the party leader told Saturday Tribune.
About a fortnight back, the Assembly and the governor reportedly met and parted as friends with the lawmakers said to have come out of the meeting at the Government House smiling.
Facts of the meeting could not be independently verified. Days after, there were reports of alleged pressure on the governor to resign from office or be impeached.