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Lagos ACN Abandon Fashola For Ikuforiji

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As the Action Congress of Nigeria prepares for its convention on December 16, 2010, apprehension has gripped the camps of the two major contestants for the governorship ticket in Lagos State. The major tussle is still between the current governor, Babatunde Fashola, and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji.

  The Speaker, who sources said became interested in the seat after he was assured by former governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had begun subtle campaign since three months ago while denying publicly that he had not made up his mind on which political office to run for.

  Sources close to the Speaker told that one of the strategies Ikuforiji adopted to win himself into the hearts of Lagosians was the public criticisms of the policies of the present administration.

  Though the Speaker has constantly denied that he was eyeing the position even though he had the intention of contesting for a political office he does not know yet, it was gathered that he became the choice of the former governor of the State after the latter discovered that Fashola would breach the agreement that he would only spend a term.

  A source close to the party told in confidence that Fashola, since he became governor, started distancing himself from those who brought him to power.

  Particularly, he was said to have made himself too busy to attend the issues of the State chapter of the party.

  "The party Chairman, Henry Ajomale, hardly met him in his office. He would tell the man that he was busy.

  "The only time the chairman could see him was on Sundays on his way to the football pitch. The chairman would have to go and wait for him very early in the morning.

  "It got to the point where the man got angry and contacted Asiwaju Tinubu, who was already angry," the source, a former Commissioner in the State said.

  The governor, realizing this, has started a vigorous campaign to get him back into the government house.

  He is said to be meeting with stakeholders in the State in other to win their support.

  On the other hand, the Speaker has begun a subtle campaign with his campaign posters not really telling which office he is gunning for.

  He has also started delegating his duties to the Majority Leader, Taiwo Kolawole, who many see as being groomed to take over as the Speaker even though he is already spending his third term at the House.

  Two weeks ago, ikuforiji invited editors of various media houses in the State to a parley at his newly completed official house at the GRA, Ikeja area of Lagos, which is put at N40 million.

  This is the second time he is inviting them within the year.

  The recent parley also featured Tinubu's men in the State including Dele Alake and Tokunbo Afikuyomi.

As their supporters anxiously await the outcome of the convention , gathered that the date for the convention was fixed for a day after the PDP convention specifically to frustrate any move by governor Fashola to decamp to PDP.

Tinubu and his associates are said to be wary of the governor's closeness to the center and are already sure that in the event that ACN does not grant him his wish, he might likely want to pursue his ambition through the opposition party and win the people, who are already in sympathy with him, to his side.

  Few weeks before the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , Nuhu Ribadu , declared his intention to contest for the presidency on the platform of ACN, the governor was contacted to be his running mate as a way of paving the way for the Speaker, but the governor refused and granted an interview to a national newspaper saying he would never be a Vice President to Ribadu.