By Ogundipe, Samuel
What was designed as a last-minute attempt by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, to seal the victory of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Lagos State, may become the most disastrous political endorsement in the state’s political history.
WESTERN POST gathered that the highly revered monarch called a meeting with leaders of Lagos residents of Igbo extraction at his palace yesterday.
During the meeting, reports said, Oba Akiolu reportedly told his guests that they must inform their people when they return to their various Igbo communities strewn across the state to vote for Mr. Ambode.
Ambode is locked in an extremely close race with Mr. Jimi Agbaje, a renowned pharmacist and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
After telling those present at the event that Lagos belongs to him by virtue of his position as the reigning monarch, he went on to issue an overt threat.
“On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die inside this water,” reports quoted the monarch as saying.
Although the statement did not go down well with the Igbo leaders who were present, it was gathered that they maintained their silence to avoid being lynched by the APC supporters present.
The campaign office of Mr. Ambode did not immediately respond to WP’s request for comment, but the candidate wrote the following on his Twitter page this morning: “Lagos is too cosmopolitan for us to be tribalistic on whom to vote for, instead the election should be based on who will continue…”
It is however not clear if the tweet was a spontaneous advise to the electorate or he was responding to the controversy.
Oba Akiolu is amongst the strongest backers of Ambode, having openly endorsed him long before any political heavyweight in the state.
The micro-blogging website, Twitter, has been thrown into a frenzy since the statement hit the political grapevine last night, with most Igbo vowing to dare the monarch and vote for their choice candidates instead.