This is even as 36 members of the state House of Assembly had earlier declared their support for Sanwo-Olu
Hamzat visited Sanwo-Olu at his Ikoyi, Lagos residence where he endorsed him by raising up his hand, saying that he will be a credible and worthy successor to Governor Ambode.
He was received by Sanwo-Olu, his wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, his campaign manager, Tayo Ayinde and Otunba Lekan Osifeso.
Hamzat said: “After due consultations with my numerous supporters and in deference to the wise counsel of those I consider my political mentors, I have resolved to step down from the governorship race in Lagos on the platform of our party and, instead, poll resources together with my brother and friend, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“So, my supporters are hereby directed to vote for Sanwo-Olu to emerge the candidate of the APC in the primary scheduled for tomorrow (today) across the state.”
Thanking Hamzat for endorsing him, Sanwo-Olu reflected on their involvement in Lagos governance under Tinubu and Fashola, saying that he is a good friend, compatriot and comrade in progress.
Following Hamzat’s withdrawal, the battle for the ticket may be between Sanwo-Olu and Ambode at Sunday’s direct primary.
The former aspirant, who lost the ticket to Ambode in 2015, emphasised that “the loyalty of our party members should never ever be taken for granted.”
Reflecting on the direct primary, which has heralded the inevitability of a clash of interests and perspectives, Hamzat said the way forward was for like-minds to close ranks and poll resources together, forge a formidable front and advance the ideas that can serve the larger interest of party members.
He added: “If great milestones were recorded under the Fashola administration, I believe it was because there was a fidelity to the path already charted by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It consists of a clear road-map that ensured that from the sorry status of almost a failed state in 1999, the Lagos Asiwaju Tinubu bequeathed in 2007 was a very healthy state with vastly improved social infrastructure. It was a worthy legacy Fashola defended and took to greater height for eight years he was governor of Lagos.
“Having been part and parcel of the formulation and execution of various policies and programmes that transformed Lagos right from Asiwaju Tinubu and Fashola administrations, and having been a loyal party member all through thick and thin, I strongly believe Sanwo-Olu is equally rooted to fly our party’s flag in the 2019 election and I have no doubt that he is well placed and equipped to take Lagos to greater height. In view of this, I hereby step down for him.”
The 36 lawmakers who adopted Sanwo-Olu, according to a statement by the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, Princess Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, took the decision at a Parliamentary meeting of the lawmakers which took place at Lateef Jakande auditorium on Saturday, a day before the governorship primaries of the party.
The meeting was presided over by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa. 36 members were present out of the 40 members of the House and all of them endorsed the decision and duly signed the statement announcing the decision.
Hons. Segun Olulade and Abiodun Tobun both from Epe constituencies 1&2, thesame place as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode were absent including Hon. Sikiru Osinowo who is said to be outside the country.
The lawmakers stated that they were in agreement with the leadership of the party and the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) which had earlier endorsed Sanwo-olu for the governorship ticket.
“At the Parliamentary meeting held on 29th September, 2018 at the Lagos State House of Assembly Complex, members do hereby unanimously resolve to support the position of the Leadership of All Progressive Congress(APC) and the Governor’s Advisory Council(GAC) in Lagos State on the endorsement of Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu as the APC Gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 election.
The meeting was attended by 36 out of the 40 Honourable members in the House of Assembly.”