Four All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants for Ikorodu Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly have stepped down for a rival.
The quartet of Mr Nurudeen Agbaje, Mr Adeleke Akadri, Mrs Jumoke Jumbo, and Dr Aruna Balogun withdrew from the race in Ikorodu on Saturday in favour of Mr Gbolahan Ogunleye.
Ogunleye will consequently slug it out with the incumbent, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, at the APC primary election for the seat.
Agunbiade is the sitting Majority Leader of the Lagos Assembly, seeking re-election into the seat for a fifth term.
Speaking on behalf of the former aspirants, Agbaje, said it was a hard decision to take, but that they stepped down for the good of the constituency.
He said he had personally contested three times for the same post and seemed to have a brighter chance this time.
He said the former aspirants resolved to support the aspiration of Ogunleye with their resources and would canvass their followers to work for the emergence of Ogunleye as the APC candidate.
“The idea today is very painful. I accepted after a series of consultations and appeals by party leaders, especially by our apex leader, Mr Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State.
“Initially, I believed this is my time to showcase myself. I believe my chances are very bright.
“Our candidate, Ogunleye is a man with a reputable character like his father who is the apex leader of the party in the constituency.
“Baba is a highly respectable man in Lagos and in Ikorodu politics so I can’t turn down his request,’’ he said.
Another former aspirant, Balogun, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs also said the withdrawal was a difficult decision to take.
He urged delegates to work for the success of the party considering the antecedents and good work of the father of their preferred aspirant for the primary election.
“Every experience starts in a day. Our expectation is that we should give another youth a chance.
“As we speak today, four contestants have not only picked their nomination forms knowing their strength, but have given it up for Ogunleye.
“That means Ogunleye is an aspirant with a pedigree,’’ Balogun said.
Responding, Gbolahan Ogunleye, commended the aspirants for their sacrifices and promised to facilitate projects that would be of benefit to the people of Ikorodu Constituency if elected.
He pledged to run an all-inclusive representation.
The junior Ogunleye also promised to create synergy between the local government and the state assembly as a lawmaker if given the mandate.
He urged APC members to ensure they registered and collected their Permanent Voter Cards to be able to decide who they wanted to represent them at the Lagos Assembly.
“I promise my constituents practical representation and I will work diligently to ensure a better life for them,’’ he said.
APC’s primary election for the House of Assembly holds on May 22.