The Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has refuted claims that he was nursing the ambition to succeed the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in 2023.
Muri-Okunola made the clarification in a statement titled, ‘I’m not for anti-Sanwo-Olu plot – Muri-Okunola’, and posted on Twitter by Sanwo-Olu’s Senior Special Adviser on New Media, Jubril Gawat.
The HoS said that contrary to the claims, he was not against the governor’s second-term ambition but rather concentrating on his role as the Head of Service.
The statement read, “My attention has been drawn to several publications linking me with a fictitious race for Lagos State Governor and plots to stop Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term bid.
“I hereby dissociate myself from all publications and innuendoes conveying such plots. I reiterate my support for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his administration’s THEMES Agenda – the six-pillar development plan that is the compass for his projects and policies.
“The objective of those behind these publications is obviously to plant a seed of discord between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and me.
“Contrary to the statements being published by mischief-makers, who are also trying to play the religion card, I am fully focused on carrying out my duties as Head of Service of the Lagos State Government and taking the Public Service to greater heights.”
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Sanwo-Olu indicated that he will consult Lagosians before making a decision on whether to run for a second term in office in the 2023 general elections or not.
The 56-year-old governor, who assumed office in May 2019, would be completing his first term in office by May 2023, and he is constitutionally permitted to be in office for one more term of four years if the electorate so decides.
Sanwo-Olu had clinched the ticket of the All Progressives Congress for the 2019 governorship election in Lagos defeating the then governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who was in office for just a term.
Ambode, the first Lagos governor to stay in office for four years since the return to democracy in 1999, was said to have been kicked out due to intra-party squabbles after APC leader and strong man of Lagos politics, Bola Tinubu, anointed Sanwo-Olu.