The political ship of a Lagos State gubernatorial aspirant and former Accountant-General of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, has suffered another major hit.
A group of PDP chieftains in Ondo State have revealed that Ambode was a recipient of an Ondo State indigene bursary while he was a student of the University of Lagos. The chieftains declared that for Ambode to have benefited from the bursary, the Bursary Board must have duly checked and confirmed his background as a bonafide Ondo State indigene.
This is coming amidst claims that Ambode also indicated Ondo as his state of origin while filling his Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams in 1981. In the form made available to our correspondent, Ambode filled Ondo as his state of origin, whilst he entered UNILAG, UNIBEN and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) as his first, second and third choices respectively.
All these are re-affirmation of an earlier pronouncement by Ola Apena, the Deputy Chairman of PDP in Lagos, that Ambode’s father is from Ondo State. Apena had said, “For all I know, Ambode is from Ondo State. His father is an Ondo man; he taught me in Primary 3, Christ Church Primary School in Epe. He (Oba Akiolu) made reference to somebody that the father is from Ewekoro, then it means Kabiyesi has to be lectured as to where Ambode’s father comes from.”
In the same vein, the Edu family of Epe, Lagos have disassociated from his claim that he hailed from their lineage. According to a press release signed by both Alhaji M. Oladeinde Edu and Alhaji T. A. Edu for the family, they claimed that Ambode hails from Ilaje in Ese Odo area of Ondo State and not from Epe as believed. The release reads in part, “We hereby bring it to the notice of all Lagosians that we have tried but could not trace where the said Akinwumi Ambode belongs in the family tree of Baale Buraimo Edu of Epe. At this juncture, we can categorically state here that in actual fact, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is a son of Festus Akinwale Ambode, one of the teachers posted to Epe in the old Western Region; a native of Ilaje Ese Odo in the present day Ondo State.”
It went on, “As a school teacher, the elder Ambode was very familiar and friendly with several Epe indigenes. The older Ambode came to Epe through the waterways. He came with his wife, Christianah Oluleye Ambode (nee Oresanya), who though initially did not stay with him which made the older Ambode marry a second wife, an Epe daughter, popularly called ‘Iya Vice from Poka, Epe. She was a food seller in Epe Grammar School. This development led to Akinwunmi Ambode’s mother who also hails from Ilaje Ese Odo in Ondo State to eventually relocate to Epe to stay with her husband,” the family said.
However, a media aide to Ambode, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, revealed to our correspondent that the Edu family has disowned the people behind the purported press release, while also clearing the air that Ambode never claimed to have come from the Edu family.
Meanwhile, the opponents of Ambode have vowed not to rest on their oars until they prove to the whole world that Ambode is indeed from Ondo State, and be prosecuted if he claimed to be an indigene of Lagos in his bid to contest as a candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the next gubernatorial election in the state.