The Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria in Lagos State on Tuesday threw its weight behind a governorship aspirant in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Jide Sanwo-Olu.
The waste managers made their intention known at a press conference in Mushin, Lagos.
The operators had in the last two years been at loggerheads with the Akinwunmi Ambode administration after the governor contracted a foreign company, Visionscape, to manage waste in the state.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, an aspirant believed to be enjoying the support of APC leader Bola Tinubu and the party’s influential Mandate Group, will be contesting the ticket of the party against the incumbent.
An embattled Mr Ambode is perhaps fighting his fiercest political battle as reports said his relationship with Mr Tinubu and key members of the Lagos APC has become strained.
Recently, Mr Sanwo-Olu was endorsed by Mandate Group, said to be loyal to Mr Tinubu.
On Tuesday, the PSP operators noted that Mr Sanwo-Olu, if voted in to replace Mr Ambode, would restore their jobs, according to Punch newspaper.
The vice chairman of the association, David Oriyomi, who addressed journalists alongside other executive members of AWAM, said the decision to back Mr Sanwo-Olu was in the interest of about 25,000 workers engaged by the 350 PSP operators, who he said had lost their jobs.
According to Mr Oriyomi, about 150,000 voters at the grassroots belong to the association and they will all be mobilised to support Mr Sanwo-Olu and elect him governor.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, he added, would not only return them to their positions as waste managers, he would clean up Lagos.
According to him, the rejection of PSP operators in the state was an injustice, which has jeopardised the health and well-being of residents of Lagos State.
“It is, therefore, with great hope that we welcome the emergence of Sanwo-Olu , who has promised to run a participatory government,” he explained.
“For this reason, we, the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, have decided to align ourselves with Mr Babajide Sanwo -Olu and pledge our full support to him in the forthcoming elections.
“This decision was taken in the best interest of the environment. We remain committed to servicing the great residents of the centre of excellence . It is time to clean up our city, we did it before, we are able and willing to actualise the Lagos of our dreams.”
Mr Oriyomi said they had ‘examined’ the aspirants, including the incumbent, and they know what they could offer.
He said, “The incumbent, we have seen what he has to offer when it comes to waste management in the state – there is nothing he can offer us.
“Then Hamzat (another aspirant) we have not heard much from his camp; but Sanwo -Olu named the issue of the environment as one of the critical issues that he is going to tackle.”
The Lagos APC holds its primary election next week.