The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole has ordered the declaration of the results of the party’s primaries held in Lagos yesterday.
It would be recalled they there had been confusion on the status of the exercise held in the 245 wards spread across the 20 local governments of the state, following its cancellation by the Chief Clement Ebri-led electoral panel set up by NWC to supervise the poll in which the Managing Director of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was his sole contender.
Ebri had told a press conference in Lagos yesterday that his committee was unaware of the primary conducted by the State Working Committee (SWC) because it did not follow the committee’s guidelines. He, therefore, cancelled it and ordered a fresh exercise for today.
But the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, overruled the Ebri committee and ordered it to collate the results of the poll and declare it immediately.
Oshiomhole in his words to the press last night said that it was wrong for the committee to annul an election that had been held, saying the proper thing to do was for the results to be declared, and whoever was dissatisfied should complain.
“The election has been held, anyone who is aggrieved should complain after the declaration of results.”
According to the national chairman, the committee’s brief was to supervise and not conduct the election, explaining that it was practically impossible for a panel of seven or so to conduct and micro manage an election held in 245 wards of 20 local government areas of the state.
In a bid to respect the will of the people, Oshiomhole directed Ebri to collate and release the results of the poll without fail.
It was gathered further that the NWC was unhappy that the Ebri panel used its name to annul the primary when in fact it was in a meeting when the primary was going on.
It was also learnt that the Ebri Committee would adopt the results announced last night by the state Chairman of the party, Mr. Babatunde Balogun.
Earlier, Balogun had announced Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the primary at the state party secretariat, Ogba, declaring that he polled 970,851 votes to maul Ambode, who polled 72,901 votes.
After declaring the result, Balogun commended the party members for coming out in good number to participate in the primary, saying that their participation reflected their belief in democracy.
“I am aware that conflicting information has been circulating on our primary election, but I must tell you that the election was held and it was free and fair. It would be very painful to disenfranchise the over 1.5 million members who voted across the 245 wards in the state.
“At the end of the exercise, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu polled 970,851 votes and Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode scored 72,901 votes. With this, Mr Babajide is declared winner. I thank party members for participating in the election and their dedication to democracy,” Babajide said.
Ebri and his other panellists, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel (Secretary), Mr. Nze Chidi Duru, Chief Clever Egbeji, Senator Clever Ikisikpo and Mr. Jerry Ugokwe, are expected to declare the results today.
The party’s National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, and his political force , the Mandate Movement, had opposed Ambode’s second term bid, throwing up Sanwo-Olu, as his main challenger.
Despite the intervention of Mr President, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, and the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, the opposition to Ambode’s aspiration was sustained with Tinubu insisting that the governor must test his popularity at the primary.
Last Thursday, Ambode decided to face the primary, and therefore relaunched his campaign team with the recruitments of agents across the 20 local governments and 37 local development councils in the state.
Faced with looming showdown, the state’s highest political advisory group, Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), chaired by Tinubu, which had compelled the primary contest, last Friday asked Ambode to step aside for Sanwo-Olu, its anointed candidate.
The governor refused and defiantly responded with a world press conference on Sunday, questioning the competence of the national leader’s preferred aspirant and warned of the dire consequences of the impending crisis for the president’s electoral fortune in the state in the 2019 general elections.
Ambode’s persistent defiance to the forces arraigned against him was however crashed yesterday as the party members trooped out to vote in the primary that eventually ousted him.