The anxiety that enveloped the Lagos metropolis as a result of the contentious All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election on Tuesday between the incumbent governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, and his arch-rival, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was yesterday defused as the governor displayed a spirit of sportsmanship by conceding defeat and congratulating Sanwo-Olu.
The governor, in a state-wide broadcast, said the interest of the party and state supersedes that of individuals no matter how powerful and glorified. Ambode said, ‘’Fellow Lagosians, the last few days have witnessed intense political activities that have gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity. I strongly believe that the time has now come for the state to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years are not lost. ‘’Dear Lagosians, APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved State must always supersede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC primary, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and urge all Lagosians to immediately support our party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 elections and work for the success of our dear party.
‘’As governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and, ultimately, to the new governor come May 2019. ‘’The progress of Lagos state is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your governor and one to which I will forever be devoted.” Ambode went on to thank his estranged political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the leadership of the great party at state and national levels, all party faithful and all Lagosians for their faith in allowing him to serve as governor.Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has also thanked Governor Ambode for putting up a good fight. Sanwo-Olu, in his acceptance speech yesterday after being declared the winner of the election, said Ambode had added credibility to the primaries, just as he wished the governor well in the remaining months of his administration. The results of the primaries which held across the 245 wards of the state saw Sanwo-Olu polling 970,851 votes to beat the incumbent governor who scored 72,901 votes.
The results were initially contested by Ambode’s supporters who alleged harassment.
In what seemed like a corroboration of this complaint, the APC panel sent from Abuja to conduct the election said on Tuesday that there was no election, and announced that it would be conducting a fresh primary in the state. However, its position has been overruled by the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and his National Workings Committee (NWC).
LEADERSHIP reports that the outcome of the governorship primary has nailed Ambode’s second term ambition, but he will not vacate Government House, Alausa, until May 29, 2019 when a new governor would be sworn in. Sanwo-Olu, who also thanked the leadership of the APC at both state and national levels, as well as elders and members of the party for massive support given him, promised to consolidate on the gains of the APC in the state.
…APC Primaries: el-Rufai, Akeredolu Visit Presidential Villa
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, yesterday visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari. It was gathered that the visit of the two governors, who headed straight to the president’s office, may not be unconnected with the outcome of the APC primaries and screening exercise conducted by the party’s headquarters. It would be recalled that Sen Shehu Sani was the only aspirant cleared by the national headquarters of the APC to contest the Kaduna Central Senatorial seat against the wishes of the state governor, el-Rufai. Prior to Sani’s clearance, the governor had endorsed his political adviser, Uba Sani, as the sole candidate of the APC for the senatorial seat.
The governor had also insisted that party primary be held to determine the party’s flag-bearer in the 2019 senatorial poll instead of the automatic endorsement of the incumbent senator.
Governor el-Rufai’s preferred candidate for the senatorial seat, Uba Sani, had since gone to court to stop Shehu Sani’s automatic endorsement by the party’s National Working Committee.
Similarly, the APC Senate screening committee also cleared Senator Ajayi Borrofice as the sole aspirant for Ondo North Senatorial seat against the wishes of the state governor who had wanted to dislodge him through a primary election. The outcome of the governors’ visit to the Villa was still unknown by the time of filing this report as there was no confirmation of whether the governors were able to meet with the president.
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