Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday appealed to the panel appointed by the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to conduct the governorship primaries in the state to provide a level playing field for all aspirants.
A release signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, states that Ambode spoke when he received members of the panel led by its chairman, Mr. Clement Ebri.
The governor said it was important that the election, when conducted, is seen to be free, fair and credible to all aspirants, adding that it is only in such situation that democracy, which the party upholds, will be entrenched.
Members of the panel include Ahmed Mahmud Gumel (Secretary); Nze Chidi Duru, Clever Egbeji, Clever Ikisikpo and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe.
Expressing confidence in the selection of panel members, Ambode said he had no doubt that the panel would live up to expectations and deliver a credible process, which, according to him, will go a long way to determine the future of Nigeria and the greatness of Lagos in particular.
“This is a very star-studded election team; they are distinguished Nigerians in their individual and collective rights.
“There can’t be any better collection of a team to any state election monitoring in this country than the distinguished personalities brought to Lagos; and it only shows us the importance the national chairman of our great party attaches to what is happening in Lagos.
“I receive this election team as being acceptable and credible to me enough to discharge their civic responsibility to the best of their abilities and to also say that whatever it is that is the outcome of the primaries, your presence has also shown that this will be credible and this will be acceptable by me,” he said.
The Governor recalled that he had gone through the same process with 12 other aspirants to emerge as governorship candidate of the APC in 2014, saying that it was not out of place to have other aspirants contest for the same ticket this time, however, the eventual process of choosing who flies the party’s flag must be seen to be fair to all concerned.
“So, all I seek is credible primaries, transparent primaries and level playing ground that we will all be proud of at the end of the day for the outcome.”
He also urged the Panel to use its prerogative to decide the best possible time for the primaries election and make a public announcement on the time, date and venues of the exercise to enable members of the party partake in the process.
Earlier, Ebri said the panel deemed it fit to pay a courtesy visit to the governor as the number one citizen in the state and to also intimate him on the process for the conduct of the primaries.
“We have come to intimate you that this exercise is going to take place in the next few hours. I also like to apologise for the delay, it had to be postponed as a result of logistics in Lagos, Imo and some other states because of the pressure and work load from the secretariat and other developments that have taken place,” Ebri said.
Ebri, a former governor of Cross River State, assured Ambode that he and his team were ready for the task ahead and would do everything possible to ensure that the process is seen to be free, fair and credible.