Lagos Primary: Ambode Hopeful Of Victory Even As Tinubu Backs Sanwo-Olu

Yemisi Izuora 

Lagos state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode appears more confident of emerging victorious at today’s All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary even as party stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday insisted on his preferred candidate, Jide Sanwo-Olu.

Tinubu’s media adviser Tunde Rahman said last night in a statement on highlighted Tinubu’s stance after meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

“Asiwaju Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande were invited by President Buhari and it turned out to be a good and productive meeting. Asiwaju was quite pleased to have conferred with the President who has always shown himself to be a committed party member and a true democrat.

“Just like the President, he is looking forward to a good and credible primary that is peaceful and free of rancour. As previously stated, Asiwaju plans to vote in this primary and his position regarding the relative merits of the candidates remains unchanged.”

In the race are incumbent Akinwunmi Ambode and former Commissioner Jide Sanwo-Olu. The primary election is today.

Asiwaju said of his choice in a statement on Monday: “I am encouraged by the presence of a candidate in this primary, who has served the state in senior positions in my administration, the Fashola administration and even in the current one. While possessing a wealth of experience and exposure, he is a young man endowed with superlative vision and commitment.

“Most importantly, he understands the importance of the blueprint for development. He esteems it as a reliable and well-conceived vehicle for the future development of the state. He also knows the value of reaching out and working with others in order to maximise development and provide people the best leadership possible. With people like him at the helm, the state will write the proper history for itself.”

In  377 wards across 20 local governments, members of the APC will vote today (Tuesday).

Every card-carrying member of the party is eligible.

There will be no ballot box and ballot paper. Party members will queue behind the posters of their preferred aspirant.

The mode of the primary is “open direct primary”, which involves open and physical counting of members on queue behind the posters of their chosen aspirants.

They will be accredited by 9a.m. Election will take place by 12 noon. Members will show their APC Identification Card. No white slip will be accepted,  Chairman Tunde Balogun said yesterday.

Posters of the two aspirants will be held by their agents. After accreditation, party members will queue behind them.

“They will be counted on the queue and recorded. After that, voting ends. The agents of aspirants will sign. Then, the results will be taken to the local governments, the final collation will be done at the state level,” Balogun said in an interview.

The chairman urged members to troop out to participate in the exercise.

He said the shadow poll will be very transparent and peaceful across the wards, urging members to maintain decorum as they participate in the exercise.”

Ambode is campaigning on continuity. Sanwo-Olu has promised an all-inclusve government –  if elected.

Chairman of the electoral panel former Cross River State Governor Clemant Ebri attributed logistics challenge to the shift of the poll from Monday till today.

He told Ambode when he visited the Government House in Alausa: “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.”

Raising the stakes on the shadow election, Ebri said: “Lagos is more like a decider and like they say, when Lagos sneezes the rest of the country catches cold.

“So, that is why we are very careful about what we are doing and the National Chairman asked me to send his best wishes to you and ask us to come and do the right thing to the satisfaction of all members.

“Moreso, the President of this country stands for transparency and detests corruption and, a situation where no one feels manipulated.

“The process we are laying out is such that will ensure and guarantee transparency and credibility. We have people of integrity in this panel.

Other members of the panel are: Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel as secretary; Mr Nze Chidi Duru; Chief Clever Egbeji, Sen. Clever Ikisikpo and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe.

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