Battle for Lagos deepens, Buhari meets with Tinubu, Akande

National 02 October 2018   |  

Primary may be postponed again over disagreement

There are strong indications the Lagos State gubernatorial primary billed for today would be canceled a fourth time, as the election monitoring committee and party bigwigs in the state failed to agree on the mode of the exercise.

The delegates sent by the National Working Committee (NWC) arrived at the state party secretariat in Ikeja at around 5:00 p.m., led by Mr. Clement Ebiri. They immediately went into a closed-door meeting with party officials, led by the state chairman, Mr. Tunde Balogun.We also reminded them that the presidential primary election was conducted in the direct primary process, even with only the use of slips.

We have told them our mind and we believe they will listen to us. We haven’t reached a conclusion yet. They informed us they would get back to the national body and get back to us. It is possible the primary does not hold tomorrow.”

Obasa also confirmed that elections were held in some parts of Lagos yesterday. “Yes, the election that was held in Lagos today was successful. It was held in Mushin, Ifako Ijaye and Ketu. It was very successful. This is to show that going by direct primary, there is no problem. It will be successful. Our people are ready and we must allow them.” He however stressed that the elections would be cancelled.

Also, a jet was reportedly dispatched yesterday to pick up All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader Bola Tinubu and party chieftain, Bisi Akande, for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.The move was a last-minute effort to resolve the political impasse between Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Tinubu, his estranged godfather, ahead of today’s Lagos State governorship primary.

A reliable source told The Guardian that Buhari still believes Ambode “ as a performing governor” has a better chance at the poll than his contender, Jide Sanwo-Olu.
At the meeting, attended by Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige, National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and other stakeholders, Tinubu was asked to sheathe his sword and allow Ambode a second term.

There are insinuations Tinubu is becoming uncomfortable with the pro-Ambode disposition of the presidency and the national headquarters, especially with how this might impinge on his own political lot.Some supporters of Ambode and members of the APC also staged a peaceful protest over their inability to access membership cards in their wards.Led by the deputy chairman of Somolu Local Government Area, Alhaji Ola Sheu, the protesters gathered at the party’s secretariat, Acme Road, Ikeja, chanting solidarity songs.

A factional chairman of the state chapter, Fouad Oki, furthermore questioned the validity of the membership register the party will use today. He noted that if the party uses the existing membership register, it would “amount to disenfranchising members loyal to his group and also giving Tinubu the sole privilege to foist his choice as the governorship candidate in the next election.”

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, urged the APC to come out clean on the issues Ambode raised against Sanwo-Olu. The incumbent had in a world press conference alleged his challenger has a criminal record and health issues that make him unfit for office. Adegboruwa in a statement entitled, ‘APC Governorship Primaries in Lagos – The Truth Please’, said Nigerians and Lagosians deserve to know the true status of anyone aspiring to public office, not just in relation to health, but also his preferences, his financial status and all other areas of common concern. It is not proper to just wish this away.

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