Ebri panel declares Sanwo-Olu winner of Lagos APC governorship primary

*Tinubu, Ambode, Sanwo-Olu

Don’t bring the roof down—Tinubu tells Ambode

Chairman of the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election committee, Mr. Clement Ebri, has declared Babajide Sanwo-Olu as winner of the contentious election held in the state on Tuesday.

The primary was contested by the incumbent governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who has been endorsed by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Announcing the result of the election at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, Ebri said Sanwo-Olu got 970,851 votes while Ambode secured 72,901 votes

“I, Clement Ebri, the chairman of the Lagos State APC governorship primary election committee, hereby declare Babajide Sanwo-Olu the winner of that election,” declared Ebri.

Earlier, Ebri had announced the nullification of the exercise held across the 20 local government areas of the state saying the panel did not authorise the open ballot adopted for the selection of the candidate.

Addressing newsmen in Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday, Ebri said: “First and foremost, yesterday (Monday) we held a stakeholders’ meeting, certain submissions were made and on the basis of these submissions, I contacted the National Headquarters and they asked us to adjust the procedures in line with the provisions.

“Having done that, we now had to reach out to the party executives to submit lists that could be utilised for the purpose of posting officials to supervise the elections.

“Those lists only arrived at about an hour ago and so anything that was done without the lists that we wanted, because we wanted harmony and I told you, we are more interested in harmony than victory, so we had to wait for them.

“There was no way we could have got up at 8am, sat down in this place for about eight to nine hours without seeing anybody and then I would go ahead and do something. It is only fair that when you don’t see one party, you have to wait and be patient and that is what has brought us to this point.

“We had a session with the representatives of both aspirants, they were here as early as 8am and at that meeting we discussed some of these modalities and asked them to furnish us with names of people who will act as party agents we could use for this exercise.

“We received from one party, a list about one hour ago, and at one point, they brought a list for seven local governments out of 20 and about five hours later, they brought a list for 11, even the other two local governments have not been provided till this moment.

“Do you blame me? Will you have expected us to collect 18 from one person and 20 from another person? No. this is all about fairness and equity, this is about integrity and I think that at the end of the day, what we did was the best. I couldn’t have collected materials and say because the other party didn’t come, I give to the other person and say go and conduct the election.

“There were a number of things we needed to adjust. Fortunately, we have concluded the preparatory process for the primaries and right here with me, are the list of local governments and the agents and returning officers for the entire state.”

But the state chairman of the party, Mr. Tunde Balogun faulted him saying election was held across the 245 wards in the state, describing it as free, fair and transparent.

“The primary election took place in all the wards – 245 wards in Lagos State – and it was peaceful; not a single case of violence was recorded. Our members were visible in the local government areas. For example, our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was at Ikeja, his own ward. He took part in the election and we saw the results. The results have been signed by the agents of the two aspirants.

“Those results were credible because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) too were there and they all signed off. We were all witnesses to the conduct of the election. There were no violence, no chaos; it was free, fair and transparent,” he said.

Balogun went ahead and declared Sanwo-Olu winner of the exercise, announcing that he polled 970,851 votes while Ambode secured 72,901 votes.

Ebri, at his media briefing on Wednesday upheld the figures.

At his media briefing on Wednesday, Ebri upheld the figures.

Meanwhile, Tinubu said he withdrew his support for Ambode whom he had endorsed in 2014, because he (Tinubu) believes character is important in politics and that governance is “beyond brick and mortar.”

He said although the governor has done well during his time in office, he has not been a good party man.

He also said he is yielding to the wishes of his supporters who made him the leader of the party in the state.

“Who did I support in 2014? Ambode. Life is dynamic. It’s those who made me the leader of the structure in Lagos who said it was what they want. It’s only if you have followership that you’re a leader in democracy.

“If I look back and I don’t find them again; if I don’t respond to them, if I fail to accede to their request, I would have failed the leadership test.

“This is not personal; it is beyond me as a person. Every democratic constitution is preceded by ‘We, the people’. So, I had to submit myself to the wishes and the yearnings of our party.

“This is an elixir for the general election. Ambode Akin, he’s doing well, yes; he hasn’t been a good party man; not only the glamour, not only about brick and mortal. A talent is determined by character. For you to become an influential person, you have to respond to the yearnings of the people. This is politics; democracy, one man, one vote.

“It is yours today, tomorrow it may change; you have to abide by it. You don’t bring the roof down; you don’t bring the house down, except the foundation is bad,” he said.


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