The Big 5: Ahead of guber primary, Lagos APC stakeholders reject poll format; All I want is a transparent primary – Ambode insists | More stories

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Hours to the commencement of the Lagos APC governorship primary, the party’s Electoral Committee and stakeholders in the state chapter, came out of a meeting without a formal agreement on the pattern to adopt for the direct poll.

Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa who made the disclosure to newsmen on Monday, after a meeting between the committee and state party stakeholders in Lagos, said the issue of contention is the insistence by the committee to make use of ballot papers for the primary as directed by the National Headquarters of the party.

The stakeholders including the state party chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, have however rejected the use of ballot papers, contending that it was not possible to train members on its use before the election, thus suggesting the choice of open direct primary (option A4), where voters queue behind the photographs of their preferred aspirants.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held a closed door meeting with the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, ahead of the governorship primary of the state slated for Tuesday.

Emerging from the meeting, a statement issued by Tinubu’s media adviser Tunde Rahman, said: “Just like the President, he is looking forward to a good and credible primary that is peaceful and free of rancor. As previously stated, Asiwaju plans to vote in this primary and his position regarding the relative merits of the candidates remains unchanged.” 

In a related development, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had earlier met with the Electoral panel for the primary election led by former Governor of Cross River, Clement Ebri at the Government house in Ikeja, who apologised to him for the delay; explaining that 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.”

“So, it is very clear to me, 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,” the governor said.

The Senator representing Bayelsa East, Ben Murray-Bruce has withdrawn his bid for re-election bid in 2019, ahead of Tuesday’s primary election of the PDP in Bayelsa, citing a rotational arrangement existing among the three local governments that make up his Senatorial District as reason for the decision.

“I have also intensified consultations in the last couple of week in the course of which I have come to realize an existing local rotational arrangement of over 20 years beginning with the late Great Chief Melford Okilo, by which arrangement the Senatorial seat rotates per local government area among the three councils for four years in the Senatorial District,” he said in a letter.

Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, on Tuesday, emerged winner of the People’s Democratic Party governorship primary in Imo, after he scored 1,723 votes to defeat his challenger and Senator representing Imo East, Samuel Anyanwu, who came 2nd with a total of 1,282 votes.

In Akwa Ibom, the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission and former deputy governor in the state, Nsima Ekere was on Monday declared as the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2019 election in the state.

Ekere polled a total of 160, 458 votes to emerge the winner, while his closest rival, Mr Dan Abia scored 4, 189 votes. Others – Dr Edet Efretuei and Sen. James Akpanudoedeghe scored 1, 234 votes and 215 votes respectively.

A member of the House of Representatives representing Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency, Razak Atunwa on Monday emerged the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara after he defeated his sole opponent, Senator Shaaba Lafiaji, representing Kwara North.

Atunwa, a former speaker of the State Assembly, polled a total of 1, 555 of the total 2, 170 votes cast to defeat Lafiaji who scored 578 votes, while 37 votes were void at the primary that took place in Ilorin on Monday.

Eight aspirants had earlier withdrew their participation including Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, Prof Suleiman Abubakar, Alhaji Mohammed Ajia, Dr Ali Ahmad, Hon Haman Patigi, Alhaji Ladi Hassan, Hon Zakari Mohammed and Alhaji Saka Isau.


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