Tuesday, December 9, 2014 9:33 am
All Progressives Congress holds its governorship primary in Lagos and other states of Nigeria
Early signs that the election would favour Akinwunmi Ambode became obvious when youths and delegates danced around him as he remained at the venue of the election while all the other aspirants left one after the other. The last aspirant to leave Ambode at the venue of the exercise when it was getting late was Ganiyu Solomon.
Ambode won the APC governorship primary by a landslide after polling 3,735 votes out of the total valid votes of 5,725 cast to defeat 11 other aspirants, with the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Hamzat coming second with a vote of 1,201. Other 11 aspirants got cumulative votes of 789.
The voting, as observed started late afternoon after the delegates had been accredited for the exercise. While Ikorodu Local Government Area had 498 delegates who voted, Ibeju-Lekki had 189 accredited delegates. Epe had 291 delegates who voted, while the number of delegates that voted in Badagry was 305 out of 313. Alimosho recorded the highest number of delegates with 583, Mushin had 280, Eti Osa had 329, Ajeromi-Ifelodun had 234 who voted out of a total 243 from the Local Government Area. In Ojo, 237 delegates voted while 15 registered delegates were absent. In Agege LGA, it was 193 while in Ifako-Ijaye it was 214. The total number of voters from Mainland Local Government Area was 264, while Surulere had 340. In Lagos Island LGA, 252 voted, in Amuwo-Odofin, 212 delegates voted with six delegates absent, in Kosofe 299 delegates voted. In Ikeja, 290 delegates voted, in Somolu LGA, 243 delegates voted, in Oshodi LGA, 282 voted while in Apapa, 196 voted.
List of winners of the primary elections on the platform of the APC across the country include Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan who polled a total of 2425 votes against Ibrahim Tumba who had 18, and two others who polled 14 and five votes respectively in Taraba, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal also won in Sokoto with a total vote of 3,466. In Kwara State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, polled a total of 3,016 votes even though he won unopposed, Dakuku Peterside polled 3,914 votes out of 3773 to get the APC ticket in Rivers, Governor Ibikunle Amosun got a total of 3,554 votes caste in his favour even though he had no competition, while Okey Ezea was endorsed as the party’s consensus flagbearer for the governorship election in 2015 in Enugu.
In Delta, Olorogun Otega Emerhor was declared winner by Aliu Yahaya Sa’ad, the electoral committee chairman after he polled a total of 3,584 votes to beat Chief Fidelis Tilije who scored 195 votes. The only female in the contest, Princess Nana Modupe, Onwordi polled two votes. In Oyo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi won after polling 4662 votes to beat his opponent, Dr. Ayobami Adesina, son of former governor of the state, Alhaji Lam Adesina, who polled 22 votes. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe also got the endorsement of over 2000 delegates of the party in Damaturu.
Before last week, the political situation in Lagos State, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, was easy to predict, especially as it concerned the aspirants for the 2015 governorship election in the state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC. The state, no doubt, is central to the importance of Nigeria. With this in mind, residents of the state, as well as outsiders interested in its affairs, studied the intrigues, the fun and the direction the pendulum swung daily.
Soon, the situation became tension-riddled, unpredictable and full of suspense. The number of aspirants scaled up to 11, each gunning for a chunk of the votes from the delegates to emerge the candidate of the party for the election in which the Peoples Democratic Party, which began on a divided note ahead of the 2015 elections, as well as other political parties, would participate.
Even though they all knew that politics of this nature would be a game of chance and sagacity, they flung themselves into the ring. Obafemi Hamzat, the current commissioner for Works and Infrastructure and Akinwunmi Ambode, a former accountant-general of Lagos State, were the first to make their intentions known, though some others had engaged themselves in nocturnal meetings which they called consultation. A conspicuous sign that Ambode could be the most favoured to take over from Babatunde Fashola came up at the launch of a book in honour of the financial expert.
At the event, Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos openly endorsed Ambode, who he claimed the other traditional rulers had also endorsed. While this public endorsement by the number one traditional ruler in the state must have lifted the chances of an already optimistic Ambode, it dealt an injurious blow to the ambition of other aspirants, and a more injurious one on Hamzat, who, it is speculated, had Fashola’s nod to vie for the position. “We cannot have a man like this (Ambode) and allow somebody whose father is an Oba in Ewekoro, Ogun State be the Governor of Lagos. Although Lagos State belongs to all Nigerians and the state will continue to offer opportunities to every Nigerian to actualise the Nigerian dream, Ambode remains the best man with the required pedigree and character to take Lagos to the next level,” Akiolu said at the event.