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Ambode concedes defeat as panel announces result

Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised not to take the mandate given to him for granted.

Sanwo-Olu won the primary on Tuesday with 970,851 votes. His opponent, incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode  scored 72,901 votes.

Ambode accepted defeat and promised to cooperate with the candidate through the transition period.

Sanwo-Olu, whose victory in the direct primary shadow poll was validated yesterday by the Electoral panel led by former Cross River State Governor Clement Ebri, said: “Lagosians, I think with what you have done for me, I cannot take you for granted, I cannot take this mandate and this confidence for granted, I’ll cherish it for the rest of my life but more importantly, like I’ve always said, I’ll remain committed, I’ll keep an inclusive government, I’ll be responsible, integrity will not run far from me and I will not do things that in any form would make you to begin to doubt my capacity or capability.”

The political tension that gripped state in the last one week subsided yesterday, with Ambode’s conceding defeat in the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election held on Tuesday.

The Clement Ebri-led panel assigned to supervise the shadow poll failed initially to acknowledge the result.

But yesterday’s ratification of the result and the acceptance of defeat by the governor dissipated the cloudy atmosphere.

The APC candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pleaded for support and congratulated party members for the successful election.

In a broadcast, Ambode said: “The last few days have witnessed intense political activities that have gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity. I strongly believe that the time has now come for the state to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years are not lost.

”APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved state must always supercede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.”

”As Governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new Governor, come May 2019.

”I therefore appeal to all our party members that we remain one family and unite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward.

”The progress of Lagos State is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your Governor and one to which I will forever be devoted.”

The governor thanked APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the party’s leadership at state and national levels as well as all party faithful and all Lagosians.

There was jubilation yesterday in Lagos State APC, following the declaration of former Commissioner Babajide Sanwo-Olu as winner of Tuesday’s direct primary.

Thanking party members for trooping out to participate in the exercise, the chairman of the party, Tunde Balogun, maintained that the conduct of the primary followed laid down regulations and due process.

The supervisors of the primary, former Cross River State Governor Clement Ebri, and other committee members, retraced their steps yesterday, after initially dismissing the primary as a ruse.

Around noon, Ebri announced the result and affirmed Sanwo-Olu as the governorship candidate for next year’s election after resolving what he described as the “hiccups”.

Announcing the results, Ebri said: “The Lagos State All Progressives (APC) Governorship Primary was contested by two aspirants, namely: Governor Akinwunmi Ambiode and Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“After resolving some of the hiccups, the Lagos APC Governorship Primary Committee collated the results from the 245 wards in the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) from collating officers.

“At the end of the exercise, these are the votes scored by the aspirants: Governor Akinwunmi Ambode 72,901 and Babajide Sanwo-Olu 970,851.

“Following these results, I, Clement Ebri, the Chairman of the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee, hereby declare Bbajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner.”

Balogun told reporters at the APC secretariat that “the poll was conducted and concluded with the signing of the results by His Excellency, Clement Ebri. The poll took place across the 345 wards in 20 councils. I thank Lagosians and APC members for voting for the two aspirants. The election was free and fair.

“I thank the members of our party for their peaceful conduct. There was no single case of violence. APC continues to be the leading party in Nigeria and it is a model.

“The results were declared by the committee, led by Clement Ebri, duly signed by Clement Ebri. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is now the candidate of the APC in Lagos. “

Balogun attributed the earlier stand of the committee to what he called communication problem, adding that the challenge was mutually resolved.

He stressed: “There was communicatiob break up. The election was peaceful. It was conducted according to guidelines. The results were not initially honoured for no reason. Many of our party leaders viewed the exercise on television. They saw the crowd and discovered that it was a free and fair election. “

The Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO) yesterday thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, party faithful and others who contributed to the victory of the APC candidate.

A statement by Olusesan Daini, Director Media and Publicity, BOSCO, said “BOSCO wishes to expresses our gratitude to all our faithful members for the loyalty, commitments and determination to our great party by participating in the direct gubernatorial primary election in Lagos State on the 2nd of October 2018. In the same vein, we also like to appreciate the overwhelming moral support received from non members of our great party during the exercise.”

He also acknowledged the gallantry displayed by the security agencies, the cooperation of the press and exhibition of close observation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the just concluded direct primary of the party.

“Most importantly, we are grateful to members of the Lagos state chapter of our great party who voted for Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu en-masse during the gubernatorial primary election  making him emerge as the  flag-bearer of our great party for the general election in 2019.We urge our entire members to remain focused and work assiduously towards the general election in 2019,” he said.

The APC is one untied family and we must keep the spirit in Lagos.


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