The Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Party (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, has dedicated his victory to the people of Lagos, saying his emergence as the APC candidate “is renewed hope for Lagos.’
Ambode emerged in a landslide victory early on Friday morning after defeating 11 other aspirants in a keenly contested primary election that took place at the Onikan Stadium in the centre of Lagos amid tight security.
He will be presented with the party’s flag on December 10 during the APC national convention which is slated to hold in Lagos.
But contrary to expectations, the primary election which began with accreditation as early as 9am on Thursday and ran till 6am on Friday morning, was very orderly and peaceful with all the twelve aspirants physically present in a true spirit of party cohesion and camaraderie. The election was conducted in the full glare of the media and international observers from the British and American embassies, among others.
Ambode, whose election by majority of party delegates from the 20 Local Government Areas in the state did not come as a surprise to those conversant with the politics of Nigeria’s foremost metropolitan state, polled a total of 3735 votes out of the total of almost 6000 cast, ahead of his closest rival Dr. Femi Hamzat, who polled 1201 votes.
The result for other candidates is as follows: Senator Ganiyu Solomon – 272; Lanre Ope – 0; Adekunle Disu – 9; Abayomi Sutton – 0; Tola Kasali – 69; Supo Shasore – 121; Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji – 182; Dr. Leke Pitan – 112; Tokunbo Wahab – 7 and Tayo Ayinde – 17.
Ambode’s victory was announced by chairman of the APC gubernatorial electoral committee for Lagos and former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Rev Peter Obadan. Dr. Hamzat who is the current Commissioner for Works in Lagos State has congratulated Ambode for his victory, promising to work with the Epe-born technocrat to achieve victory at the governorship election on February 28 2015.
The announcement of Ambode as the winner of the primaries was greeted with wild jubilations from the crowd of supporters who had begun arriving at the venue as early as 9am in the morning. They all waited peacefully till the votes were counted and the winner announced just before midnight.
A delegate, who apparently spoke the mind of many others, expressed delight at Ambode’s emergence and charged everyone who vied for the ticket to come together and work for the interest of the party now that the election has been won and lost in a free and fair manner.
Also, Senator Asafa, evidently impressed with the conduct of the voting enthused: “This is democracy at play, this is transparency at play.” Party stalwarts who were at the primaries included Chairman of the party in lagos
State, Chief Henry Ajomale; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Senators Oluremi Tinubu; Senator Gbenga Ashafa; former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora;
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, other members of the House of Representatives and Lagos State House of Assembly among others. Reacting to his victory, an elated Ambode said: “It is with a deep sense of gratitude and humility that I accept this ticket to run as the flagbearer of our great
party, APC, in the 2015 gubernatorial elections. The victory was made possible by you the people.”
The former Accountant General of Lagos State who also thanked all the other 12 aspirants for running a good race added that his candidacy is “renewed hope for Lagos State.”
He said: “The orderliness, the transparency of the process and the spirit of sportsmanship devoid of bitterness that characterized this process signpost a better future for our democracy. Our party has demonstrated to all that we are a party of great minds and democratic ideals.
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