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Lagos APC gov ticket: GAC backs direct primary, promises fairness

Lagos APC gov ticket: GAC backs direct primary, promises fairness

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Sesan Olufowobi

The Governor Advisory Council (GAC) of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State on Monday backed the direct primary adopted by the party.

The 22-man council, which is the highest decision making organ of the party and headed by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said there would be a level-playing field for the three aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket of the party.

The governorship aspirants are the incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode;  the  Managing Director, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and a former Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure in the state, Dr Femi Hamzat.

Speaking to journalists on Monday at the APC state’s secretariat on Acme Road on the decision of GAC, the spokesman for the council, Dr Yomi Finnih, who spoke along with Prof. Tunde Samuel, said the body had unanimously backed direct primaries to pick the APC governorship candidates, as well as candidates for other elective political offices.

Finnih said all necessary machinery had been put in place to ensure a peaceful, free and fair exercise for all contenders without fair or favour to any particular person.

He said, “It is not a Tinubu affair as it is being peddled around on social media and some quarters.

“The GAC members at the last meeting deliberated on how to conduct peacefully, the forthcoming party primaries. We decided to adopt direct primary elections to choose candidates of the party in the 2019 general elections.

“The GAC has no preferred candidates among the governorship aspirants. It is not about Tinubu, it is a collective decision. We resolved to provide a level-playing ground for the contenders without fair or favour.

“The adoption of the direct primary is to further ensure democracy in the election process in the party and do away with the usual cries of anointed candidates and Baba so pe (father said). This will also ensure credible exercise.

“Every aspirant should go to the field and test their popularity, the people will decide.”

He explained that the decision to adopt direct primaries was taken at an earlier stakeholders’ meeting at the party secretariat without any dissenting view.

The primary is expected to take place in 245 wards across the 57 councils of the state on Saturday, September 29.

The governorship ticket of Lagos State had generated public interest after Sanwo-Olu got the backing of the Mandate Movement in the Lagos APC.

The Mandate Movement is led by Tinubu, who was Ambode’s political godfather.

The chairmen of the 57 councils also declared support for Sanwo-Olu.

The governor and Tinubu have been in the news in the past few days because of an alleged rift over the second term bid of Ambode.

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