All Progresives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole has dismissed fears that yesterday’s governorship primary in Lagos State was controversial.
He said the party leadership was in control of the shadow election.
Speaking at the Presidential Villa after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the former Edo State Governor said: “I told the President that the primaries held as planned and everything is being done to ensure there is no violence because democracy doesn’t flourish with violence.
“Nigerians must begin to learn how to differ in opinion and in choice without fighting; this is something people have to acquire over time.
“For me, I’m excited that if we can do it in Lagos, it can be done anywhere.
“Everything that is being done is done under the control, supervision and direction of the NWC.’’
In Lagos, the Clement Ebri Election Committee said the exercise did not receive its blessing because the conditions prescribed were not followed.
Party Chairman Tunde Balogun rejected the Committee’s verdict, saying the election was free and fair.
Leaders of the party, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Deputy Governor Idiat Adebule, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, commissioners, aspirant Babajide Sanwo-Olu and party members who turned out in large numbers, participated in the election.
But Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was in his hometown Epe for the primary, remained indoors.
Reporteers who accompanied him to Epe were asked to leave for Lagos shortly before 11a.m.
Ebri said at about 4.30 pm when he addressed the media was just ready for the primary.
He said he had contacted the APC national secretariat for further directives.
“We are ready to give the state the most credible election. It is not our fault that this exercise took this long. In some states, primary has been moved to Thursday.
“We were waiting for the (Lagos State) party chairman to provide certain information that will enable us post people to the wards. We have two aspirants and we needed to be fair to both parties. The information we demanded for came in about an hour ago. And we had to struggle this period to balance the equation,” Ebri said, adding:
“We have five persons from the local organising committee and four for each ward. They will all go out to ensure the primary is conducted. We all understand the terrain in the state, especially as it concerns the traffic situation. So, the materials are available now and ready for deployment.
“The national secretariat advised us to use ballot papers and we came into Lagos with thousands of them. But during the stakeholders meeting, it became obvious that the state chapter of the party wasn’t ready for such primary. They claimed that there was no time to educate the members and others. And based on the submission made at the stakeholders meeting, some changes were made.
“And we were advised to conduct the open ballot in a manner that would be objective to all parties. And that is one of the adjustments we made to accommodate views of the stakeholders.