Embattled Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has pleaded with the panel appointed by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to conduct the governorship primaries in the state to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants in the contest.
He made the appeal on Monday when he received members of the panel led by its chairman, Clement Ebri, noting that it was vital that at the end of the poll it will be clear to all that it was free, fair and credible.
“This is a very star studded election team, they are distinguished Nigerians in their individual and collective rights. There can’t be any better collection of a team to any state election monitoring in this country than the distinguished personalities brought to Lagos and it only shows us the importance that the national chairman of our great party attaches to what is happening in Lagos.
“I must tell you that what you have taken up, may look like a political assignment, but history is on your side that at this very moment in the annals of the history of this country, today marking our 58th Independence anniversary celebration, you are being called upon to discharge a selfless service that would determine the future of this country and the greatness of this particular state.
“I receive this election team as being acceptable and credible to me enough to discharge their civic responsibility to the best of their abilities and also to say that whatever it is that is the outcome of the primaries, your presence has also shown that this will be credible and this will be acceptable by me,” Ambode said.
The governor, recalling that he had in 2014 contested APC primary election with 12 other aspirants, said there was nothing wrong to again contest the ticket with other aspirants.
He added, “So it’s very clear to me, all I seek is credible primaries, transparent primaries and level playing ground that we will all be proud of at the end of the day for the outcome.
“There were issues that we have raised that we are also trying to correct. The bottom line is this, we are family, and we must not go into the elections divided because this is the very first time that our party is controlling the centre and also the state that is what I want us to continue.
“The issues that I raised have been put in form of a letter which I would pass to their chairman and I believe the committee will look into it judiciously and also I welcome the stakeholders meeting which will allow you feel the pulse of what is going on in the state.”
He further called on the panel to use its prerogative to decide the best possible time for the primaries election and make a public announcement on the time, date and venues of the exercise to enable members of the party partake in the process.
Ebri had earlier told Ambode, “As the number one citizen of Lagos, we felt obliged to come and see you particularly when you are contesting for the position of governor for which we all believe you have done so well. We are the panel that has been constituted to conduct primaries. We are seven members and there are indications that there would be one or two additions due to the work load here.”
Members of the panel include Ahmed Gumel as Secretary; Nze Duru; Clever Egbeji; Clever Ikisikpo and Jerry Ugokwe.
Rejected by the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, and failure to have the support of the state House of Assembly members as well as the state local government chairmen, Ambode seems to be fighting a battle he had already lost.
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