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NWC panel makes U-turn, declares Sanwo-Olu winner of Lagos APC primary

NWC panel makes U-turn, declares Sanwo-Olu winner of Lagos APC primary
October 03
10:38 2018
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Clement Ebri, chairman of the primary election panel of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state, has declared Babajide Sanwo-Olu as winner of the exercise in the state.

Ebri made the declaration at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday morning.

He had earlier distanced the committee from the election, opposing the open ballot system used.

Ebri said arrangements were in place to commence fresh elections where the secret ballot would be used.

But Tunde Balogun, chairman of the APC in Lagos, disagreed with Ebri, saying the election went on peacefully across the state.

Balogun subsequently declared Sanwo-Olu winner of the exercise, announcing that he polled 970,851 votes while Ambode secured 72,901 votes.

At his media briefing on Wednesday, Ebri reeled out the same figures.

“The Lagos State APC governorship committee collated the results in the 245 wards from our collating officers,” he had said.

“At the end of the exercise the following votes were scored by the aspirants: Gov Akinwunmi Ambode scored 72,901 votes and Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu scored 970,851 votes.

“Following the results, I, Clement Ebri, the Chairman APC Governorship Committee hereby declares Sanwo-Olu winner of the primary.”

The NWC panel’s initial position had sparked confusion among members of the ruling party and residents of the state.

Ebri had said the need for equity and fairness made his panel to reject the primary.

“First and foremost, yesterday (Monday) we held a stakeholders meeting; certain submissions were made and on the basis of these submissions, I contacted the national headquarters and they asked us to adjust the procedures in line with the provisions,” he had said.

“We had a session with the representatives of both aspirants, they were here as early as 8am and at that meeting, we discussed some of these modalities and asked them to furnish us with names of people who will act as agents for this exercise.

“So, we received the list from one party about one hour ago. At one point, they brought a list for seven local governments out of 20 and about five hours later, they brought list for 11. Even the other two local governments have not been provided till this moment (4pm). Do you blame me? Will you have expected us to collect 18 from one person and 20 from another person? No.

“This is all about fairness and equity and I think at the end of the day, what we did was the best. I couldn’t have collected materials and say because the other party didn’t come, I give to the other person and say go and conduct the election.”

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