Nigeria News – Between Personal Ambition and Party Supremacy

Nigeria News takes a look at the Lagos APC gubernatorial primaries.

The All Progressives Congress’ direct primaries for governorship aspirants is a good thing to have happened to democracy in recent time in Nigeria.

How I wish the Peoples Democratic Party can also adopt this so as to cede power to the grassroots. This method, if it can continue will make elected public office holders more accountable to the party and the electorate as a whole.

Lagos APC primaries did not only show the supremacy of the party, but it also exposed the vulnerability of the former Lagos State Governor and national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

This is the first time, Tinubu would allow the party members to choose their candidate and it means that he is not the only one that is powerful, there are many unseen powerbrokers.

The results of the primaries showed that Ambode is not popular at all in Lagos. But Lagosians still have a chance to decide who should lead them in 2019.

Though, the National Working Committee panel for the primaries had denied the results, saying that the exercise never happened. The Chairman of the panel, Clement Ebri said that the primaries would be rescheduled.

His position contradicted that of the Lagos APC Chairman, Tunde Balogun who announced a result in which Sanwo-olu polled 970, 851 votes as against Ambode that polled over 72, 901 votes.

The victorious Jide Sanwo-Olu in the Tuesday primaries will still have another hurdle to cross to take Ambode’s seat. It is either he waits until another primaries, which is possible today or wait for a directive from the national secretariat of the party that is still putting its acts together.

APC will have to compete with other political parties and win before Sanwo-Olu would be sworn-in as Lagos governor.

In Lagos Island on Tuesday, the atmosphere looked as if Sanwo-olu had become Lagos state governor by the jubilation that heralded his victory at the primaries. Dresses in “Ankara” fabrics, the APC flagbearer strolled in the crowd to commend the efforts of his supporters.

At many of the polling units across the state, Ambode recorded zero vote to show how unpopular he had become despite high numbers of projects he had done in the last three years.

Ambode had demanded for a level playing ground from the APC national working committee panel for the Lagos primaries and on Tuesday, he was leveled down by his opponent Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday.

The governor has kicked against the conduct of the exercise and would expect a new primaries as soon as possible to determine his fate.

Now, the battle has just begun. Perhaps the Peoples Democratic Party is waiting for Ambode to fail so that it could endorse him as its flagbearer. The press conference addressed by Ambode on Sunday was pregnant with plans and one of it is that the governor may fly his ambition on other political platform and consequently compete against APC in 2019.

Here, Lagos residents will have the power to decide, which party or candidate is better in 2019. Now that the APC is yet to settle its intra-party problem with the purported emergence of Sanwo-Olu  as its governorship candidate, the real battle is in 2019 when Lagos residents who have the opportunity to show their sympathy for Ambode.

It is not yet Uhuru for the APC and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The Lagos governorship election will definitely define the presidential election. President Muhammadu Buhari will not want to joke with this.

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