The National Working Committee’s panel of the All Progressives Congress conducting the governorship primary election in Lagos State on Tuesday has warned that, contrary to some claims in certain quarters, voting has yet to commence.
The committee said it had been in a crucial meeting with key stakeholders, after which the primary poll would officially commence.
The chairman of the panel, Mr. Clement Ebri, in a telephone conversation with our correspondent, said the panel had been in a crucial meeting with the chairman of the APC in Lagos, agents of the two contenders in the primary election – Governor Akinwumi Ambode and Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu — and other stakeholders.
He explained that the essence of the meeting was to clear some grey areas and agree on the guidelines for the primary elections, as directed by the national leadership of the party.
When alerted about the viral videos of the primary election purportedly ongoing, with Sanwo-Olu allegedly leading the poll, Ebri said the primary election had yet to begin as of the time of filing this report.
He said, “The primary election hasn’t started. We are in a meeting with the party chairman in Lagos and the agents of the two contenders in the primary election.
“There are grey areas to be ironed out. We want to organise a free, fair and transparent primary election and that is why this meeting is very crucial.
“It is after we have settled the grey areas and address all the stakeholders’ concerns that we will send people out from here to conduct the primary.”
Ebri said any election purportedly carried out in any ward in the state earlier today is null and void, as the stakeholders had yet to agree on important guidelines for the primary.
Ballot Boxes Missing In Epe But Ambode Declared Winner
The ballot boxes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Epe, Akinwumi Ambode’s hometown in Lagos, are missing.
There was no formal voting exercise, yet Ambode has been the declared winner of the election in Epe.
Shortly after supporters of Akinwunmi Ambode protested the number of accredited voters, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials were seen in a room sorting out what seemed to be votes.
People who thronged the “room” to find out what was going on were asked to “go away” by a policeman, whose badge read ‘Alhaji Abdul’.
A man, who insisted on knowing what was happening, said: “They say the accredited voters are 7,000 plus and we know we are more than that. How can they tell us that?”
Responding, another policeman whose badge read ‘N.S. Adeyeri’ urged the crowd to be patient, adding that “everybody knows this is Ambode’s hometown and nobody can defeat him here”.
Afterwards, a black tall man in a cap with the APC inscription, announced Ambode as the winner.
Thereafter, Ambode’s supporters converged on Akinwunmi Ambode’s street in Epe, where they are currently waiting the next line of action.
Incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Bola Tinubu’s anointed Babajide Sanwo-Olu slug it out for the Lagos State governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Journalists barred from covering Ambode in Epe
It was no tea party for journalists covering the country home of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in Epe area of the state, in the on-going All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primary in the state as they were allegedly chased away from the town by an aide to the governor.
The journalists had assembled at the ancient town hoping to report the exercise from the home base of the governor and had converged there as early as 9:13a.m when the aide came to asked them to leave the town.
Mixed bag as Lagos APC governorship primary gets underway
There is tension in Epe on Tuesday morning as residents trooped out en masse to vote in the APC governorship primaries in Lagos state.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode who is seeking the APC ticket hails from the Epe Local Government Area of Lagos.
Ambode is jostling for the ticket with Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
APC members in Epe were at their various wards to participate in the direct primary election as scheduled by the party in Lagos state in several wards visited early in the day.
Voting and accreditation had yet to begin as at when NAN visited some centres at about 10.35 a.m, but members hanged out at the polling unit/wards.
Some of the wards for the voting exercise include Recreation Centre, Poka Primary School, Ikosi-Ejirin, Ogunmodede, Ibonwon, Odo-giri amongl others.
Also, security operatives have been positioned in every nook and cranny of Epe to ensure peaceful voting exercise.
In some parts of Alimosho Local Government, NAN correspondent who monitored the exercise at Ward 9, Parakoyi, Ipaja-Ayobo in the council observed that hundreds of party faithful had been on ground before 9 a.m.
The accreditation of party members with party membership cards commenced at exactly 9: 35 am.
The exercise began under the watch of an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), electoral committee and security agents.
However, Mrs Adenike Olusanya, a party agent for incumbent Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode told NAN that a lot of Ambode’s supporters were not accredited because they possessed only membership slip.
Olusanya who frowned at the alleged disenfranchisement, said that the primary election could not stand.
“Many of our members are outside, not allowed in, this cannot stand. This is no election at all,” she said.
However, the voting process of the primary was disrupted for a while at Ward G North, Abesan in Alimosho, as thugs chased away voters.
The thugs numbering about 15 invaded the Abesan High School, venue of the exercise around 9.45 ,flogging voters , preventing them from being accredited.
The motive of the hoodlums as well as their sponsors could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Some policemen at the venue later responded to the situation by arresting some of the hoodlums , restoring normalcy.
There was large turnout of party members waiting to cast their votes for either Gov.Akinwunmi Ambode or Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
At the Ikeja Ward C, PU 003, where APC national Leader, Sen. Bola Tinubu is billed to cast his vote, indicated that accreditation commenced around 9.06 a.m.
At the ward, located on Makinde Street, Alausa, Ikeja, which comprises Alausa, Olushosun and Oregun areas, some of the party members told NAN that they were very eager to participate in the direct primaries system of voting.
They said most of them left their businesses for the day to arrive the venue as early as 8. 00 a. m.
It was discovered that Sanwo-Olu’s roll-up banners and posters adorned the ward, while Ambode’s posters and banners were not available.
Many of the party members at the ward wore T-shirts and caps with Sanwo-Olu’s photographs were embossed on them, while inscriptions such as ‘Fun Igbega Ipinle Eko’; ‘Sanwo-Olu ni jo’; and ‘Vote Sanwo-Olu’.
Also at Wards A and D in Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos, where the Deputy Gov., Dr Idiat Adebule, is also billed to vote, as at 10.00 a. m., accreditation was yet to start.
Party members were seen waiting for the party electoral officials to arrive.
Heavy security security as policeman and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were on ground to ensure orderliness.
BREAKING: It’s A Massacre! Four Votes For Ambode
Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos, was mauled by Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the ward of Bola Tinubu in the ongoing Lagos State governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The final result for Ward C, Tinubu’s ward — comprising Olusosun, Alausa and Oregun — saw Ambode poll a measly four votes while his opponent, Sanwo-Olu, recorded 960 votes.
Sanwo-Olu is the anointed of Tinubu, the National Leader of the party. He already boasted of leaving Ambode in the dust at the primary.
The primary election is ongoing in many other APC wards across the state.
Thugs chase voters away in Abesan
The voting process of the All Progressives Congress(APC) governorship primary was disrupted for a while at Ward G North, Abesan in Alimosho, as thugs chased away voters.
The thugs numbering about 15 invaded the Abesan High School, venue of the exercise around 9.45 ,flogging voters, preventing them from being accredited.
The motive of the hoodlums as well as their sponsors could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Some policemen at the venue later responded to the situation by arresting some of the hoodlums and restored normalcy.
Observed that there were large turnout of party members waiting to cast their votes for either Gov.Akinwunmi Ambode or Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Crowd Goes Berserk As Tinubu Arrives Ward Where Sanwo-Olu Defeated Ambode
Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has arrived Ward C in Alausa, Lagos State, to acknowledge his supporters as the party’s governorship primary continues in the state.
Tinubu, who alighted from his black SUV with tinted windows shortly after noon, did not address the crowd at the ward, as his supporters went into a frenzy the moment they caught a glimpse of him.
Surrounded by security operatives, he still managed to flash his card to the crowd as he proceeded to the venue of the exercise before taking his exit all in a space of roughly five minutes.
Ambode’s Supporters Stay Put Despite ‘Violence, Tear-Gassing’ At Egbe-Idimu LCDA
There has been an outbreak of violence at Wards A, B, C, D and E at Egbe-Idimu LCDA in the ongoing Lagos State governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to party members loyal to Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, the electoral officials, security agents and supporters of Babajide Sanwo-Olu are responsible for the disruption in the electoral process.
They claimed they were not allowed to vote, as the security officials tear-gassed them when it got to their turn to vote.
They reiterated their support for Ambode, saying they were ready to follow him if he eventually defects to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“We don’t want to vote again,” a woman says as she takes Sahara Reporters correspondent to a fence that was allegedly broken by thugs loyal to Sanwo-Olu to escape when the crisis got out of hand.
“There is no election here. This was the same thing they did in Ayobo.”
SaharaReporters can report that the voting centre is nearly empty now, as party members, electoral officials and security agent have left the voting centre. The only people around are supporters of Ambode.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule on Tuesday abandoned Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to support Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the two-horse race to pick the ticket to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 governorship election.
Adebule told newsmen at Ward A and D, in Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos where she participated in the governorship primary of the APC, that she would endorse the candidate chosen by the party.
“The party has chosen a man and it is that man that I will support and follow,”she said
When the deputy governor arrived at the ward, some of her aides came with Sanwo-Olu’s posters and banners.
At the ward, accreditation started at about 10.36 a. m.as party electoral officials arrived.
There was no formal announcement of the results as the accreditation was brief.
Many party members at the venue started singing the praises of Sanwo-Olu.
Confusion in Badagry voting centres over use of slip
All Progressives Council (APC) members in Badagry on Tuesday disagreed on use of party slip by members to vote for the governorship primary.
The APC members trooped out as early as 8:30 a.m to participate in the direct primary election adopted by the party in the state.
Ward C, D and J used Awhanjigoh Sandfill, Marina while Ward A and B voted at Posukoh Street, behind Catholic Church, Badagry.
There was confusion on the use of party slip when Mr Asokere Mautin, the Electoral Offical in ward A and B insisted that members with only APC membership card would be allowed to vote.
Mr Okoya Ashafa, a party member at the same venue, disagreed with the move, insisting that members with slip should also be allowed to vote.
“This is cheating, we have gone to party secretariat to collect this membership card but they kept it away from us because of this fraud they want to do.
“All of us with slip should be allowed to exercise our right. Choosing between the two aspirants in our civic right,” he said.
However, Fadipe Rafiu, the party agent for Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, insisted that they should allow members with membership card to vote.
At Sandfill Marina Street voting centre, the three ward chairmen agreed that 2014 and 2017 slips would be used for voting, while members with 2018 slip would not be allowed.
Mr Hude Daniel, the Ward J Chairman, told NAN that this was to allow more members to participate in the election.
Some members at Marina Street, however, registered their displeasure for not allowing those with 2018 slip to vote.
Solomon Sejiri, a party member from Topo, said that members with slip and membership ID card should be allowed to vote.
Security operatives had been positioned at the two venues of the primary election as early as 8am.