Wednesday 15 August 2018

Obanikoro Advised To Withdraw From Lagos West Senatorial Seat Race

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National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday declared that the Lagos State chapter of the party will not give automatic ticket to any aspirant in the forthcoming 2019 elections.

Tnubu, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting of Lagos APC at the party’s secretariat on Acme Road, Ikeja, insisted that all aspirants, including Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, will go through direct primaries to be decided by members of the party rather than the delegate system, which provides opportunity for few to elect the party flag bearers.

The APC national leader implored the party to mobilise towards registering new members as well as collection of the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the state, warning that any council chairman that has highest numbers of uncollected PVCs in the state will be removed.

He also urged all aspirants to work towards the party’s interest in the general elections, saying that any aspirant, who involves in violence or disrupts the party process during registration of new members, will be disqualified from taking part in the party’s primaries. His words: “We want to appeal to all our members to embrace the direct primary that has just being introduced and adopted by our party.

We are committed to our party. We see direct primary as Buhari’s anti-corruption and internal democracy revolution. We are going to embrace that to ensure that the party is brought back to its owners; that is the people and not a few. We have embraced democracy and for you to benefit from it, you have to be member of our party in the first place.”

Tinubu also warned the party’s aspirants not to borrow money to pursue their aspirations. “Don’t go and borrow money to pursue your aspirations. If you come to me because of primaries, I will attend to you. If you bring yam and cassava flour for me, I will collect it, but there is no assurance that I will support you.

“I only have one vote in my ward and my vote is not different from that of other leaders. There is nothing like you are going to meet Asiwaju; I am not going to endorse anybody. Everybody should go to the field to determine his or her popularity by votes.

We will do primaries and whoever wins will be the party’s candidate,” he said. Also speaking, Governor Ambode charged all APC members in the state to canvass and ensure registration of new members to increase the party’s membership. 

He noted that if every member of the party can bring a minimum of 100 new members, thepartywillbeat a vantage position to return President Muhammadu Buhari to office in 2019. His words: “Direct primary is the beginning of the revolution about uplifting democracy in Nigeria.

People might not understand what is going on; we are giving power to the people and it is starting from APC. So, we want to collectively say a big thank you to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for championing this revolution. “It is very simple. All we are saying is that, if we know that Lagos State is truly controlled by APC, we will champion a revolution that has never happened in this country.

That means members of our great party will now determine, who becomes the president of this country and by so doing we will be championing the cause that Lagos has the number to make things happen in the country.”

Meanwhile barring any last minute change of mind, former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, will withdraw from the race for Lagos West senatorial seat on the platform of the APC. 

New Telegraph gathered from multiple sources within the party that Obanikoro, who recently declared his interest to run for the seat in 2019, has been told to withdraw from the race to pave way for the incumbent, Senator Solomon Adeola to return for a second term.

It was learnt that the appeal was made to him by APC leaders in the state, including Tinubu. “Obanikoro has been told to withdraw from the senatorial race to pave way for Senator Solomon Adeola to be re-elected.

Adeola was told to withdraw from his gubernatorial ambition in Ogun State and return to Lagos based on President Buhari’s advice to prevent any crisis between Tinubu and Governor Ibikunle Amosun. “So, with that agreement, Adeola is going to return to the Senate and that is why they told Obanikoro few days ago to withdraw from the senatorial race. 

Obanikoro has a lot of respect for Tinubu and because of that he may not take part in the APC senatorial primary election,” one of the sources said. Another APC chieftain told New Telegraph that “Obanikoro is not going to run again.

He has been told to withdraw from the senatorial race and that is why he has reduced his campaign. You are not going to see him campaign publicly again because Tinubu has already told him to withdraw from the race. He was told point blank few days ago to withdraw from the race and I believe he is going to do so"

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