June 21, 2009

PDP won Lagos bye – election, says Tinubu

By Umoru Henry and Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOS — FORMER Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, conceded that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won last Saturday’s Ibeju-Lekki Federal Constituency bye-election and called on all parties to accept the result.

His words: “With the reports that I got, PDP won the elections fair and square. I recommend that all parties should accept the results of the election. We must have zero tolerance for violence during elections.”

His comments came on the heels of PDP National Chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor’s statement describing AC as a party built around personality cults.

However, Tinubu’s position contradicts that of the Lagos State Alliance for Democracy AD chairman, Alhaji Lateef Raji, who told Vanguard that the party would challenge PDP’s victory in court. The Action Congress, led by Asiwaju Tinubu had rallied support for the AD candidate, Jamiu Eletu.

Speaking with Vanguard on telephone, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “What I will recommend is that everybody should accept the results of the election. We only endorsed the Alliance for Democracy candidate, we did not participate in the elections and despite this, I was told that over 2,000 votes were voided because people voted for AC.

All democrats should accept the results. Otherwise, you don’t deserve the joy of victory.”

Congratulating Okanlawon Soniyi, the PDP candidate on his victory, PDP National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor said the Action Congress (AC) is a party built around cult personalities, and added that with Soniyi’s victory has shown that leaders of the Action Congress have now been exposed as the proverbial empty vessels who make the loudest noise.

Ogbulafor, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday said “This victory, in the midst of intimidation and vain propaganda by agents of the meddlesome Action Congress whose discredited candidate was rightly disqualified from the elections once more proves that the fortunes of our great party are on a steady rise in Lagos.

It also successfully breaks the myth built around some cult personalities who have now been exposed as the proverbial empty vessels who make the loudest noise.

“We are encouraged by this feat to push harder and liberate all of Lagos from demigods and their stooges who have turned the nation’s commercial capital into their private estate. This indeed have sent a clear message that Lagos is on the way to uniting with the rest of Nigeria under the great umbrella of the PDP.”

Victory brings hope — Lagos PDP chairman

Also speaking, Lagos State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Setonji Koshoedo, said the party’s victory in the bye- election has rekindled hope for a better performance in future elections.

Koshoedo claimed that given a free and fair atmosphere, the PDP is a good match for the Action Congress (AC) in the state, noting that “for effect both parties have always had close election results when elections were conducted without undue influence.”

According to him, “In spite of the war chest, the whole financial muzzle and propaganda, the good people of Ibeju-Lekki stood by their party, and gave the PDP a sweet victory last Saturday. It was a victory for democracy, the right of the people to choose and choose freely, to boldly say no to money politics and vote their conscience.

It was a victory that has now rekindled hope for our party, that we are actually a force to be reckoned with and given a free and fair election, we can actually match the ruling Action Congress in Lagos State.”