January 13, 2011

PDP PRIMARIES: The emergence of Dosumu as Lagos PDP candidate

By Dapo Akinrefon
THE emergence of former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Adegboyega Dosumu, on Monday January 10, 2010, did not come to many, especially within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as a surprise.

Dosumu: Flag bearer for Lagos PDP

This is because Dr Dosumu was the candidate of a topnotch of the party, Chief Olabode George, who is still serving a jail term in Kririki prisons.

With his emergence, the PDP in Lagos is set to do battle with the incumbent governor and flag bearer of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

To many, the PDP may, perhaps, be a force to reckon with, but political analysts opine that this might be a difficult task.
The former NIMASA boss had emerged the 2011 flagbearer of the PDP in Lagos State, having polled a total of 431 votes out of 872 delegates’ votes to beat the six other aspirants, who contested against him.

Consequently, Mr Tokunbo Kamson  came second with  182 votes, while former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Demola Seriki took the third position with 120 votes.

While former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mr Femi Pedro had 104 votes; Mr Owolabi Salis and Mr Qudus Folami polled 14  and 8 votes respectively. Also, another aspirant, Mr Babatunde Olalere-Gbadamosi  got 3 votes as 12 votes were voided.

The governorship aspirants, who participated in the race are, Messrs Ade Dosumu; Femi Pedro, Demola Seriki, Qudus Folami, Owolabi Salis, Tokunbo Kamson and Olalere Gbadamosi.

Accreditation of delegates started by 12noon and was not concluded until 6pm.

Voting did not start till 7:15p.m owing to failure by the electoral panel to ascertain the number of delegates among other things.

Primaries earlier postponed
Meanwhile, on the day the primaries was to hold, insecurity and logistics difficulties, forced Morakiyo to postpone the governorship primaries to Monday, January 10, 2011.

The electoral panel, who arrived the party secretariat at about 5.30pm the previous day, immediately convened a meeting with the seven governorship aspirants and top party officials, where a decision to postpone the primaries was reached.

Party delegates had gathered at the Skypower Club Ground, Ikeja venue of the election since 8am but started trooping to the party secretariat around 6pm when it became obvious that the primaries would no longer be conducted.

The situation around the secretariat became tensed as the presence of social miscreants heightened the situation.
While explaining the rationale behind the delay, Morakiyo said “the environment is not conducive by the time we came and we had not gone through the delegates’ list. We have not been able to scrutinize the security situation in the venue.”

Other members of the committee present are, Prince Godwin Ntukude, Nnaemeka Nwodo, Japhet Kefas and Charles Menegbo.

Election day
Delegates and journalists were frisked at about four different points by a detachment of riot and regular policemen, members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the State Security Service.

On ground to prevent a breakdown of law and order was Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, Mr Marvel Akpoyibo, who arrived the venue at exactly 6:10 p.m with other top security chiefs.

The massive gates to the 10 Degrees Event Centre were cordoned off by policemen, who mounted an Armoured Personnel Carrier at the entrance.

Outside the venue, hundreds of party faithful waited anxiously for the outcome of the voting. Results were still being counted at 10pm.
There was, however, a mild drama when, in a bid to reduce the number of aspirants,  Messrs Tokunbo Kamson, Owolabi Salis and Olalere Gbadamosi, who hail from the same local government area of Ikorodu were approached. They were requested to step down in order to allow one of them emerge. The trio, however, turned down the directive.

Before voting started, all seven aspirants were seen moving round the hall in a last minute horse trading to ensure they come up tops at the primaries.

Before the commencement of voting, chairman of the Gubernatorial Electoral Panel for Lagos State, Morakiyo apologised for not conducting the primaries on the stipulated date. He also commended the delegates for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.

His words: “I am sorry we had to shift the date of the primaries from Sunday, January 9 to Monday 10 because the environment was not conducive. But I am happy with this venue. Security was paramount, we had to ensure that. I want to urge the delegates not to feel intimidated. We paid for the venue and security. We owe no allegiance to anyone.”

Aspirant’s son causes stir
But during voting, the son of one of the aspirant, Mr Demola Seriki, tried to cause confusion to allow for the cancellation of the primaries.

He shouted ‘eko mi’,  meaning ‘my Lagos’, while the delegates from Lagos Mainland shouted, ‘owo mi’, meaning: my money. The situation was immediately brought under control by security agents.

Voting, however, ended by 10:04 pm, while the conduct of the governorship primaries came to a close at exactly 12:25 am in the wee hours of Tuesday, January 11, 2011.

Having been satisfied with the conduct and outcome of the elections, chairman of the panel, Morakiyo announced the emergence of Dosumu as winner of the governorship primaries saying, “we thank God for a successful  primaries and at last, we have a winner and that winner is Adegboyega Dosumu.”

And Dosumu was declared winner
In his acceptance speech, winner of the primary, Dr Dosumu thanked all members of the party for choosing him as the party’s flag bearer. He, therefore promised to reconcile all aggrieved members and  ensure the PDP records victory in Lagos State at the general elections.

He said: “It is about the ideals of the party, it is about commitment and the determination of members of our party to bring about change in governance in Lagos State. I’m happy to be the symbol of this great moment.

One of the aspirant who contested and lost, Mr Owolabi Salis was full of praise to the electoral panel for the conduct of the primaries.
He further tasked the flag bearer to ensure the party wins the governorship election.

With the emergence of Dosumu, the party still has an herculean task ahead of it. One factor that is possible of working against him is the case he has with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Chronology of events

*12 noon — Accreditation of delegates commences
*5:30p.m — Accreditation ends
*7:15p.m — Voting commences
*10:04 p.m— Voting ends
*12:20am — Dosumu announced winner
*12: 25am —primaries came to a close

How the delegates voted

*Ade Dosumu — 431 votes
*Tokunbo Kamson —182 votes
*Demola Seriki— 120 votes.
*Femi Pedro — 104 votes
*Owolabi Salis — 14
*Qudus Folami — 8
*Babatunde Gbadamosi — 3
*Voided votes — 12