October 7, 2018

Lagos APC Senatorial primaries: Ashafa rejects results, calls for NWC’s intervention

Lagos East Bye-election, peaceful, free, fair — Ashafa

Sen Ashafa

By Olasunkanmi Akoni
AGOS—THE lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Gbenga Ashafa has rejected the result of the senatorial primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, held last weekend, where his rival, Bayo Oshinowo was declared winner of the exercise.

Sen Ashafa

Also, anxiety heightened following the non-release of House of Representatives primaries results by the party in the state.

Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Lucky Imasuen had released part of the results of the rescheduled primaries held on Friday in the state.

Imasuen, a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, during a media briefing, at the party’s Secretariat, ACME, Ogba, Ikeja, said the primaries were contested for the three senatorial seats, 24 House of Representatives and 40 state Houses of Assembly seats, describing the exercise as peaceful and successful.

Imasuen explained that Senator Oluremi Tinubu, polled 89,494 votes unopposed to emerge as candidate for Lagos Central; while, Senator Olamilekan Solomon, representing Lagos West, won with 378,906 votes as against the 1,179 votes polled by Mr. Kayode Opeifa and Mrs. Areago Olopade’s 1,275 votes.

Imasuen added that a new entrant and a member of the State House of Assembly, Bayo Oshinowo, defeated the incumbent Senator Ashafa with 247,743 votes to emerge as new candidate for the Lagos East Senatorial district, saying, Ashafa, polled 20,385 in the primary.

The committee chairman, however, said the details of the House of Representatives and state House of Assembly primaries results were ready and would be released later.

Rejecting the outcome of the result in Lagos East, Ashafa said: “A report has been making the rounds across a few media houses, alleging the announcement of Bayo Oshinowo as the winner of the Lagos East senatorial election.

“This unconfirmed report has caused palpable tension within the district due to the failure of the state party to make an official statement on the matter.

“There is no way results of an election would have been announced if what took place was an affirmation. Furthermore, it would be juvenile to declare an individual (Osinowo), who did not scale through the screening process of the party the winner of an election he was not qualified for.”

When contacted on the  conflicting results, state chairman of the party, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, said: “The party has appointed committee members who are authorized to give further comment.”

He was quick to note that the state party will make an official comment after the National Convention of APC in Abuja.

Also the acclaimed winner of the House of Representatives primary, mr. Dayo Bushura, in Kosofe Constituency, urged his supporters to remain calm as speculation spread that the party has decided to announce one of his opponents as winner of the exercise.

Exercise, a sham—Oki

Faulting the outcome of the primary, factional chairman of the party in Lagos, Mr. Fuoad Oki, has accused both the national and state leadership of the party of anti-democratic practices.

Oki, a former Vice-Chairman of the Lagos, said: “The primary election in Lagos State is nothing but a sham. It was a charade. All that happened in the last one week has been a brazen rape of democracy. It is very glaring that the party will pay for appropriately.

“I have said it severally that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the undertaker brought to organise the funeral of the APC. It is becoming real by the day.

“I want to see the magic that will turn Lagos from red to blue at the elections next year. The fall out of the party primaries is yet to settle as we have several cases in Courts against the same impunity and lack of internal democracy, disregard for the rule of law which permeate the political space in Lagos.”