Lagos State Governor,Akinwunmi Ambode has given up the fight to go for a second term in office as he, Wednesday afternoon, conceded defeat in the Lagos State governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress.
In a televised broadcast on state television, Ambode sent congratulatory message to the declared winner of the governorship primary, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu is the anointed one by the ‘almighty’ Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu to take over from the estranged Ambode in Lagos State.
“The interest of our beloved state must always supersede that of any person or group,” Ambode said in the broadcast.
He said: “Fellow Lagosians, the last few days have witnessed intense political activities that have gripped the attention of the nation and created palpable tension in the polity.
“I strongly believe that the time has now come for the State to move forward in order that the gains of the last three and half years are not lost.
“APC is a great party and the interests of our beloved State must always supersede that of any person or group. It is in this regard that I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the Lagos State APC Primaries, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“As Governor, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition in the remaining period of this administration and ultimately to the new Governor, come May 2019.
“I therefore appeal to all our party members that we remain one family and unite behind the candidate of the party, so that we can continue to move this state forward.
“The progress of Lagos state is non-negotiable. It is a project that I have passionately worked for in the last three and half years as your Governor and one to which I will forever be devoted.”
Recall, Clement Ebri led election committee sent by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the APC had on Tuesday said the governorship primary did not hold.
National leadership of the party also said the election was shifted to a new date, but made a U-turn Wednesday to accept the result as announced by the state Chairman of the party, Tunde Balogun, Wednesday.
Ambode had criticised the primary with both him and his loyalists alleging disenfranchisement, violence and other electoral malpractices.
However, the NWC and Ambode Wednesday changed their position on the validity of the primary.
Contrary to its earlier position on Tuesday that the primary did not hold, the NWC panel led by Mr Clement Ebri early Wednesday morning said the primary held.
It went on to declare Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the primary with 970,851 votes ahead of incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who recorded 72,901 votes.
Balogun had at about 9pm on Tuesday declared the same results, despite the insistence of the Ebri-led panel that the primary never held.
Balogun insisted that the poll held and it was valid, contending that it would be unfair to disenfranchise about 1.5 million party members who participated in the poll.
Changing its position to align with Balogun, the Ebri panel, in a press statement, said:“After resolving some of the hiccups, the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee collated the results from the 245 wards in the 20 local government areas from the collating officers.
“At the end of the exercise, these are the votes scored by the aspirants: 1. Gov Akinwunmi Ambode, 72,901 votes. 2. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, 970,851 votes.
“Following these results, I, Clement Ebri, the Chairman of the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Committee hereby declare Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner.”