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Lagos 2015: APC Decides As Aspirants Meet Electoral Panel, Insist On Direct Primaries

The All Progressives Congress (APC) will, this morning, decide whether the Lagos governorship primaries will hold as scheduled.

The electoral panel sent to the state to conduct the primaries reportedly told the 12 aspirants that the decision of the party leadership would be communicated to them by 7.00 a.m. today.

The meeting, held at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, between the panel, headed by former Edo State deputy governor, Peter Obadan and the aspirants, ended in a deadlock on Wednesday.

One of the aspirants, Dr Leke Pitan, confirmed the meeting and the promise to contact them this morning on the final decision of the party over the demands by 11 of the aspirants.

He also confirmed the meeting, which had members of the state executive of the party in attendance, as inconclusive.

At the meeting, 11 aspirants, with the exception of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, objected to the planned exercise, scheduled for today.

They reportedly objected to the non-availability of delegates list to aspirants, 24 hours to the election, when the law said seven days before.

They also kicked against delegates reportedly drawn from the 37 local council development areas (LCDAs), arguing that they were not known to the constitution and not in conformity with the provisions of the party’s constitution.

They were also said to have pointed out the danger in using delegates from the said LCDAs, as cases already in court over it could lead to the party not having a candidate for the governorship election.

Only Ambode reportedly spoke in favour of using delegates from all the 57 councils and LCDAs.

Their demands to the panel reportedly included allowing all the aspirants to choose a consensus candidate among them, instead of endorsement by a single person.

In the alternative, they wanted a direct primaries, with the participation of all party members in the state.

They also asked that delegates from the 20 councils should participate in the direct primaries.

Ambode reportedly asked that all the 4,000 delegates from the 57 local government areas and LCDAs should be allowed to participate.

Pitan told the Nigerian Tribune that the demands were advisory in nature.

Obadan reportedly told the aspirants that the panel would contact the national leadership and revert this morning.

Meanwhile, the party has disclosed that 4,000 delegates will participate in the exercise, with registration of delegates commencing as early as 9.00 a.m.

This is as the Nigeria Police assured of adequate security within and around the Onikan Stadium, Obalende, where the exercise is scheduled to hold.

The image maker in charge of the state police command, Kenneth Nwosu, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, however, refused to disclose the logistics being put in place, but assured that the police were ready for the exercise

Nwosu noted that the police were not only ready for the APC primaries, but were also ready for the conduct of other primaries and general election in the state.

According to him, “we know the importance of security to the success of the whole thing and we are fully prepared to ensure the safety of lives and property of not just the participants, but everybody in the state.”

According to him, “we are adequately prepared for the exercise. I will not disclose our strategies to you. They are personal, but we are ready.”

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