Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has admonished the the panel assigned by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure that the Primaries in the state is conducted in such a way that all the candidates in the election are given a level playing field.
This governor made this appeal when he hosted members of the panel led by its Chairman, Mr Clement Ebri, at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja.
Ambode said it was important that the election when conducted, is seen to be free, fair and credible to all aspirants concerned.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the panel include Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel as Secretary; Mr Nze Chidi Duru; Chief Clever Egbeji, Sen. Clever Ikisikpo and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe.
According to the governor, the panel will go a long way to determine the future of Nigeria and the greatness of Lagos in particular.
“This is a very star studded election team, they are distinguished Nigerians in their individual and collective rights.
“There cannot be any better collection of a team to any state election monitoring in this country than the distinguished personalities brought to Lagos and it only shows us the importance that the national chairman of our great party attaches to what is happening in Lagos.
“I must tell you that what you have taken up, may look like a political assignment, but history is on your side that at this very moment in the annals of the history of this country.
“Today marking our 58th Independence anniversary celebration, you are being called upon to discharge a selfless service.
“That will determine the future of this country and the greatness of this particular state.
“I receive this election team as being acceptable and credible to me enough to discharge their civic responsibility to the best of their abilities and to also to say that whatever it is that is the outcome of the primaries, your presence has also shown that this will be credible and this will be acceptable to me,” he said.
According to NAN, the governor said it was not new to have other aspirants vie for the same ticket since he became governor as a result of the same process, however, the eventual process of choosing who flies the party’s flag must be seen to be fair to all concerned.
“So, it is very clear to me, all I seek is credible primaries, transparent primaries and level playing ground that we will all be proud of at the end of the day for the outcome.
“There were issues that we have raised that we are also trying to correct.
“The bottom line is this, we are family, we must not go into the elections divided because this is the very first time that our party is controlling the centre and also the state, that is what I want us to continue.
“The issues that I raise have been put in form of a letter which I will pass to the chairman and I believe the committee will look into it judiciously.
“And also I welcome the stakeholders meeting which will allow you feel the pulse of what is going on in the state,”Ambode said.
Earlier, Ebri said the panel deemed it fit to pay a courtesy visit to the governor as the number one citizen in the state and to also intimate him on the process for the conduct of the primaries.
“As the number one citizen of Lagos, we felt obliged to come and see you particularly when you are contesting for the position of governor for which we all believe you have done so well.
“We are the panel that has been constituted to conduct the primaries. We are seven members and there are indications that there will be one or two additions due to the work load here.
“We have come to intimate you that this exercise is going to take place in the next few hours.
“I also like to apologise for the delay, it had to be postponed as a result of logistics in Lagos, Imo and some other states because of the pressure and work load from the secretariat and other developments that have taken place,” the chairman said.
Ebri, a former governor of Cross River, assured the governor that he and his team were ready for the task ahead and would do everything possible to ensure that the process is seen to be free, fair and credible.
He said: “Lagos is more like a decider and like they say, when Lagos sneezes the rest of the country catches cold.
“So, that is why we are very careful about what we are doing and the National Chairman asked me to send his best wishes to you and ask us to come and do the right thing to the satisfaction of all members.
“More so that the president of this country stands for transparency and detests corruption and a situation where no one feels manipulated.
“The process we are laying out is such that we ensure and guarantee transparency and credibility, we have people of integrity in this panel.