Akinwunmi Ambode, the man widely believed to have been anointed by Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos governor and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has defeated his 12 challengers for the APC governorship ticket in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, by a landslide.
About 5,700 delegates from 20 local government areas cast their votes for the 13 candidates who sought the ticket of the party.
Akinwunmi polled 3,735 votes to emerge the party’s flag bearer at next year’s general election.
Obafemi Hamzat took the second position with 1,201 votes.
Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, came a distant third with 182 votes.
During vote counting, the moment Ambode’s tally overtook that of Hamzat, the people in the VIP section of Onikan Stadium, jumped and cheered in jubilation. Ambode, who had been seated through the night, sat quietly and savoured the moment.
Thirteen aspirants participated in the party’s governorship ticket, but by the time the final result was announced, Ambode, the eventual winner, was the only one left at the venue.
The other candidates had left by Thursday evening.
Ambode, 51, is a former Accountant-General for Lagos.
In other results, Governor Babatunde Fashola’s anointed candidate and former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olasupo Sashore polled 121 votes, while former Lagos State Commissioner for Health and Education, Dr. Leke Pitan and former Commissioner for Rural Development, Dr. Tola Kasali polled 112 and 69 votes respectively.
Former aide to Tinubu, Mr. Tayo Ayinde; businessman, Mr. Adekunle Disu and lawyer, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, polled 17, nine and seven votes respectively while former member of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Lanre Ope, Special Adviser to Fashola on Environment, Mrs Tobun-Adetokunbo Agbesanwa and businessman, Mr. Abayom had no vote.
Speaking to journalists, Ambode commended the delegates and party leaders for ensuring that the process that threw him up as APC gubernatorial candidate was free and fair.
He said his victory in the primaries was victory for Lagosians and democracy and therefore extended hands of fellowship to his fellow contestants to support him in winning Lagos State during next year general elections.
The governorship primaries which started with accreditation of delegates at 9:00am on Tuesday ended at 8:45am on Friday with the declaration of Ambode as APC gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State.
According to Obadan, 5,959 delegates from the 20 local governments in the state were accredited for the exercises but only 5,815 delegates voted out of which 91 votes were declared invalid.
Meanwhile, The Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has emerged as the Sokoto APC Gubernatorial candidate in a keenly contested primaries that lasted several hours with about 4,000 delegates from 23 Local Government Areas in the state.