Agbaje knocks Obanikoro, APC over criticism of PDP primaries

Jimi Agbaje

Jimi AgbajeThe Lagos State governorship candidate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje, has challenged fellow aspirant, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, to speak the truth about the so-called excess votes reportedly recorded in Monday’s primary election.

He also told the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) not to play holier-than-thou over the PDP controversy.

A statement by Felix Oboagwina, Director of Media and Publicity for Agbaje, said in the course of the primaries, the six aspirants agreed that there was a clerical omission in the originally announced tally of 806, as it had left out some ad hoc and statutory delegates from a few local governments, and those should be reckoned and allowed to vote.

“Earlier placed at 806 delegates, the total figure for voting delegates finally came to 864 after votes were cast.

“Obanikoro and the other aspirants, together with their agents, were party to this agreement,” Oboagwina said.

“In fact, Obanikoro left his seat, along with the others, when the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Senator Seidu Kumo, called attention to the clerical omission. There and then, they mandated the committee to add these omitted delegates to the total tally. The chairman of the committee felt no need to announce this new figure publicly, since all the contestants willingly endorsed the arrangement.”

It described the Lagos PDP primary election as free, fair and spotless.

According to the statement, the total of 58 omitted delegates was made up of: Ikeja ad hoc delegates -30; Ikeja statutory delegates -7; Ojo statutory delegates -7; Mushin statutory delegates -7 and Alimosho statutory delegates -7

The statement said: “The agents and aspirants were previously informed of the clerical omission. And it is the height of mischief, indecency and dishonesty for anyone to falsely cry wolf to something that everybody mutually agreed to.”

Expressing disappointment with other aspirants who resorted to crying foul upon the declaration of the result, it condemned the voices as a reflection of the problem of Nigerian leadership, peopled by desperadoes playing do-or-die politics.

“Let us even assume (for the sake of argument) that you subtract the allegedly 60 excess votes from the total tally, Agbaje would still win the primaries,” the statement pointed out.

“But for all intents and purposes, the excess votes could even have gone to make up the 342 scored by Obanikoro or the total for the other aspirants.”

Also responding to a statement by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Joe Igbokwe, that it would not be congratulating Agbaje because of the controversy, the statement asked the rival party to put its house in order before meddling into the business of others.

“We had wondered why neither the APC candidate nor the party had deemed it fit to congratulate Agbaje in line with the finest tenets of democracy. But it is now clear that they were in shock at the emergence of a credible and powerful candidate for PDP in Lagos State,” Oboagwina said.

It said: “APC lacks the moral standing to point fingers because its own primaries had glaring flaws. For example, APC only released the delegates list on the day of the primaries, while PDP released its delegates list a week before the first primaries and two weeks before the governorship primaries

Also, APC’s candidate came through imposition, the method it has always used from time immemorial,” the statement added.