By Shola Adewunmi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate in the forthcoming bye-election in Lagos East Senatorial District, Mr Tokunbo Abiru, has promised not to disappoint the leaders and members of his party, saying that the decision to elect him as the flag bear was an expression of confidence in him by the members.
Abiru, who made this promise in his statement of appreciation issued few hours after he was announced as the APC senatorial candidate, thanked the party leaders and members for trooping out enmass to ratify his candidature.
” Today is significant in my personal journey and in the history of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), especially in Lagos East Senatorial District. My deep gratitude and humble appreciation goes out to our leaders and members across the district who have trooped out en masse to ratify my candidature as the APC flag bearer for the Lagos East senatorial bye election scheduled to hold on October 31, 2020.
” This decision is no doubt an expression of confidence in me, a confidence and trust which as a loyal party man, I will live day and night to earn, justify and protect. Given this great expression of trust, let me first appreciate all our members for coming out in good number to affirm me as the party flag-bearer. This is an attestation to your firm belief in our great party and its leadership”, said Abiru.
He added that even though all other aspirants graciously withdrew from the contest in the interest of the party, adding that the members who could still choose to vote against him decided to affirm him which attests to their belief in the APC.
” From what transpired in the last few weeks, I have learnt a lot of things about our party members. I have seen their unshakable belief in the values our party stands for. I have also seen teeming support for the direction our leaders at all levels have been providing to bring about much-needed development. I have witnessed their desire to elect leaders, who can avidly deploy their offices to seek the common good of all.
” I must therefore say this ratification is your victory. We must bear in mind that this is the first phase in the senatorial contest. Already, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the second phase of the contest for October 31, 2020. Let me plead with you all that we must all come out in good number on this date in support of our party and me, your candidate for the senatorial election in Lagos East.
” Specifically, let me commend all my brothers, who sought our party nomination for Lagos East Senatorial Election but who in the spirit of sportsmanship and in the interest of our party withdrew from the contest and threw their political weight in its entirety in support of my aspiration. I must confess that this is a mark of honour, which I will forever appreciate”, said Abiru.
Abiru appreciated the efforts of the Chairman of the party, Alhaji Babatunde Balogun, all members of the State Working Committee (SWC) and State Executive Committee (SEC), saying that their hands had been on the plough in the last two months to organise the exercise without acrimony and disharmony.
” Without them, we could not have been able to conduct seamless and successful primary elections. All our leaders in the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) have been wonderful and exceptional. They have provided rare leadership, counsel and wisdom that culminated in the success of this exercise. They worked closely with the State Working Committee to ensure the process through the APC candidate for Lagos East Senatorial Election emerged did not lead to disaffection among the aspirants.
” My appreciation also goes to my dear brother, the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for steering the affairs of our dear state in line with the manifesto of the APC, the laid-down vision and development plans of our leader and his THEMES Agenda. Since our party leaders began this nomination process, His Excellency has provided unflinching support for Lagos APC at all times to ensure a peaceful, harmonious and unifying process”, Abiru added.
” Finally, I am in no small measure indebted to the National Leader of our party and Governor Emeritus of our dear state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He has been providing sterling leadership for the APC right from its conception to date. In all ramifications, he has been a leading light not only to Lagos State, but also the federation at large.
” This was again made evident in an interview a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal granted Sunday Punch about fortnight ago. In that interview, Mr. Lawal attested: “Asiwaju is a colossus of Southwest politics. If he had said there would be no merger in 2013, there would not have been any merger we now refer to APC”, he said.
” With this testimony and numerous others, history will affirm the place of Asiwaju Tinubu in the conception, birth, growth and consolidation of APC. With Asiwaju’s immense contribution, APC is now a ruling party at federal level with control of 21 states of the federation. This is a great feat historians will document as part of the political evolution of Nigeria”, said Abiru.
Recall that the Chairman of the APC Primaries Committee and Chief Returning Officer, Hon. Ibrahim Masari on Thursday announced that Abiru recorded a total vote of 111,551 in five local governments of the senatorial district.
The five local governments are Epe, Somolu, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki and Kosofe.
Masari added “We are here to affirm the nomination of our candidate in the person of Mr Tokunbo Abiru.
“As you all know,there was no contest , however;we have done the affirmation starting from the wards,local governments up to the senatorial
“The total number of accredited voters ,111,551;total votes cast ,111551;valid votes ,111,551and invalid votes,none.None because we did direct primary.
“This is to certify that Tokunbo Abiru, having scored the highest total number of votes ,is hereby declared winner and returned elected”,he said.