The Lagos State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday said it had not adopted any governorship aspirant as its candidate for the 2019 elections.
The Chairman of the chapter’s Elders’ Forum, Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He was reacting to media reports that the chapter had adopted an aspirant, Mr Jide Sanwoolu, the incumbent Managing Director of Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC), as its gubernatorial candidate.
NAN reports that Mr James Odumbaku, the immediate past Vice-Chairman of the party in the state and an ally of Chief Bola Tinubu, was reported to have claimed in a video on Tuesday that Sanwoolu had been adopted as the incoming governor.
Odumbaku, who was with Sanwoolu and other chieftains at a meeting in the video, said all the 57 council chairmen had endorsed the LSPDC boss as candidate, claiming the adoption was at the instance of Asiwaju Tinubu.
NAN reports that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, had on Monday, declared his intention to run for another term.
A former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, had also declared his aspiration for the number one seat in the state.
Olusi described the purported adoption of Sanwoolu to puncture the second term bid of Ambode as mere speculation.
He said the party could not have resolved to hold a primary when it had adopted an aspirant.
“All these things are speculations. They are not true, How can we plan to hold a primary to elect our candidates and then adopt somebody?
“If we are still going to hold our primary, why then should we adopt, or does the adoption cancel the primary? No.
“This is the political season, all interesting things happen, but I can tell you most of the things that have been reported on the matter are mere speculations and not facts. Nobody has directed any adoption,” he said.
Olusi, while referring to the video,said it was normal for individuals or groups to back or endorse aspirants ahead of any election.
He, however, said such endorsements should not be taken to be the position of the party.
Olusi said the determination of who would become the gubernatorial candidate of the party would only be done at the primary.
He described the APC as a democratic party, saying all aspirants would be allowed a level-playing field.
On the feasibility of holding a direct primary at the chapter in view of the large numbers of party members, Olusi said there was no cause for alarm.
He said the right preparations were being done, expressing optimism that everything would go well during the exercise.
Olusi said he would not comment on the controversies emanating from adopting different modes of primary in some APC state chapters.
“Honestly, I do not want to comment on that. However, we are a growing democracy and we learn everyday,’’ he said