Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, has restated his commitment to his political family, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also tasked the panel appointed by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC to conduct the governorship primary in the state to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants in the contest.
According to a statement by Habib Aruna, Ambode's Chief Press Secretary, the governor, who spoke when he received members of the panel led by its Chairman, Clement Ebri on Monday, said it was important that the election is seen to be free, fair and credible to all aspirants concerned.
Members of the Panel include Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel as Secretary; Mr. Nze Chidi Duru; Chief Clever Egbeji; Senator Clever Ikisikpo and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe.
Expressing confidence in the selection of members of the panel, Governor Ambode said he had no doubt that the panel would deliver a credible process.
He said: “This is a very star studded election team; they are distinguished Nigerians in their individual and collective rights. There can’t 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 important 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 this history of this country, today marking our 58th Independence anniversary celebration, you are being called upon to discharge a selfless service that would 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 by me."
The governor recalled that he had gone through the same process with 12 other aspirants to emerge as the APC governorship candidate in 2014, saying that it was not out of place to have other aspirants contest for the same ticket this time.
“So it’s 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 of 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 would pass to their 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.
He also urged the panel to use its prerogative to decide the best possible time for the primaries election and make a public announcement on the time, date and venues of the exercise to enable members of the party partake in the process.
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.