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2023: The abracadabra of direct primaries

By Wale Olayanju

In the direct primary conducted by APC to elect candidate for Lagos State gubernatorial election in 2019, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu scored 970, 851 to emerge the winner. Then governor, Ambode came second with 72,901 votes.

In the following general election, Sanwo-Olu polled 739,445 votes to beat Mr. Jimi Agbaje of the PDP.

Whereas Sanwo-Olu scored 970,851 in the primary , he only scored 739,445 in the general election. That is a difference of 231,406 votes.

In June this year, the ruling party also conducted a direct primary to elect its candidate for the just concluded Anambra State’s Gubernatorial election.

In the election, Senator Andy Uba emerged winner with 230,201 votes. His closest rival, Johnbosco Onunkwo polled a total of 28,746 votes.

In the main election, result of which was just announced, APGA candidate, Prof. Charles Soludo was declared winner with a total of 112,229 votes.

APC’s Uba came a distant third with a paltry 42,942 votes. This was somebody that scored 230,201 votes during the primary.

I ask, wot happin nau? Why APC dem dey troop out for piraimari only to disappia during the main election? Abi, na dem ghost dey vote for piraimari?

The National Assembly said it chose direct mode of primary to checkmate impunity and imposition by political parties in the process of selecting their candidates.

However, with what we have witnessed in the direct primaries so far conducted by APC, it appears it is not yet Uhuru in an attempt to chose the best method.

While the process may have succeeded in whittling down the powers of the state governors in “electing” party candidates, it has only transferred such to Abuja. So, the problem we are trying to solve is still there. It has only changed color.

Wale Olayanju is a socio-political commentator.

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