All Progressives Congress (APC), National Leader, Bola Tinubu, has distanced himself from endorsing candidates vying for local governments chairmanship seat across Lagos State during upcoming poll, saying all those using his name were only looking for avenues to score cheap political points.
He clarified that though he was not opposed to concensus candidates anointed and accepted by party leaders and structures across local governments, he would not be dabbling into the council election and that all party members who have shown interest are free to test their popularity through the ballot.
According to him, people intent on sowing discord and undermining democracy within the party have begun to spread lies and rumours that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the GAC have a list of preferred candidates for the upcoming primary elections and that the party will skew the primaries to benefit these people.
Speaking during Governance Advisory Council (GAC) meeting on Friday, the former Lagos State Governor said that he remained committed to ideals of democracy and that he would do all within his powers to ensure the fairness of the party primaries for the uupcoming council poll.
Through a statement on Sunday by his spokesman, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu who was a two-term governor in the state, clarified that contrary to reports, there was no list of preferred candidates from party leaders and that plans to influence the primaries are stories from false and mean-spirited attempts by individuals seeking to bring APC to disrepute.
“I have no preferred candidates for the upcoming local government primaries. I have no intention to endorse any of the people contesting for the party nomination in any election, whether for chairmanship or councillorship positions. I believe I can speak for the rest of the GAC regarding their belief in the impartiality and transparency of the internal party process,” the statement said.
Continuing, “Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the other GAC leaders seek a free, fair and transparent process in which the candidates who emerge are those who gather the most support among the party rank and file. Only in this manner, do we best prepare ourselves for the general election.
“For the APC, the integrity of the primary process is of the highest priority. All efforts must be geared towards the realisation of a free, fair and transparent process. To this end, party officials are obligated to establish the necessary arrangements ensure orderly, peaceful, free and fair primaries. They have also been empowered to deal appropriately with any who might attempt to undermine or otherwise try to inject impair the party primaries. The party should adopt a policy of no tolerance toward any attempt to inject trouble into this primary process.
“The APC Constitution directs that the party’s candidates should emerge through direct or indirect primaries or by consensus. In order to reduce tension and avoid discord and in-fighting, aspirants should embrace consensus wherever possible.
“However, where consensus is not possible, fair and clean primaries must be held so that party members have a chance to choose the candidate they want from among the competing aspirants. All aspirants, however, must realize that only one person can win any given contest. While we encourage everyone to compete with zeal and energy, we encourage all aspirants and party members to respect the results of our primaries. Once the primaries end, we must unite as a party so that we win the general elections thereby ensuring the continuity of progressive governance at the local government level throughout the state.
“In this vein, Asiwaju appeals to party leaders in the all the local governments to allow democracy to flourish. He urges them to do everything humanly possible to protect and promote the democratic process. Asiwaju Tinubu’s interest is in a free, fair and peaceful process. He has no preferred candidate in the primaries. In the Lagos APC, democracy not devious rumors must be allowed to flourish!”