By BENJAMIN OMOIKE
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Appeal Committee for the governorship primary election in Lagos State on Tuesday declared that the process was free, fair, peaceful and transparent, just as the sole petitioner, Mr. Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha withdrew his petition and promised to support the party and its governorship candidate in the state. The Chairman of the Appeal Committee, Hon. Ibrahim Akaje, who stated this while briefing newsmen in Lagos, on the activities of the Committee in Lagos, said the three-man Gubernatorial Primary Election Appeal Committee inaugurated by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has amicably resolved the issues raised by the aggrieved party in order to foster unity and make progress in the party. Akaje, flanked by the Secretary of the Committee, Barrister Abubakar Hassan, and Hon. Ginika Tor, noted that Lagos State was among the APC states that recorded relative peace in the primary elections. ‘’We are indeed not surprised because it could not have been otherwise owing to the security alertness the state ensured. It is an acknowledged fact that Lagos State is not only the cradle of Nigerian politics, but it has also continued to be a determining factor in political scheming of the country. ‘’Today, our great party is the country’s ruling party basically on account of the influential role played by the political juggernauts in Lagos State, who in alliance with other political heavyweights across the federation aligned to midwife the APC and subsequently steered it into National electoral victory. We are very optimistic that this victory will be repeated come 2023 general election not only in Lagos State, but across the federation.’’ The chairman of the committee pointed out that,’’ The committee received a single petition submitted by Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha alleging that he was denied access and participation in the Gubernatorial Primary election. In view of that and to ensure justice and fairness, the complainant was invited and accorded fair hearing in a peaceful meeting under a conducive atmosphere. ‘’It is instructive to inform the press and the party faithful that the committee has received the report of the election committee held on the 26″ of May, 2022 at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos State. The report of the Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee confirmed that the election was a free, fair, peaceful and transparent exercise. ‘’The Appeal committee received the petitioner who presented his matter extensively. After thorough analysis and deliberations on the matter, the committee subtly informed the petitioner that he was not cleared by the gubernatorial Screening Committee, a verdict of which was upheld by the Screening Appeal Committee. Both parties therefore agreed to embrace peace and maintain unity for the good of the party and the state.’’ Fielding questions from newsmen, the petitioner Mr. Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha said, ‘’I will abide by the party’s decisions, irrespective of what has happened, we have been a beneficiary of the party, we cannot break a house that we have built. We have resolved to work together with the party in exploring the internal mechanism of the party. ‘’I will ensure that Lagos State remains in the kitty of the APC to deliver dividends of democracy, working in conjunction with the party. I and my supporters will support absolutely the party, nominee of the party, Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu to make sure that our party wins not just in the state but at the federal level so that our leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will become the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria.