By Adeleye Adeyemi
Mr Adewale Gomez, a Lagos PDP chieftain, has clinched the party’s ticket to contest the Lagos Central Senatorial District seat in the 2023 general elections.
According to Mr Daniel Ochu-Baiye, Chairman of the PDP Electoral Committee/ Returning Officer for the senatorial primary election, Gomez scored 127 votes to defeat five other aspirants for the senatorial ticket.
Announcing the result on Tuesday evening at Obele Odan Community Hall in Surulere, venue of the primaries, Ochu-Baiye, said that Mrs Olubanke Oniru, another contestant, scored 29 votes while Dr Adetokunbo Pearse polled 15 votes.
According to him, other contestants, Mrs Sunbo Onitiri, Dr Babs Akinlolu and Alhaji Rasheed Teslim-Balogun scored seven, three and one votes respectively.
“I hereby declare Adewale Gomez winner of this election being the aspirant with the highest number of votes,” Ochu-Baiye said.
Ochu-Baiye said a total of 182 ad hoc delegates drawn from five local government areas (Apapa, Eti-Osa, Surulere, Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island) that comprised the district, voted at the primaries.
The returning officer, who commended the peaceful conduct of the delegates, described the election as very peaceful and free.
Reacting, Gomez said his emergence was a victory for the party to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
Pledging to liaise with other contestants to form a winning team, Gomez said that the chances of PDP remained bright in Lagos state in the 2023 elections.
However, one of the aggrieved contestants, Pearse, alleged that most of the delegates that voted were not known to the party in the district but brought in overnight.
“Evidently, what has transpired here today is that the three ad hoc delegates (from each ward) are people who are not real members of the PDP.
“If it were members of the party that voted in this election, I would have won the election. However, these three ad hoc delegates that have come in are all new.
“This is a shock, the people who voted are strangers to the PDP. They are not really members of our party they just came in. This is strange. I am sure party leaders will be shocked,” Pearse said.
He said that his next line of action would depend on the action of the electoral panel.
The exercise was conducted under heavy security presence and was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that controversy trailed the PDP Lagos central senatorial primaries on Monday, when it was reported that Gomez had emerged winner at a purported primaries conducted at same venue.(NAN)