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Obi’s victory in Lagos surprised APC, Slsays Fashola

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Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said that the victory of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi in Lagos State during the February 25, 2023 poll surprised the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The former Lagos State governor, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said the Labour Party turned its voters on in Lagos and decimated the chances of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The strong ally of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu also said his party, the APC conducted pre-election internal polls but never released it, describing polls that predicted victory for Obi and Atiku as “badly conducted”.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who headed the Election Planning Directorate of the Tinubu-Shettima campaign, said his party knew states where it had high chances of winning and had concentrated its energy in those states.

However, Fashola said his party was blindsided in some cases. “In some cases, you get blindsided. We were blindsided in Lagos because the opposition turned out their voters there,” he said.

“And you also saw that a party that has been competitive for 24 years, the umbrella party, suddenly disappeared. It showed that their support base has shifted.”

Asked whether LP’s victory in Lagos at the presidential poll surprised the APC, he said, “Yeah, blindsided us, without a doubt. They turned out their voters and in the subsequent gubernatorial election, we turned out our voters.”

At the February 25 poll, Obi polled 582,454 votes to trounce Tinubu, also a former Lagos State governor who scored 572,606 votes. However, Tinubu won the highest total votes in the election and was declared winner by the electoral umpire.

Tinubu won in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and secured significant numbers in several other states to claim the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than his closest rival — former Vice President Atiku, who got 6,984,520 votes, while Obi polled 6,101,533.

Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, won the polls in 11 states, including the home state of the APC candidate — Lagos. He also came out tops in the nation’s capital Abuja. Abubakar, like Tinubu, was victorious in 12 states.

Former Kano State Governor and candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, finished fourth, claiming victory in his state — Kano. He secured 1,496,687 votes.

Though the LP won during the presidential election, the party’s candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour lost to APC’s Babajide Sanwo-Olu who secured a reelection in the March 18 governorship poll.

Sanwo-Olu polled a total of 762,134 votes, defeating Rhodes-Vivour, who scored 312,329 votes, followed by PDP’s Abdul-Azeez Adediran aka Jandor with 62,449 votes.

Atiku and Obi have approached the court to challenge Tinubu’s victory ahead of his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

▪︎ By Channels Television

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