By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—BARELY 24 hours after rejecting results of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senatorial primary in Lagos East Senatorial District, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, yesterday, conceded defeat to his rival, Mr. Bayo Osinowo.
In a statement, Ashafa said the decision to concede was based on the need for unity and progress of the party in general.
His words: “Over the past seven and a half years, I have enjoyed the mandate and support of both the leadership and the members of our party to serve as the Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District. This is a mandate that I have held with the utmost responsibility which such high office entails.
“In the light of the foregoing, and upon due consultation with party leaders and relevant stakeholders, I believe that the time has come for me to sacrifice my ambition for the unity and continuity of our party at the senatorial level and across all elective offices.
“Hence, I hereby, release my unopposed ticket to the leadership of the party in Lagos State.
“To this end, I would like to appreciate the leadership of our party at the State and National levels, our members and constituents alike for the opportunity afforded me to serve. This is an opportunity that I do not take lightly or for granted. I would also like to appreciate the magnanimity and generosity of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu towards me throughout this journey.”
“I remain committed to the principles and ideals of our party and will continue to contribute my quota in service to both our party and the Nation. I stand with APC.”
In his reaction, the APC Senatorial candidate, Mr. Osinowo described Ashafa’s action as “a show of sportsmanship” that the party professes and practice.
Osinowo said: “It’s a straightforward matter. There was a contest between two major contestants and the winner was duly announced by the body legitimately charged with the duty of organising and supervising the contest. Don’t forget that the panel chairman described the exercise as peaceful and successful.”
Recall that Chairman of the Electoral Committee for the primaries, Mr. Lucky Imasuen had announced that Osinowo defeated Ashafa with 247,743 votes to emerge as candidate for the Lagos East Senatorial district. Ashafa, polled 20,385 in the primary