By Segun James
Pharmacist, Jimi Agbaje, yesterday defeated Adedeji Doherty, to emerge as the Lagos State governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 elections.
Agbaje polled 1,100 votes as against Doherty who recorded 724 votes after the primaries held in Ikeja which lasted for 30 hours. 23 votes were declared as invalid.
Agbaje, who lost the last governorship election to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode will now face the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who defeated the incumbent governor at the APC primaries last Tuesday.
Announcing the result after over 30 hours, the chairman of the five-man panel constituted by PDP National Working Committee (NWC) on Lagos governorship primary, Senator Victor Oyofo, described the exercise as free and fair.
While addressing the winner and runner-up, Oyofo said: “The primary which commenced yesterday and was concluded today. It was a keenly contested election which portrayed what our democracy should look like.
“And since the votes of both candidates have counted. By the power conferred on me, I declare Chief Agbaje as the winner of the contest. I believe that he would be the next governor of Lagos State,” he added.
In his acceptance speech, Agbaje stressed that his decision to contest for the post was to free Lagos from the disease that had constantly affected its growth.
“There is need for us to free Lagos from the disease that had affected it. In few weeks, I will be explaining that but the state is seriously infected by a disease.
“All other disease that had affected the state were due to the symptoms of that disease.”
He stated that to achieve this, he would defeat Sanwo-Olu and other contenders and become next governor of the state.
On how to achieve the feat considering the grip of APC on the state, Agbaje stressed that his campaign policy would be to built on the successes recorded during 2015 election in the state.
“We recorded so much in 2015 and we have to build on it. I believe that was the reason the party members decided to elect me again. And that gives me the confidence that we will win next year.”
Accepting outcome of the primary, Doherty assures Agbaje of his support to free Lagos from it challenges, saying, the debt already incurred by present and previous administrations cannot be paid easily by anyone.