Salvador alleges doctoring of delegates list, rejects Rhodes-Vivour’s emergence as Lagos LP guber candidate
Former senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, was on Wednesday, elected Labour Party’s governorship candidate for Lagos State in the 2023 poll.
Rhodes-Vivour, 39, polled 111 votes to beat his only opponent, Moshood Adegoke Salvador, at the Labour Party governorship substitution primaries. Salvador scored 102 votes in an exercise that featured 216 delegates, held in Ikeja, Lagos.
Meant for the replacement of candidate, the primary was witnessed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The substitution primary held despite protests by the party’s INEC-recognised guber, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, that he has not withdrawn his candidature.
According to the 2022 Electoral Act, the only means of replacing a candidate before an election are through voluntary withdrawal or death.
The substitution primary was initially scheduled for last Monday, but Mr Salvador protested the “doctoring” of the delegates list, forcing the party to postpone the event.
The exercise had been stalled since Monday over allegations of compromise to the delegates’ list raised by Salvador.
The deputy national chairman, Lamidi Apanpa, announced that 215 accredited voters cast their votes and the election recorded two void votes.
Salvador had on Monday called for the cancellation of the primary, saying he had lost confidence in the electoral Committee.
Apanpa, who declared the result, said that with the outcome, the winner, Rhodes-Vivour, would fly the flag of the party as its governorship candidate, come 2023 general elections.
Reacting to his victory, Rhodes-Vivour expressed joy over the outcome, which he described as the freest and fairest exercise, saying that LP is set to form the next government. He said Salvador is like a father to him, saying that he would reach out to him for advice, because he has a formidable structure.
Salvador, in his reaction, rejected the result, alleging over voting by members of the state executive. He warned the electoral committee not to spoil the name of the party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi. He, however, noted that the problem was left for the party to address if it wants to win Lagos State in the 2023 elections.
He said: “You can remember that I paid for the form on July 5, 2022 and I was given the INEC nomination form as a candidate.
“They came, raised my hand and declared me a candidate and all of you were there. Now we planned an affirmation for Monday and they said somebody paid on Friday and asked us to bring 100 delegates each, not even going through the constitutional process of delegates’ formation.
“A day before, we heard a lot of rumour and it showed on Monday when they doctored the list and increased his own number of delegates by 26 and removed 26 from my own to have 74. They now perfected it today, using only the state executive. Those that were not even here, somebody represented him to vote. Is that democratic? Therefore I reject it in totality. Somebody that came 72 hours ago as against the person that has been prepared before for affirmation, we have done everything. We went to INEC. Is this the way we want to change Nigeria?”
I just appeal to these people not to spoil Obi’s work.” Other party leaders present at the exercise were Apanpa; LP National Vice Chairman, Alhaji Muhammed Alkali; former governorship candidate of the party in Lagos State, Dr. Rotimi Olulana; Mr. Olukayode Salako, Sam Okpara, Alhaja Memunat Okoya and others.