Cover Stories, Politics, Seat of Power

How Ambode floored Agbaje in Lagos guber poll + Seven main reasons he won


AFTER a fierce battle for Governor Fashola’s job, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was on Sunday, April 12, 2015, declared winner in the Saturday, April 11 election. He polled 811,994 votes, while his rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje got 659,788 votes.

Jimi Agbaje

Jimi Agbaje

The State Returning Officer, Prof. Isaac Adewole formally declared Ambode winner at the Lagos Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yaba, Lagos.

As indicated in the governorship election results, Ambode, who had previously served as the Accountant-General of Lagos State and Auditor-General for Local Governments in the state crushed Agbaje with 154,206 votes!

Of the total votes cast, Ambode had 52.9 percent while Agbaje had 43.0 percent.

Interestingly, the two contestants scored 25 percent of the votes cast in all the 20 local councils, but Ambode won by simple majority as required by law.

Out of the twenty statutory local government areas in the state (INEC does not recognize the Local Development Councils, LDCs), the APC candidate cleared fifteen as against five councils, which were won by the PDP governorship candidate.

A further breakdown of the governorship results showed that Ambode lost to Agbaje in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo Odofin, Oshodi-Isolo, Surulere and Ojo local governments, where the APC was also defeated during the presidential election.

In Agege, for instance, Ambode polled 46,909 votes compared to 32,885 votes, which his PDP opponent was able to garner. But in Ajeromi Ifelodun, Agbaje comfortably garnered 52,596 votes, while Ambode raked in 42,954 votes.

The result from Alimosho was a major boost for Ambode who led with a total vote of 90,220 votes while Agbaje polled 67,480 votes.

But Agbaje beat Ambode in Amuwo Odofin, where he polled 35,168 votes compared to 26,349 votes Ambode scored.

Disappointingly, in Apapa where Agbaje is residing and his firm, JK Pharmacy is located, Ambode won by a slight margin, polling 22,169 votes compared to 19,486 votes, which the PDP governorship candidate was able to get.

The contest favoured Ambode in Badagry, a local council once regarded as PDP stronghold.  Here, Ambode polled 27,086 votes, while Agbaje got 22,664 votes.

In Epe, Ambode’s hometown, the APC governorship candidate won by a wide margin of 31,498 votes as against 13,425 votes Agbaje managed to corner.

The result in Eti-Osa was close, though Ambode polled 28,082 votes compared to Agbaje’s 24,486 votes.

Also in Ibeju Lekki, widely acknowledged as the PDP political base, Ambode polled 14,696 votes as against 11,292 votes by Agbaje.

The result in Ifako Ijaiye was massive for Ambode who polled 46,485 votes to defeat Agbaje who got a distant 26,898 votes.

Ambode coasted home to victory in Ikeja with 33,178 votes as against 26,419 votes by Agbaje.

In Ikorodu, Agbaje’s local government area, Ambode had surprisingly recorded a landslide, by polling 52,061 votes compared to 35,259 votes Agbaje scored.

In Kosofe, Ambode scored 53,890 votes to defeat Agbaje, who got 40,253 votes.

Ambode also defeated Agbaje in Lagos Island with 34,232 votes, while the PDP candidate garnered 16,111 votes.

Likewise, in Lagos Mainland, Ambode polled 31,836 votes while Agbaje scored 26,889 votes.

In Mushin, the state’s critical flashpoint, Ambode won massively in the area with the total votes of 60,220 while Agbaje had about 38,620 votes.

Respite, however, came for the PDP candidate in Ojo local government, where he scored 31,910 votes as against Ambode’s 34,693 votes.

In Oshodi-Isolo, the state’s most troubled spot, Agbaje had marginal victory of 43,904 votes as against 42,835 votes Ambode garnered.

Ambode again, won in Shomolu with 43,642 votes compared to 37,078 votes Agbaje polled.

Agbaje won Surulere, the local government of the incumbent governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).  He got 54,202 votes while Ambode scored 51,404 votes.

In all, the eventual winner of the Lagos governorship election, Akinwumi Ambode winning in fifteen LGAs and leaving just five for PDP’s Jimi Agbaje was not good news in the camp of the loser, considering the effort and resources he put in Lagos most keenly contested guber polls.


The defeat of the Lagos PDP candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje at the just-concluded governorship election has been hinged on seven main reasons. And here are they:


The leader of the APC and most influential politician in Nigeria is a Lagosian.  The former Senator of the Federal Republic, and two-term governor of Lagos deployed his political machine to deliver the state to the APC. Ambode actually rode on Tinubu’s wings, even as his formidable political structure worked for his success.  So, one recurrent name in Ambode’s joyous win is Asiwaju Lagos, the Jagagban and the Lion of Bourdillon as he is fondly addressed by friends and admirers and even foes.


By virtue of residing in Lagos, the state automati-cally become the political base of the opposition. The effect of this had positive impact on Ambode who was massively supported by the party. In addition to this, the APC candidate got all the support he needed to crush Agbaje and the PDP.


The defeat of the ruling PDP by the opposition APC was a good omen for the later. And giving rise to bandwagon effect, the PDP lost much ground to APC.  This really worked for Ambode since success has many relations and failure an orphan.


The need to elect a governor who would continue with his predecessors’ policies was an issue. And when Ambode enshrined it in his manifesto, he had more than enough supporters.  Agbaje had vigorously campaigned against some of the policies of the Fashola administration amidst agitation for continuity.


Another factor that worked for Ambode was perhaps, his experience as an administrator, having worked with the Lagos state Civil Service for 27 years. He retired as the state Auditor-General. With the requisite experience in management of people and resourses, the electorate were more comfortable with him than Agbaje whose ideas of governance were considered ‘bold inexperience’ and far-fetched.


From the First Republic till date, Lagos has never been ruled by the government at the centre.  So, the clamour to embrace the APC which already dominates the National Assembly and controls the Federal Government appealed to the average Lagosian. Hence, they said yes with their votes on Saturday, April 11.


Despite the controversy and condemnation that trailed the threat of Oba of Lagos, Ambode had much to gain from it. How?  It was clear that the Oba has unequivocally endorsed the APC candidate and would be pleased if all Lagosians respect his choice. After all, nobody knows how and why he ‘picked’ him as APC flag bearer, like the first class monarch said in his address to non indigenous people of Lagos. The re-enactment of primordial ethnic politics could only weaken Agbaje’s support base, especially among his own people.


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