By Olasunkanmi Akoni
ALL seems not well in the Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, as agitations and petitions have continued to trail the outcome of the local government election primaries. These kinds of reactions are also trailing the submission of names for the chairmanship and councillorship positions to the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC.
Aggrieved members of the party had claimed that LASIEC guidelines for the conduct of the primaries were not followed, adding that it gave room for the imposition of unpopular candidates. It was learnt that the decision of the Tokunbo Afikuyomi-led Election Committee to send a list of candidates, who emerged from the exercise is still generating controversy in the party.
Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Philips (retd), while receiving the list expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of the primaries. Afikuyomi, while submitting the list to LASIEC, defended the processes employed to pick the party’s candidates. He explained that in line with the party’s constitution, which recognises direct and indirect primaries, the consensus option was employed in picking the candidates.
He further added that APC leadership opted for a combination of primaries and the consensus option in compliance with the provisions of Articles 20 (ii)a, (iii)a and 21(xi) of the APC Constitution. In reference to agitations that had greeted the exercise in some areas, Afikuyomi said they were normal in any democratic system adding that the crisis had been resolved through the conflict resolution mechanism put in place. He commended the party leadership for the feat achieved.
However, it was gathered that to avoid more crises, the Election Committee, gave forms to successful candidates at secret locations. This has raised fear among candidates yet to be called to collect their forms. Some of the aggrieved groups have even resorted to radio jingles as a way of seeking redress. There are reconciliatory meetings currently ongoing across the state aimed at dousing tension generated. Plans are also ongoing to arrive at how best to compensate aggrieved party members. Efforts to get the comprehensive list of candidates from LASIEC were unsuccessful.
Petitions: An aggrieved aspirant, Mr. Bayode Akinwunmi in Iru-Victoria Island Local Government Area, under the umbrella of Concerned Indigenes has threatened to sue the party over an alleged imposition of a candidate allegedly being sponsored by one of the sons of a traditional ruler.
Appeal to Tinubu
The leader of the group, Akinwunmi, who said this at a media briefing in Lagos, said he had petitioned the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the state Chairman of the party. Chief Henry Ajomale.
His words: “We are using this medium to appeal to Tinubu and the state APC Chairman, Ajomale to come to the people’s rescue in Iru-Victoria Island LGA. The only person, who can resolve this matter is Tinubu. He does not tolerate injustice and undemocratic processes. “We believe in dialogue and if dialogue fails after exploring all means of resolution, we will be forced to take a legal action against the party.”
Also, some councillorship candidates in Ward C Amuwo-Odofin LGA, in a petition dated May 16, 2017 to Tinubu and Ajomale, accused the party leaders in the ward of choosing the wrong candidates. The petition partly reads: “We write to state the injustice which took place in Ward C, Amuwo Odofin LGA during the selection process of the councillorship candidate of Ward by some leaders. APC, a party built on justice and peace will be victorious in Ward C, Amuwo Odofin LGA if the right candidate is fielded for the election.
“PDP is seriously strategizing and we believe that our party, APC will record a landslide victory in the election. Unfortunately Mr. Hammed Olanrewaju Mohammed’s name has been forwarded to the state as the party’s councillorship candidate in Ward C, Amuwo Odofin LGA. This is not a true reflection of the reality on the ground. It is alarming therefore, that some leaders approved and forwarded the name of Mr. Hammed Olanrewaju Mohammed, who only scored 60 points.”
PDP forms alliance with LP
Meanwhile, following the leadership crisis rocking the Ahmed Markarfi faction of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Lagos State chapter led by Mr. Moshood Salvador has formed an alliance with Labour Party ,LP.
Speaking to supporters in Surulere, Salvador said the smooth running of the party in Lagos had become impossible.
He said, “I refuse to be distracted. The Makarfi group of PDP under the leadership of Hon. Moshood Salvador has refused to allow their teeming members to be disenfranchised. If a legal solution is being delayed, we have resorted to a political solution.
“I am now appealing to all lovers and sympathizers of the PDP in Lagos State to cast their vote for Labour/PDP Alliance. We never decamped to any Party. We never declared for another Party and we never dumped our dear PDP. In this Pre-election alliance, we have 342 councillorship candidates and 52 chairmanship candidates.”