….As APC chairman cautions against division within party
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
A group in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos chapter, Lagos4Lagos, has explained the reason why the group held a parallel ward congress in the state to elect officers at the local government level.
Recall that despite controversy trailing the legality of conducting ward congresses of the ruling APC, nationwide, party faithful and members, on Saturday, participated in the exercise in Lagos State, which the party leaders described as very “peaceful.”
Members turned out enmasse for the ward congresses held across the 254 wards of the 20 Local Government Areas, LGAs and Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs in the state, in what was called. “ratification of consensus candidates,” in accordance with the decision of party leadership.
The exercise which was supervised by the National Committee members, led by Dr. Muhammed Bashir, across the local governments, had a group within the fold, Lagos4Lagos, led by Dr. Babajide Adediran, popularly called “Jandor,” holding another parallel ward exercises in few other designated centers.
Bashir, speaking on the exercise, commended members of the party for their peaceful conduct during the congresses which he said was hitch-free.
At the Lagos4Lagos congresses held at Osolu Village in Osolu Primary./Junior High School, Badagry Division, Mr. Tajudeen Dosumu , emerged as the new Chairman of APC party.
Adediran, speaking on the parallel exercise said, “At ward G of Ojo Local Government, bonafide members assembled to observe their affirmation of new officers.
“We discovered that forms for positions by interested candidates were hijacked at the office of the governor after certain guidelines had been given to whoever has interest in elected positions from the state party which we paid for and all our queries on the issue could not be answered by Bashir- led committee during last Friday stakeholders meeting.
“However, the new Executive officers have been briefed on what to do to start mobilizing the people.”
Also speaking, the Principal Coordinator, Lagos4Lagos, Mr. Bode Makinde, described how important Saturday congress was to the group.
He said: “We want to prove to the whole world that Lagos4Lagos is popular and we want to deviate from old order and showcase our strength in all the wards in Lagos State for internal democracy to play its role in APC, and to have an edge because we have a large membership strength in all the 245 wards in Lagos state.
“There is no how they won’t consider Lagos4Lagos having seen it practically in APC, and we won’t allow strange one to represent us at the state for we are member of APC from the scratch.
A traditional ruler in the area, Oba, Abideen Adekanbi Durosimi, prayed for the success of the group and expressed support for Jandor’s ambition as the next Governor of the state in 2023 governorship poll.
Meantime, Caretaker Committee Chairman, Lagos State chapter of APC, Tunde Balogun, said no parallel congress held in the state on Saturday, maintaining that members of the party agreed and went for a consensus arrangement to elect 37 Exco members each in all 245 Wards across the 20 local governments in Lagos.
Balogun said this while reacting to the rumour of parallel congress, even as he maintained that the consensus arrangement adopted by the state chapter of the party to elect its officials was sanctioned by the APC National headquarters, being part of the party’s constitution.
He stressed that consensus equally required that candidates would emerge through “yes” or voice vote, after they must have bought nomination forms, filled and submitted them to the appropriate quarter.
Speaking further on the parallel exercise purportedly held by some party members, Balogun said he was not aware of such, but quickly counseled that people should stop emphasizing things that would want to create problems in APC fold.
He said rather they should concentrate on things that would make the party cohesive, and not emphasising a particular candidate or person trying to do something outside what was agreed upon.
Balogun said: “Parallel, I don’t know that one. I want people to stop emphasising things that will want to create problems in our fold. Make us cohesive, not emphasising a particular candidate or person trying to do something.
“We want consensus and you know what consensus means, it is coexistence, coming together to make us one. Everyone is a member of the party, we are all brothers.
Also commenting on the exercise, caretaker Publicity Secretary of the state party, Mr Seye Oladejo, said, “It’s devoid of incidents as the consensus arrangement as provided for by our constitution, encouraged by the national headquarters and endorsed by the large majority of the leadership and membership of Lagos State APC was affirmed at the various venues of the ward congress across the state as witnessed by INEC, security agencies and other stakeholders.
“The success of the congress will no doubt reposition our party and promote unity of purpose as we look forward to the State Congresses and the National Convention.”