.Over 3,000 threaten to defect
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Pandemonium brokeout on Monday evening when aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos, went wild to protest alleged manipulations in the last party’s primaries conducted in some local government areas of the state.
However, the deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Femi Hamzat, was able to calm frayed nerves in the ensuing melee when he arrived at the state party’s Secretariat, in Acme, Ogba.
It was gathered that the truce meeting was called by the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, to find lasting solutions to various complaints over the results of the last primaries held across the state.
The meeting which commenced earlier was abruptly brought bro a halt as suspected political miscreants from Lagos Mainland reportedly took over the venue of the stakeholders’ meeting.
Senior members of the party were reportedly harassed by the miscreants while many were shut out from accessing the meeting room.
The suspected political thugs were allegedly from two contending factions of the party from Mainland, with a retiring member of the House of Representatives (name withheld) said to be the leader of one of the groups.
The chieftain who is a candidate for an office in 2023 election, said he was stopped from driving his car into the party secretariat and some suspected thugs stopped him from accessing the meeting room.
Another prominent party leader, Honourable Fouad Oki, also addressed the gathering, according to a present source.
The meeting was later rescheduled, without a definite date.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, who was absent at the meeting, is to now chair the rescheduled parley.
Meanwhile, Hamzat subsequently, concluded the meeting handing it over to GAC member and leader of the party in Lagos Central senatorial district, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, with the mandate to intervene in the crisis and resolve the lingering crisis.
According to an eyewitness who preferred anonymity, “The Local Government in question is Lagos Mainland which has several knotty issues that needs to be cleared and managed.
“The protest was very normal to us, as party members, it was bound to, but the Deputy was the main person that handled and calmed the situation.”
The APC spokesman in the state, Seye Oladejo was unavailable as of press time for comment.
In a similar situation, ahead of the 2023 general elections, members APC, on Lagos, as supporters of House of Representatives aspirant, Prince Idris Balogun, in the Alimoso Federal Constituency, chapter, have threatened to defect to another party over the seeming injustice done to the aspirant during the party primaries.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend, the supporters, led by their spokesman, Olalere Oyetola, lamented that despite that their candidate, Prince Balogun, popularly called “Oluomo Kafata,” being the most popular and widely accepted aspirant, the leadership of the party gave its House of Representatives’ ticket to another aspirant.
According to Oyetola, “We’re supporters of Oluomo Kafata and we are registering our grievances and displeasure at the injustice done to him during the last primaries of the party,” Oyetola said.
“Balogun has been the man who has been driving the party forward in Alimoso Federal Constituency.
“He has been empowering people of all cadres: students, women, widows and party members. Over 5,000 people have benefitted and more are still benefitting from his empowering programmes “
Oyetola stressed, “Balogun has been doing everything in the name of the party and he has been able to put the party in the consciousness of the people.
“His empowerment programmes have been second to none. This is a man who has purchased buses to convey school children to and from school in the name of the party.
Oladejo, who confirmed receipt of the protest, said there was no cause for the alarm as the party leadership has waded into the matter with the view to resolving the issue amicably.
According to Oladejo, “We’re well aware of a number of outstanding issues as a fall out of the last primaries on. Alimosho and other areas.
“The party has its internal mechanism to resolve conflicts. This and others will be sorted out in due course so that we can face the forthcoming elections as a united family.”