Aggrieved members petition Lagos APC

Prince Abiodun Ogunleye


• PDP factions bicker over candidates
• Labour Party sets for campaigns

The Appeal Committee set up by the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to look into the various petitions and complaints over the recently conducted local government chairmanship and councillorships primaries have rounded up its sitting.

Although, the total number of petitions received by the committee was not disclosed, a source in the party told The Guardian yesterday that most of the petitions bothered on imposition of candidates, disregard to Article 20 of the APC Constitution and denial of members of the right to elect their preferred candidates.

The Guardian gathered that the committee, which was headed by former Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye sat for four days and would present its report to the party’s executive any moment from now.

The Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Biodun Salami however dismissed allegation that the leadership of the party tried to influence the decision of the committee.

According to him, “The Appeal Committee has independent mandate to take a critical look into the various petitions brought before it and it has concluded its assignment.”

Although Salami could not ascertain the total number of petitions before the committee, he disclosed that any aggrieved aspirant who is not comfortable with the decision of the committee, could still appeal to the party’s executive.

Salami’s explanation came on the heels of various protests by aggrieved aspirants that stormed the party’s secretariat on ACME Road, Agindingbi last week to demand for the cancellation of the rancorous chairmanship primary held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere on May 27.

Some of the demands from the protesters include immediate intervention of the former governor of the state, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) in the matter.

Those that stormed the secretariat include protesters from Ajeromi Ifelodun, Surulere, Oriade among others.Speaking on how the party intends to address the issue of those that are bent on cancellation of the primaries, Salami assured that the party would treat all the complaints based on their merits and that it will also take appropriate action but for now it need to look into the report of the committee.”

As at yesterday, all aggrieved parties are awaiting the result of the committee before deciding on the next step to take. Some of the party officials contacted for comments simply said that the status quo remains pending the submission of the committee report and the decision of the state executive.

MEANWHILE, there is also a disquiet in the camp of the major opposition platform, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as chairmen of the two factions are laying different claims to which candidates should represent the party in the July 22 local government elections in the state.

Last week, when approached for comment, Segun Adewale, who is of the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction, insisted that based on the Port Harcourt Appeal Court verdict, which recognizes Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP “our group remain the authentic one and there is no reason the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) should, for whatever reason or purposes, deal or relate with the other faction in regard to the council election.”

According to him, “Until the Supreme Court says otherwise, we are the authentic PDP in Lagos State and our group has the legal mandate to present candidate for the election.”

But reacting to Adewale’s comment, the Chairman, Lagos State PDP Local Government Election Council, Tolagbe Animashaun, who is of the Senator. Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee insisted that the party has conducted its primaries across the 20 local government and the 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) successfully and the names have been forwarded to the appropriate quarters.

He however dismissed Adewale’s threat that LASIEC should desist from relating with his group based on the Port Harcourt Appeal Court verdict, as empty threat.According to him, “Until the apex court gives judgment, no faction has absolute or constitutional right because there is an appeal against the judgment he is laying claim to.”

The Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Pastor Abiodu Popoola disclosed yesterday that the party would introduce its candidates to the public soon while it’s campaign will start on Saturday at Oshodi-Isolo Local Government where the party will present its flag to its representatives.

While he expressed optimism that the LP will spring a surprise in the exercise, Popoola tasked LASIEC to ensure free, fair and level playing ground to enable the electorate in Lagos vote for the candidate of their choice.

He also appealed to the electorate to come out in large number to vote, saying, “The expected change can start from the council level if committed people were voted.”Meanwhile LASIEC chairperson, Justice Ayotunde Phillips has appealed to members of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) to assist the commission to end political violence in the state.

She made the appeal based on the violence that trailed the primaries in which two people were reported killed between last Saturday and Thursday. Phillips said she was particularly worried about the growing rate of violence, which is capable of impacting negatively on the elections if the situation is not quickly checked.

She disclosed that one of LASIEC staff was injured in the violence.The Chairman assured that the commission would beef up security at its headquarters to forestall a situation where political thugs would invade the office and turn it into a battlefield.

In this article:
Abiodun Ogunleye


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