+ Party May Lose Some Councils If Imposition Persists- Chieftain Warns
+ Screening Committee Inaugurated As 800 Ward Aspirants, 250 Chairmanship Hopeful Submit Nomination Forms
If the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos goes into the July 24 Local Government elections with the present rancour trailing the run-up to the polls, then it should also be prepared to lose some seats to the opposition, Thepledge investigation has revealed.
In the last two weeks after the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) gave the green light for the elections and released its time table, aspirants have gone neck to neck in a bid to land the coveted ticket of the party in their various local governments.
From ward councillorship to Chairmanship positions, the hustle for the ticket has intensified in nearly all the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas.
While chairmen who are gunning for a second term in office are battling to secure their tickets, aspirants alike are fancying their chances to upset the apple cat, a situation that has thrown the party into a state of confusion.
One of the chieftains of the party in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area who preferred to remain anonymous has warned that the APC must be ready to see its total grip across the 57 councils come to an end if the gale of imposition of candidates on the people persists.
Relating the situation in Agbado Oke-Odo, he said the party is presently in a state of chaos with brazen imposition of candidates and substitution of names allegedly being spearheaded by party leaders close to the powers that be.
Thepledge learnt that incumbent Chairman, David Oladapo Famuyiwa who is completing the term of the late chairman, Augustine Arogundade who died about a year ago, is having a hard time and is currently running from pillar to post to secure the party ticket.
Already, the Council’s Supervisor for Works and Infrastructure, Alhaji Wahab R. O. Ajulo has resigned his appointment and has immediately thrown his hat into the race to slug the ticket out with Famuyiwa.
The race for the councillorship seats is also producing a fierce battle in the council after political leaders had attempted to use their influence to ensure that all the incumbent councils return unchallenged without any primaries.
But some youths, according to the party chieftain have vehemently opposed such move, warning that they will not hesitate to work against the APC if any imposition of candidate stands.
“The era of ‘baba so pe” is over in Alimosho and particularly in Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA. The people are craving for good governance and not people who have no passion to serve but see the office as a means to enrich themselves.
“I recently hosted some youths in the council who appealed to me to reach out to the Governor’s Advisory Council Members and our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene quickly and call these emergency party leaders who are currently playing ‘god’ to order, failure of which they will not be held responsible for the failure of the party at the polls,”he warned.
Just like in Agbado-Oke-Odo, disgruntled members from Iru-Victoria Island Local Government Area and Lagos Island Local Government Area are calling on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and the national leader of APC and members of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) to call on party leaders to abide by the decision taken on the mode of primaries for the council polls.
The members who had stormed a national newspaper to register their displeasure, said that while the GAC agreed to make use of the indirect primary method, where party members will vote for the aspirants of their choice, the leaders in the respective councils are plotting to use the consensus method so as to shut out other aspirants and pave way for their anointed candidates.
They accused Prince Tajudeen Olusi, the leader of Lagos Central Senatorial District of making moves to install his son, Adetoyese Olusi, who is the incumbent chairman of Lagos Island Local Government for another term despite what they called his “incompetence and maladministration in office.”
According to them, Olusi, who is the second in command to Tinubu in Lagos APC, is plotting to scheme out Prince Taorid Adewale Ojora, who is the popular choice of the people of Lagos Island from participating in the primaries.
In Iru-Victoria Island, they also accused a former council chairman, Hon. Abayomi Daramola, of allegedly bending the rules to favour Princess Rashidat Abiodun Adu, the incumbent chairman who is seeking a second term in office.
Olusi and Daramola have however denied the allegation of imposition leveled against them, insisting that the elections remain open to any interested person.
Meanwhile the APC in Lagos State on Tuesday set up its Screening Committee and Appeal Panel as part of efforts to ensure hitch-free shadow polls.
The Screening Committee is chaired by a renowned medical scholar, Prof Abayomi Durosinmi-Etti, while the Appeal Committee is led by former Deputy Governor of the State, Olufemi Pedro.
The two panels were inaugurated by the party Chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, who advised the members to serve honourably, diligently and creditably.
On Tuesday, the sale and submission of nomination forms ended. According to the party, no fewer than 1,000 aspirants are warming up for screening. They include over 800 councillorship aspirants and 250 chairmanship contenders.
The inauguration ceremony, held at the party office on Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja, was witnessed by former Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the legal adviser of the chapter, Demola Sodiq.
Other members of the Screening Committee are former state lawmakers-Babatunde Ogala (SAN), Oyinlomo Danmole and Adetoun Adediran (secretary), and Prof. Adeniyi Harrison.
The Appeal Committee members include Defence Oloke, Dr. Rasak Balogun, Folasade Baker and Sejuro Samuel.
Sodiq highlighted the terms of reference for the two committees, saying they are expected to discharge their assignments without favouritism.
Apart from the State Screening Committee, there are eight sub-screening committees that are saddled with the screening.
Source: The Pledge