There appears to be tension and uncertainty within the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC)ahead of the forthcoming elections into the 20 local governments and the 37 local council development areas.
The situation is not unconnected with the alleged secrecy regarding the list of chairmanship and councillorship candidates submitted by the party to the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).
The electoral commission had scheduled elections into the various councils across the state for Saturday July 22 and with few weeks to the date for the poll, there seems to be no clear indication who the candidates of the party are for the various posts.
The National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had in May this year met with some stakeholders of the party to tell them that 18 of such council chairmanship positions would not be contested for as the former holders were only first timers who should be allowed to do their second term.
At the meeting that had in attendance, the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, his deputy, Idiat Adebule and scores of other state officials both in the state and at the levels, Tinubu stated that apart from the 18 chairmen whom he praised for their efforts in the party the Sole Administrators who took over from Executive Secretaries (ES) of the LGs and LCDAs would not be allowed to contest in the election.
Though the decision of the party leader received mixed feelings amongst members, who would have preferred that the process be thrown open to all candidates but the primary election held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium became the litmus test for the party.
Trouble started midway into the event that saw delegates from across the 57 council converging at the sporting edifice as as members scampering into different directions owing to the violence that caused the event to end abruptly.
Delegates accused the Chairman of the Committee saddled with the task of conducting the primaries, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi of circumventing the process to pave the way for some unpopular candidates to emerge at the various councils.
In the ensuing melee, Afikuyomi was man-handled by delegates from Surulere and Lagos Mainland who openly protested against the names of candidates being read out by the former member of the upper legislative chambers.
Since the May 10 episode, suspense and anxiety have continued to dot feelings within the various camps supporting the aspirations of the candidates for the various offices in the state chapter of the APC.
“As I talk to you now, we are not sure who the candidate of the party is in Agege local government. We have a popular candidate that we are supporting but we have been told that another person has been declared the candidate of the party for our local government.” A party stalwart told BLACKFACE in Agege recently.
The state secretariat of the party located in Ogba area of the state have continued to witness upsurge in terms of flow of aggrieved members who from time to time come there daily to protect over one reason or the other regarding the outcome of the primaries.
When our reporters visited the secretariat on Monday, aggrieved members were seen carrying placards expressing their reservations on the outcome of the various primaries in some local councils.
The aggrieved members were prevented entry into the sprawling compound housing the party secretariat as their movements were restricted to the gates but a member from Badagry who pleaded not to be mentioned spoke with our reporters on the anxiety within the party in his council area.
“We are here to protest against the activities of the leaders of the party in Badagry who have decided to hijack the process by sidelining some aspirants and working to promote the candidature of their preferred aspirant.” The aggrieved member who pleaded not to be mentioned told our correspondent at the secretariat on Monday.
Efforts to speak with the any of the officials of the party have been futile as members of the state executive council were holding marathon meeting on how to douse the tension within the party.
A return the following day, (Tuesday) yielded little fruits as a staff told us that a true position on the state of the party would be known by Friday.
“As you can see, all members of the executive council have been meeting on the current developments within the Lagos State chapter of the APC. You can’t speak with them as you can see but something concrete would be communicated on Friday.” The official stated.
The Spokesman for LASIEC, Mr. Oladotun Oladapo was not forthcoming on information regarding whether or not the APC has submitted a list to the commission, he initially promised to contact Permanent Secretary in charge of the commission before volunteering information.
When contacted on Friday however, Oladapo stated that clearance could only be given by the Chairman of the commission, Justice Ayotunde Philips, whom he stated is out of the country as at the time of filing this reports.
A source within the commission told BLACKFACE that the commission has indeed received a list containing the names of the candidates from the party and that LASIEC was only doing what he (the source) was the process of validation of the names.
“The commission has received the list from all the political parties, what we have been doing is to validate the names in the list.” He said.