+ Gbajabiamila, Obafemi Hamzat, Others Fingered In Imposition Fiasco
Last weekend’s local government primaries election in Lagos has left leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) enraged at the disarray that has engulfed the party apparatchik in the State.
The exercise conducted across the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas was severely marred by widespread violence in most of the councils, while cases of electoral fraud, voters intimidation and thuggery was on public display and as a result, elections could not hold in some wards.
Sadly, at least five persons allegedly lost their lives including two persons shot dead in Surulere, while accusations and counter accusations were flying from all corners since the primaries.
Interestingly, the complaints, protests and outrage that greeted the process has prevented the Party leadership from announcing the results of the primaries as aspirants and party leaders wait with bated breathe.
Nevertheless, some aspirants have taken to their social media pages to claim victory at the elections, while some others have out rightly called on the leadership to cancel the exercise, insisting that the process was marred with irregularities and therefore should not be allowed to stand.
But Thepledge findings on Monday reveal that top leaders of the party are deeply saddened and angry by the fiasco that greeted the weekend’s election.
According to one of the top chieftains of the party, who spoke exclusively to Thepledge, the local government election was the worst poitical exercise in the history of the party’s existence and neither can the party shy away from the realities on ground.
According to him, the leaders of the party, especially members of the Governors Advisory Council (GAC) are worried by the outcome of the election and the brouhaha that has trailed the process, fearing that it could come back to haunt the party in future elections, especially in 2023.
“The leaders are not happy and they have said that this is perhaps the worst outing so far. To them, if care is not taken, it will be the beginning of the end of the APC in Lagos State and it may eventually affect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s chances in 2023.
The source, who chose not to be mentioned, said the party leadership was particularly piqued by moves by some of its leaders to impose candidates on the people, despite instruction to desist from doing so.
Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who is the head of the Committee for the Local Government elections was fingered as part of the clique attempting to impose candidates in some councils, “which has backfired and created bad blood, distrust and chaos in the party”
“Right now, Tinubu’s base is in shambles. The whole process on Saturday has worsened the situation. How can the Deputy Governor who headed the electoral panel be writing names of candidates in Epe, Ifako Ijaiye and Mushin? This is the height of impunity.
“In Surulere, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon, Femi Gbajabiamila despite pleas to allow a peaceful electoral process still indirectly interfered with the process and sadly it led to the loss of lives. This is not the hallmark on which the APC is built on. How can we defend this in the name of democracy which we preach?
“Also in Alimosho, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Obasa’s influence on the process has done more harm than good. Almost in every council, there is external interference, clash of interests especially from top party chieftains and this is not in any way healthy for the party.”
On the delay of the announcement of results, the chieftain said the party leaders were looking up to Tinubu to step in an resolve the lingering crisis in order to prevent it from degenerating into a full blown crisis.
“Right now, they (party leaders) are waiting for Tinubu to do the right thing and take the necessary action. Everything is in a mess, the violence and electoral malpractice and if such is allowed to stand, it will not augur well for the party.”
A visit to the party secretariat in Acme by our correspondent showed that the road leading to the secretariat was cordoned off by fully armed security personnel from the Lagos State Police Command led by the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, even as motorists were advised to use other alternative routes.
The development, a security personnel told Thepledge was an instruction from the party leadership ahead of the announcement of the outcome of Saturday’s election.
Earlier, a source close to the party chairman told our correspondent that the results were not taken to the party secretariat, but to an undisclosed location to enable the party hierarchy take a final decision before a public