Lagos APC on the brims of Collapse over Imposition of Candidates

Lagos APC on the brims of Collapse over Imposition of Candidates

Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kosofe area of Lagos State have protested the imposition of candidates in the recently concluded primary elections in the state.

 

The protesters rejected Hajia Kafilat Ogbara who emerged winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary for Kosofe Federal Constituency.

 

Ogbara Kafilat, a former commissioner of the Lagos State Audit Service Commission polled 44 votes to beat her closest opponent, Rotimi Agunsoye, who had one vote.

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The protesters accused the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu and other leaders of the party in the state of being behind the alleged imposition of some candidates on them. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, is also a presidential aspirant of the party.

 

Announcing the results at a primary held at Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Secretariat, the Chairman of the panel, Fuad Oki said, “By the powers conferred on me, I want to announce Hajia Kafilat Ogbara as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Kosofe Federal Constituency, after scoring the highest votes of 44. She is hereby declared the winner and returned elected.”

 

Meanwhile, the constituency members have demanded an extension of Agunsoye’s tenure claiming he is the current representative of the constituency.

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The members of the party, who flooded the streets on Thursday, alleged that party leaders disregarded the results of the primary elections and instead recognised candidates who lost out.

 

They carried placards bearing various inscriptions such as, “We are the grassroots, we own power of votes”, “Accept duly elected delegates in Kosofe”, “We say no to fake delegates”, “Grassroot voice is power, listen to it”, “We want justice in Kosofe, return the delegate list we voted for”.

 

Also, some of the protesters were heard saying in Yoruba, “We want our guarantor.”

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One of them said, “We believe in equity, justice and fairness, our leaders should come and explain what happened because we didn’t vote for Kafilat. I witnessed the election in seven wards and we voted for our candidates but we didn’t know what happened behind the scene.

 

“They should understand that democracy is not imposition. If we cannot elect our representatives, our leaders are biased and compromised.”

 

According to them, the party leaders have been induced by the candidates who lost out in the last primary.

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Also, the Lagos State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee, on Tuesday, said it had resolved the lone petition before it from an aspirant, Abdul-Ahmed Mustapha.

 

The Chairman of the three-man appeal committee, Ibrahim Akaje, disclosed this at a news conference after the outcome of the committee sitting in Lagos at the APC Secretariat in Ikeja,

 

He said the grievance was a family issue and had been looked into as a family.

 

“The only petition we received is the petition from Mr Abdul-Ahmed Mustapha. We have looked into the petition as a family and come to conclusion and agreement as family to understand ourselves amicably to move our party forward.

 

” For us to sit down on the same table now (with the petitioner) truly define APC as a party that stands for unity and progress.

 

“So, all that our meeting is saying now is that we had a family issue and we have looked into it as family,” he said.

 

Mr Mustapha had accused the party of locking him out of the venue of the governorship primaries, last week.

 

Earlier, Mr Akaje said the APC National Working Committee inaugurated the panel to look into issues that might arise from the conduct of the gubernatorial primary election of the party in the state.

 

“We are here in Lagos as an appeal committee of the APC to attend to any complaints that may have arisen from the conduct of the gubernatorial primary election.

 

“It is only normal that in any kind of democratic election, you are bound to have committed contestants who will raise issues which they feel were not handled properly.

 

“And APC with the emergence of its new leadership is desirous of making amends where applicable and uniting the party faithful as one big family.

 

“Our great party as a truly democratic vehicle is most obliged to provide an avenue for its members that feel aggrieved with the conduct of the primary election to seek redress.

 

“The committee received a single petition submitted by Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha, alleging that he was denied access and participation in the gubernatorial primary election,” he added.

 

Mr Akaje said that given that and to ensure justice and fairness, the complainant was invited and accorded a fair hearing in a peaceful meeting under a conducive atmosphere.

 

He said the report of the Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee confirmed that the election was a free, fair, peaceful, and transparent exercise.

 

Mr Akaje said: “The appeal committee received the petitioner who presented his matter extensively.

 

“After thorough analysis and deliberations on the matter, the committee subtly informed the petitioner that he was not cleared by the gubernatorial screening committee, the verdict of which was upheld by the screening appeal committee.

 

“Both parties, therefore, agreed to embrace peace and maintain unity for the good of the party and the state,” Mr Akaje said.

 

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu emerged winner of the governorship primaries conducted on Thursday, May 26, at Mobolaji Johnson Arena to run for a second tenure in the 2023 general elections, without any opponent.

 

Mr Mustapha, was also on the ground at the news conference by the appeal committee.

 

He promised to abide by the party’s decision, pledging to support the governor in the 2023 election.

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