Less than 24 hours to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos chapter chairmanship and councillorship primaries, party members have marched on streets to kick against House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila’s alleged impositions of candidates for Surulere Local Government primaries, using the party leadership to screen other aspirants out.
The party faithfuls, who expressed their dissatisfaction over Gbajabiamila’s plans to handpick chairmanship and councillorship candidates for the party, appealed that the National leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, intervene and direct the lawmaker to allow all aspirants equal opportunities in becoming the party’s standard-bearer for the elections.
As gathered, the protesters barricaded major roads within the council on Friday to demand that their opinion be entertained by APC leadership since Tinubu has directed that no one should impose his candidate on other members across the state during primaries.
The protesters, who were armed with placards bearing different inscriptions to express their displeasure over new developments ahead of the primaries scheduled for Saturday, May 29th, 2021, threatened to truncate the exercise across the council.
VIDEO: Lagos APC members protest against Gbajabiamila’s candidates imposition ahead LGs primaries pic.twitter.com/rPzhpYplnf
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Aside from the banners with unprinted words, the APC members chanted differents songs to express their grievances against the Speaker and the party leaders for imposing their anointed aspirants on members after lobbying members of the screening committee to disqualify other aspirants seeking to become APC flagbearer.
Speaking to The Guild, one of the protesters, who did not want his name mentioned, alleged that the shenanigans perpetrated by the Speaker were more pronounced in Ward E, Akinhanmi Cole, where other aspirants were uncleared aside his anointed candidate, Barakat Bakare-Akande, was the sole aspirants cleared by the Lanre Ogunyemi led screening committee.
He added that aspirants not cleared by the committee, even after presenting all necessary documents requested by the members, from the ward were Bello Nurudeen and Babatunde Thomas and that they were screened out by Gbajabiamila after realizing that they could prevent her from winning the polls.
The protester further alleged that after edging them out, the committee delayed making outcome of their exercise public after realizing that an uproar could occur among party members as to credibility of the exercise carried out to determine APC candidate for the exercise to be conducted by Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) for the council.
According to him, as earlier promised by the leaders that the outcome would be made public but it was paste less than 48 hours to the exercise by the party leadership within the council less than 24 hours to the primaries.
“We discovered that all through this while, the outcome was released to the APC council chairman, who refused to paste on the instruction of Gbajabiamila, who had allegedly bought the leaders over to his camp, as well as ensuring that it was excluded from others paste after the exercise at APC secretariat.
“And with the look of things now, how will the aspirants not cleared appeal the result announced by the screening committee because they release the result when the appeal window was already closed. And this was released at about 10 pm yesterday.
“The party leaders have compromised including the ward chairmen and other executive members. All these were decisions taken to ensure that the party members’ opinions are silent. And since they do not want that, we also will not allow the primaries to hold in any of the wards in Surulere”.