LG poll: primaries and the melodrama across board

    Consequent upon the conduct of party primary a precursor to the eventual conduct of the July 22nd council poll, series of discrepancies have been noticed from the camps of the two political parties supposedly wrestling for the control of the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State.

    The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the Segun Adewale(Aeroland)-led faction is presently holding a scattered primary for both the chairmanship and councillorship aspirants across the 57 councils in the state, not minding the power tussle and stalemate rocking it, as the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led faction with Hon. Moshood Salvador as chairman refused to close rank with that of Ali-Modu Sheriff led by Aeroland.

    However, all seems not well as a phone call conversation with Segun Adewale at exactly 11:10am indicated that now form of compromise or consensus had been reached between it and Makarfi group.

    Aeroland stated that, “in strict adherence to PDP constitution five principal officers from each local government, five officials from the wards and three delegates are involved in the primary,which will be held simultaneously in all the councils and we are hopeful that by 4pm today the results will start rolling.

    Commenting on the modalities to have a hitch free primary across board,Adewale noted that things in proper shape and well thought out strategies are in place to ensure smooth conduct of the primary.

    In a telephone conversation with Hon.Moshood Salvador,he denied having any concurrence with the other camp as he remained the authentic PDP chairman in Lagos state.

    “I am the authentic chairman of PDP in Lagos state,we have had our primary before now, I never called for the particular primary you are talking about so go and meet those who informed you about it,but I will teach you politics just wait and see,” Salvador retorted.

    Concerning his alleged movement to Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) he refuted the claim stressing that these mere antics of his political detractors who knows no jack about party politics.

    It will be recalled that Aeroland had recently announced a shift in the date of the primary to today, 26th of May 2017.

    On the other platform,the All Progressive Congress (APC all appears not well either prior to the May 27th day slated for her Chairmanship primary and 29th for that of the Councillorship aspirants,owing to the compulsion of the party machinery to ensure the return of  former first term 18 executive chairmen back to the council saddle by the National leader of the party Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu in concurrence with major stakeholders of APC.

    The APC National Legal Adviser Barr. Muiz Banire is getting prepared for continuous litigation, that may likely greet the outcome of tomorrow’s primaries citing the constitutional inconsistencies as the Lagos APC conduct primaries election for all the aspirants in a centralised location insisting that such will be an exercise in futility.

    A unified primary election is scheduled to hold tomorrow, May 27 at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

    Banire, in a letter addressed to the State Chairman, Henry Ajomale dated May 22, 2017 argued that the move was alien to the party constitution stressing that the Local Government Executives are empowered by the APC constitution to  designate suitable venues for the exercise.

    He said, “As the custodian of the party constitution, It is of utmost necessity for me to say immediately that this will not be in consonant with the letter and the spirit of the constitution. The (APC) constitution confers the power to designate the venue of such council primaries in the party Executive of the Local Government’.

    Banire said in other states, local government primary elections were never done in centralized locations including Benue State chapter of the APC that recently held its primaries.

    He therefore asked the state chairman to comply with the provision of the APC constitution by stopping all arrangements for tomorrow’s centralised primaries and allowed the local government executives to designate venue for the exercise in their respective councils.

    The APC legal adviser added “I must say that I do not want to believe that the essence of seeking to centralize the conduct of the primaries is to manipulate and rig the process in favour of certain imposed candidates.

    “To avoid this, and in line with our great party’s practice of publicizing the conduct of primaries (right from the conduct of primary for presidential election to the primaries for election at the state level – gubernatorial and National assembly), the same tradition must continue with the primaries into local governments.

    “I am also aware that the National body is sending monitors while observers are expected at the various venues.

    “I urge transparency and fairness in the conduct of the primaries. It is necessary to avoid any exercise in futility”.

    Pockets of misgivings are also spotted in Surulere,Ejigbo,Alimosho,Ayobo-Ipaja LCDAs,Agege LGA and Orile Agege LCDA,Ojokoro LCDA and some other areas,party faithful were of the view that necessary guidelines need be adhered to strictly but there are some deliberate moves by unscrupulous elements within the party structure hellbent on forcing their will on the people at lower base of the political hierarchy.

    In Ejigbo for instance,aggrieved stakeholders are of the view that erstwhile ACN executives ought not to be their party delegates at the APC primaries,stating that such a development would allegedly pave way for the untowards plans by some ill motivated persons in the party to have a field day.

    “You may be aware, wards and Local Government Area executives in Ejigbo have been elected since 2009 before the merger of political parties that produced All Progressives Congress (APC) as formed on the 6th of February, 2013 and became a registered political party on the 31st of July, 2013.

    “All attempts made by the party to organize another

    congress to elect other valid ward and LGA executives in the council as contained in the constitution of the party  were not successful due to an attempt of the former Chairman of the council, Hon Kehinde Bamigbetan to impose his loyalists just like he did in 2007 as executives.

    “While other 56 LGA and LCDAs in Lagos organized congresses and elected their executives early 2014, such never happened in Ejigbo.

    “The implication of this is that, roles and activities as may be carried out by these executives appointed when the party was known as Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) are invalid and can be challenged in the court of law because they were elected by a non-existing entity.

    “We unequivocally condemn activities of the supposed leaders of the party in Ejigbo who decided to set up different caucuses instead of working as a formidable team in order to restore the lost glory of the party in the community”.

    The group however raised posers on the likelihood of what may obtain due to the misnomer ,do we have valid delegates to determine who becomes councillorship and chairmanship candidates in Ejigbo LCDA? Why has it been difficult to organize successful congresses since 2013? Why do we have Eight (8) different caucuses in the LCDA? Why do members of these caucuses attach more importance to their group than the political party, herself.Why has it been difficult for the supposed leaders of the party in the council to address issues of shameful failure at the last general elections since 2015.Why as leaders at the state level not intervened in the issues of Ejigbo but allowed it to deteriorate to the level whereby enmity between caucuses is more gruesome than what exists between APC and PDP. Chief Ajomale rather created more problems by creating and diverting party money to sponsor his caucus (Crusader) that only exists in Ejigbo.Why are the leaders of different caucuses chairmanship aspirants?

    Why is Chief Ajomale trying to impose an aspirant from his caucus(Crusader) when he single handedly imposed his biological son (Ladi Ajomale) as candidate for House of Assembly and Hon Muniru as candidate for House of Representatives in 2015 and brought the party to shame with the colossal failure recorded by the party at the polls.

    Why is Chief Ajomale requesting for chairmanship slot in Ejigbo as his retirement benefit when he is not in the civil service and does not live in the community? Why is Chief Taiwo who brought his son who never lived in Ejigbo as Special Adviser in 2012 and same son as SOLE Administrator of Oshodi LGA trying to impose someone who was sacked as SLG due to his corrupt practices as Chairman of same council. We are aware he is also planning to impose his biological daughter as SLG. This is same man who belongs to GAC of the party, but does not live in Lagos and whose son recently contested under PDP in Ogun State. We are aware he belongs to PDP in Ogun State because he single handedly sponsored his son’s campaign activities under PDP in Ogun State.

    They however called on the state party leadership to conduct a fresh congress in Ejigbo whereby the new executives can participate as delegates during the coming primary elections or choose any of the three (3) neutral chairmanship aspirants as flag bearer to prevent the recurrence of 2015.

    In Alimosho and Ayobo-Ipaja where the seating Governor of Osun state Engr. Rauf Aregbesola holds the ace, skirmishes are imminent as able bodied individuals resident in the area are poised to kick against imposition of candidate,citing it as move against the will of the people.

    In Agege LGA and Orile-Agege LCDA the unfolding scenario seem entirely different as the current Speaker of the state,Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who singlehandedly placed the serving sole administrators in the two places is resolved to show his prominence again at the coming council poll as he plans to fuel the emergence of his choice candidates in the areas mentioned,but this is clearly averse to the political ordering that clearly favours the serving Member of the Federal House of Representatives,Hon. Taofeek Adaranijo representing Agege federal constituency.

    Although Obasa wields more influence with his speakership position,keen political watchers are of the view that the Adaranijo factor is not a mean political stature to contend with, as he singlehandedly rooted out and displaced former MHR now Commissioner for Environment Dr. Babatunde Adejare and that he still has good rapport with the grassroots. Adaranijo has however been absent at major public functions that has much to do with his constituency lately.

    In Ojokoro LCDA,greed of the party leaders are pointers to the grey spot as individuals jostling for the party’s councillorship ticket had to part with huge amount of money to get their positive nod. Certain political figures in the area have however waded in to stem the likely fallout,as the embers of war remain fired up.