A major crisis is brewing among stakeholders in the the Ifako-Ijaiye chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state over the vacant House of Representatives seat from the area.
The stakeholders are spoiling for war with one of the contestants for the federal constituency, Alhaji Nurudeen Olaitan Akinwunmi following claims that he had been endorsed by the Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.
Akinwunmi served as secretary first between 1999 and 2003 and later between 2008 and 2011 in the Ifako- Ijaiye Local Government Area.
Other contenders for the seat are Adekunle Olayinka, Banjo Omole, Tope Adewale, Adebayo Salvador, Honourable Josiah Abiola, Kayode Aremo, Ademola Doherty, Benjamin Olabimjo and Saka Fafunmi.
Akinwunmi met with members of the Executive Committee of APC in Ifako-Ijaiye as part of his ongoing campaign for chairmanship with a number of other contestants reportedly agreeing to work with him.
But it was learnt that others have vowed to resist what they perceived as a grand plot by some influential party members to impose a candidate on the party.
They have threatened to work for the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if APC leaders failed to gurantee a level-playing field during party primary.
Two principal officers of APC in Ifako-Ijaiye and Ojokoro council areas reportedly shunned the said meeting called by those backing Akinwunmi.
One of the aspirants, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was improper for any party leader from Alimosho local council to dictate to APC stakeholders in Ifako-Ijaiye and Ajekoro local government areas on the choice of chairmanship candidate, especially someone that not known to have contributed to emergence of incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“We don’t know him, he only comes in any time there is an opportunity like this to hijack whatever is available, and thereafter you would not see him any more until there is another round of opportunity. He has not been attending ward meetings with us,” the aspirant said.
Another contestant queried: “Where was Akinwunmi when we were battling to rally support for Governor Ambode during the election. We are resolved to vote PDP if the move to impose Akinwunmi succeeds,” he threatened.
But reacting, Akinwunmi denied that he was being sponsored by Governor Aregbesola for the position, saying he would not have campaigned vigorously as he was doing currently; meeting all the stakeholders in the party and seeking their support for the coming primary
The aspirant, who confirmed that he met with party EXCOs from Ifako- Ijaiye LCDA, said he would have preferred to sit at home doing nothing if he believed somebody was sponsoring him to have him imposed on others.
“I am preparing seriously for the primaries and when we get there, everybody would see me because I am prepared. Yesterday, I went to meet with the exco members in Ifako- Ijaiye. We have also met with all the ward chairmen in Ifako- Ijaiye and Ojokoro.
“I have been able to meet with the Elder’s Forum in Ifako- Ijaye. I have gone to meet all the leaders in Ojokoro. You can confirm what I am saying.
“If anybody is supporting me, I don’t need to do that. All I am saying is that I am going to meet with our people to ask for their votes. If I believe I am being sponsored, I will not go and meet with them now. I will not go, I will just sit down at home and be comfortable now.
“But I am preparing seriously for the party primary, please quote me. I am preparing seriously for it,” Akinwunmi said.