AGGRIEVED aspirant to vacant House of Representatives’ seat for Ifako- Ijaiye Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Mr James Adisa Owolabi, has cautioned some party leaders involved in imposition of their choice candidates to stop peddling the name of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to perpetrate their negative attitude towards growth of internal democracy in the party.
Owolabi, who said the party should rise above such negative culture and embrace internal democracy now, maintained that it has since been discovered that Tinubu had nothing in connection with what those leaders do to ensure imposition of their preferred candidates on the party.
The APC chieftain, who contested the last party primary, which he lost to Honourable Nurudeen Akinwunmi, made this call while addressing newsmen at his Ifako-Ijaiye campaign office.
Owolabi, who recalled that he had been in progressives camp for the past 32 and made to step down about three times for choice candidates, said, “Many of this developments, I am sure our national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would never be a part of.
“There were clear instances of intimidation right in the premises where the primary was held, had I emerged winner against their plan that day of primary, I could have been dead by now. Close to 120 armed individuals were all over the place to unleash mayhem,” he added.
The APC chieftain, however, maintained that he remained strongly committed, saying nothing would make him quit the party.
Owolabi, who addressed newsmen alongside his wife, Alhaja Fatimoh, has, however, called on the Lagos APC Chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale, to try all within his power to ensure that the Lagos Waste Management Authourity restore the PSP Waste Operator’s licence given to his wife under the name Oye Balogun Enterprises to transact business with the agency.
According to Owolabi, the PSP had written to withdraw the licence penultimate Friday morning, which was the day the primary exercise took place, on account that he failed to withdraw from the race despite pressure on him to do so.
The letter signed by the Executive Chairman, Olumuyiwa Adejokun, and dated November 11, 2016, with ref no WMA/PSP/0267/1/IND/34 goes with the titled, ‘Revocation of Licence as a Major Private Sector Participant (PSP) Waste Operator in Abule- Egba/Ilupeji Ward of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area,” and reads thus:
“Please refer to your letter of appointment as a Major PSP Waste Operator for Abule- Egba/Ilupeju of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area dated September 25, 2007, and in strict compliance to the appropriate standard of operations which are pre-conditions to continuous renewal of your licence as a Private Sector Participant (PSP) in Municipal Solid Waste Management.
“Sequel to the above, it has been established that your organisation has been in violation of the standard of operations as established by the Lagos waste Management Authority Law 2015 and as such your licence as a PSP Waste Operator in Abule- Egba/Ilupeju Ward of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area is hereby revoked with immediate effect.”
Speaking further, Owolabi, who said that his wife never received any query from the agency to warrant revocation of her licence, disclosed that he had since reported the matter to the party leadership at the council, who he learnt had alerted the APC Chairman in the state, Otunba Henry Ajomale.
“I am calling on Otunba Ajomale to intervene in the matter now, I believe in the leadership of Asiwaju Tinubu. All they did in his name, he knows nothing about them,” he said.
“My supporters are aggrieved. I have been calming them down telling them to keep the peace and that things would not continue this way,” he further said, wondering, “What kind of intimidation is that?”
When contacted on phone, spokesperson of Lagos State chapter of APC, Mr Joe Igbokwe, said the claim made by Owolabi that a candidate, Akinwunmi, was imposed on the party was not true.
According to Igbokwe, the party was not aware of any act of imposition or intimidation concerning the primary exercise, saying that the fact that Owolabi did not win and somebody else won should not discourage him from trying his luck next time.
“He (Owolabi) should not be discouraged, he should still try his luck and next time he might be lucky to pick the party’s ticket,” he said.