LG poll: Aggrieved members, aspirants protest at APC secretariat second day running

Protesters at the APC secretariat in Lagos.

Aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) members and aspirants to the chairmanship post in the coming local government election holding on July 22, 2017 stormed the party secretariat on ACME Road, Agidingbi in Lagos on Wednesday to denounce imposition of candidates by their leaders in both Ajeromi- Ifelodun and Oriade Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) of the state.

The protesters, who came holding placards with various inscriptions, including: “The charlatan leader of Ajeromi must go,” “APC leader, let the choice of people count in Oriade,” “We are not happy with Afikuyomi,” “We want primary at Oriade,”We don’t want Ayeola in Ajeromi- Ifelodun,” demanded that the party must allow a level-play field by calling for a free and fair primary where the people’s choice would emerge.

Nigerian Tribune learnt that, while the protest was on, the Appeal Committee headed by former Deputy Governor, Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye was meeting to attend to various petitions before it.

Protesters from Amuwo-Odofin had taken their turn at the same party secretariat earlier on Tuesday, with much similar concern.

The aggrieved party members from Ajeromi- Ifelodun and Oriade LCDAs had stormed the APC office around 1pm, but were prevented from gaining entry into the premises of the secretariat which they tried desperately to do, even as men of the Rapid Response Squared (RRS) led by their Commander, Olatunji Disu mobilised to the venue to prevent breakdown of law and order.

Speaking with newsmen, Comrade Peter Aga, who was among those that led the protesters from Ajeromi- Ifelodun, said they had to embark on the protest in order to register their grievances on the way and manner one Ayoola Fatai Adekunle was being imposed on party members as the chairmanship candidate by an APC leader in the area.

Aga, who said Ajeromi- Ifelodun consisted of two parts, namely Ajeromi and Ajegunle side, lamented that past candidates and office holders, including current ones had always emerged from Ajeromi.

He vowed that the practice must stop, insisting that it was now the turn of Ifelodun, consisting of Ajegunle to produce the chairmanship candidate of APC, adding: “If Baba Oluwa is sure of his candidate, Ayoola Fatai Adekunle, let him bring him to the field to contest the primary.”

Speaking on behalf of protesters from Oriade, Comrade Omosona Olakunle, said what the people were protesting against was the imposition of a former member of Lagos State House of Assembly, Ramatalai Akinola Hassan as local government chairmanship candidate.

He recalled that the same former lawmaker was imposed in 2011 and 2015 as against one party member, Wale Raufu, who had won the primaries to contest the House of Assembly’s seat, contending that such impunity led to the APC loss of the seat to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2015 election.

Addressing the protesters later, the deputy spokesperson for Lagos chapter of APC, Mr Biodun Salami, appealed to them to explore all the processes as provided for by the party constitution.

Salami, who said the party was ready to address their grievances, drew their attention to the fact that an Appeal Committee had since been set up, headed by an eminent APC leader, Alhaji Ogunleye.

He, therefore, urged them to go and list out their grievances in form of petitions to be sent to the Appeal Committee of the party, assuring that the committee would do a better job, even as he further assured that the executives of APC could still address such grievances if they felt the Appeal Committee had not performed to their satisfaction.

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