Some aggrieved aspirants and members of the All Progressives Congress on Sunday visited the State secretariat of the All Progressives Congress to express their displeasure over the local government primary elections held on Saturday.
The aspirants, who visited the State secretariat accompanied by their supporters, lamented how the election was allegedly flooded with irregularities and rigged to favor some aspirants
Among the aggrieved aspirants was the chairmanship aspirant of Ijede Local Council Development Area, Oluwatosin Onamade, who complained of how the incumbent Chairman of Ijede LCDA, Fatiu Salisu, who was disqualified on the eve of the primary election replaced his name on the ballot paper.
A petition addressed to the Chairman, APC Election Appeal Committee, and signed by his lawyer, Onamade, read in part, “Fatiu Jimoh was disqualified by the party and was declared not to be eligible to participate in the primaries and which paved the way for two out of the three screened aspirants namely: Oluwatosin Onamade and Akeem Akinjobi to participate in the election.
“Our client was amazed that on Saturday, 29 May, 2021, the name of mrs Tunrayo Gbadebo Alogba was purportedly listed as a candidate for the primary election. This came as a surprise because Mrs. Alogba did not purchase the chairmanship form and she was not screened and cleared by the party screening committee. Her name was not reflected and or listed among the candidates for the chairmanship primary election.”
Another aggrieved member, Samson Adesegun, said, “Our leaders have done the right thing by throwing open the electives position to all members. But how do we explain the injustice and daylight robbery perpetrated by the electoral officers and the Ward Chairmen?
“How did they arrive at election results in Wards where elections were not held? We have confidence in the leadership of our party and we are sure they will correct all the irregularities.”
An aspirant for the Surulere council chairmanship ticket, Idris Aregbe, in a statement, appealed that the National leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, and other Governor Advisory Council members intervene and address members’ agitations.
The APC youth organising secretary said, “Quite, unfortunately, the election was hijacked by sponsored thugs, which resulted in the loss of lives as two youths were killed and several injured.
“In a ploy to subvert the will of the people, members were not allowed to vote or even move closer to the polling units as these sponsored thugs were deployed across Surulere to destabilize the electoral process.
“This act is barbaric, undemocratic, and unacceptable and it must stop. Our people cannot be disenfranchised by having candidates imposed on them.
Spokesman of the party, Seye Oladejo, however, said the primary election held across 20 Local Government, 37 LCDAs, and 377 Wards witnessed a large turnout of members and was successful.
He empathised with members who were victims of the reported cases of skirmishes in the process of exercising their franchise.
He said, “The statewide exercise witnessed a large turnout of members who cast their votes for preferred aspirants through the open secret ballot mode as stipulated by the guidelines.
“We acknowledge with regrets the reported few cases of skirmishes in a few wards with the attendant fallouts. We empathize with the victims of the unfortunate incident.
“While we await the formal reports of the electoral officials, we wish to admonish the security agencies to conduct thorough investigations to bring the culprits to book and maintain law and order.
“We wish to reiterate that hoodlums, cultists and other outlaws are not members of our party and will not be tolerated. The untoward intervention of external forces within the progressive fold should be resisted by all and sundry.”