Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has been accused of deliberately destroying the political party system in Nigeria during his tenure in a desperate bid to perpetuate himself in power.
Erstwhile Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, who made the accusation in an exclusive chat with Sunday Telegraph, said the heavy blow Obasanjo dealt on the party system is largely responsible for the weakness of the political parties today.
According to Odinkalu, the former President, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), perfected a system of poaching the other political parties in order to cripple these parties. Obasanjo, he said, did not also spare his own party, as he also enthroned the garrison command structure circumstances, which destroyed internal democracy in the party.
“There is one thing Obasanjo did among many. He destroyed the party system in Nigeria and the reason we are where we are is because Obasanjo took hold of the party system and destroyed it between 2003 and 2006 in his bid to become a life president through the Third Term Agenda.
“In his first term as President, Obasanjo cannibalized talents in the other parties and that was how Bola Ige came into government from the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Alhaji Waziri joined from the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). He poached these people without going through the party structure and this meant that a crisis of confidence began to brew within those parties. This crisis of confidence was never resolved. Chief Bola Ige got assassinated while trying to go back to the AD and then you had this orgy of assassinations in the run up to the Third Term aspiration, which obviously did not succeed.
“At some point, he got into this arrangement with APGA by which the elections in 2003 held under an Electoral Act whose constitutionality has been questioned by the Court of Appeal.
“Obasanjo got into this arrangement with APGA by which the Supreme Court Appeal by APGA and Odumegwu Ojukwu was suborned and that subordination ultimately led to the splattering of APGA. By the time he was finished with the parties, ANPP was dead, APGA was splintered and in trouble and the AD was gone because he had chased all the governors out of their seats in the South-West.
“At the end of the day, the PDP was the only party left and he then began his re-registration and de-registration which he used to dislodge anybody he did not want; took over the party and installed retired generals to be in charge of the party structure and PDP was gone.
“So the reason why we are where we are today is Obasanjo and it is unfortunate that in the twilight of his life, he is now beginning to talk about things that he destroyed when he had the opportunity to build a credible political system,” he said.
Odinkalu expressed disappointment at what he described as Obasanjo’s “arrogant, omniscience attitude” towards political issues in Nigeria and said he ought to take a break and allow people with fresh ideas to lead political discourse.
Alluding to Obasanjo’s recent negative verdict that neither the PDP nor the APC is good enough to take Nigeria to its Promised land, Odinkalu said the former leader has expressed his own opinion but the final decision must be reserved for the Nigerian electorate.
Read full interview on pages 22 and 27
Okorocha, Ortom, Ogbeh, ministers, senators lose out
As reactions continue to trail last Saturday’s ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the country, results of the exercise show that most senators and ministers lost control of the party’s structures in their respective wards. Most governors, however, seized the opportunity to affirm their grip on structures at the grassroots. Among the states where the governors held forth according to findings by New Telegraph include Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Kaduna, Ondo, Niger, Bauchi, and Zamfara. It was, however, mixed fortunes for the governors of Imo and Benue states, Rochas Okorocha and Samuel Ortom, who lost to opposing camps in their respective states.
In Bauchi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, was also schemed out by Governor Mohammed Abubakar. The Speaker and his supporters did not participate in the ward congress. But Senate President Bukola Saraki took charge in Kwara State.
In states under the control of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) such as Rivers and Akwa Ibom, political appointees like ministers and heads of agencies of governments and parastatals held sway. Among senators who had poor outing at the ward congresses are Senators Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central), Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North), Solomon Adeola (Lagos West), Magnus Abe (Rivers South East), Nafiz Gamawa (Bauchi North), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano Central), Lanre Tejuosho (Ogun Central), Yele Omogunwa (Ondo South), David Umaru (Niger East), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) and Kabiru Marafa (Zamfara Central).
The ministers are Chief Audu Ogbeh (Agriculture), Babatunde Fashola (Power, Works and Housing), Abubakar Malami (Justice) and Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs). Imo: Okorocha out in the cold as senators take over party structure An alliance of two serving senators of the APC, two former senators, Imo State deputy governor and other key stakeholders of the party overwhelmed Governor Rochas Okorocha and his faction of the party at the ward congress of the party.
The governor who watched them forge the alliance and strategize toward upstaging his faction in the congress, took the ‘Allied Forces’ for granted. Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, representing Imo North, who was Okorocha’s Speaker in his first term and Senator Hope Uzodinma, representing Imo West, who joined the party recently and pitched his tent with the Imo APC ‘Allied Forces’ teamed up with Senator Osita Izunaso, the National Organizing Secretary of the party and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume to scheme Governor Okorocha out during the congress.
While the senators commended party faithful for their support and hopefully waiting for ratification of the result of the exercise, Okorocha and his group, who alleged that sensitive congress materials were hijacked, are calling for the cancellation of the exercise. Apparently beaten, the governor, on Sunday, jetted out to Daura, Katsina State to consult with President Muhammadu Buhari on his precarious situation in the party and the need for Mr. President to intervene and save his political career.
Benue: Ortom, Ogbeh shut out Results of the congress from Benue State showed that the senator representing Benue North West and former governor of the state, Senator George Akume, controls the APC structure in the state. But, Governor Samuel Ortom, in his reaction, said he came into the party when there was no structure on ground and so he is not bothered whether “he controls the structure of my party or not.” New Telegraph gathered that the governor was unable to take charge of the party’s structure in his Nzorov council ward in Guma local government area.
Also shut out during the congress was the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who fell to the political scheming in his Zone C axis, where he was unable to produce a single member of ward exco. Kebbi: Malami’s camp flays exercise In Kebbi State, a faction of the party loyal to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Mallami, expressed dismay over the conduct of the ward congress.
A former governor of the state, Adamu Aliero, who currently represents Kebbi Central in the National Assembly, also lost out as Governor Atiku Bagudu’s loyalists emerged after the exercise. Enugu: Onyeama kicks as Nwoye okays congress Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who had a parallel congress in his Eke ward in Udi Local Government Area of the state, where the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, who hails from the ward, similarly had a separate congress, has kicked against the exercise.
Addressing his loyalists in Enugu, Onyeama said he was sidelined alongside his loyalists. He attributed the conduct of the parallel congresses to a flawed process that excluded a significant part of the party faithful in the state. He added that leaders of the party in the state, including the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, Juliet Ibekaku, were also excluded from the process. Ondo: Senators, Reps, House of Assembly defectors shut out All the three senators under the platform of the APC lost out in the ward congress of the party held in Ondo State at the weekend. Also, all the six members of the party in the House of Representatives lost out. The senators lost the control of the party to commissioners, special advisers and top government appointees, including the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
The party’s structure in Akure and Ondo Central senatorial district was handed over to SSG, Ifedayo Abegunde, and the commissioners. In the South, the structure of the party was handed over to the deputy governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi and some commissioners, shutting the door on Senator Yele Omogunwa, a defector from PDP. In the North, Governor Akeredolu, who is not in same page politically with the senator from the zone, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, has effective control of the structure. He holds it in conjunction with some of his appointees including commissioners.
The House of Representatives members, who were shut out include Afe Olowookere, Bamidele Samson Baderinwa and Bode Ayorinde. Also hit by the outcome of the congress were members of the state House of Assembly, who defected from the PDP to the APC shortly after the exit of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko from office.
The state legislators, including the Speaker, Mr. Bamidele Oleyelogun, were edged out as loyalists of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu took over party structures in their respective constituencies. Kaduna: El-Rufai wins big as Hunkuyi, Sani kick Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who is locked in a running battle with the two APC senators from the state, Shehu Sani and Suleiman Hunkuyi, had a field day as he won the battle for the control of the party’s structure in the state.
But Senator Hunkuyi, who faulted the conduct of the congress, said democracy was raped in the state during the exercise. Addressing newsmen yesterday on the outcome of the exercise, he said: “We join all APC members and supporters in mourning the death of democracy and its burial in Kaduna State, where its resurrection may be an impossible task.” His sentiment was shared by the senator representing Kaduna Central, Sani, who said that ward congresses never took place in the state, vowing to resist any written list that might be presented as the list of elected party officials.
Ogun: Tejuoso, Adeola lose out In Ogun State, Governor Ibikunle Amosun proved that he still holds the ace with the outcome of ward congresses as his loyalists emerged as chairmen and taking other positions in virtually all of the 236 electoral wards.
Prior to the congresses, Amosun had reconciled with a former governor of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and both resolved to work for the victory of the party. However, the reconciliation appeared not to have gone down well with some supporters of the former governor, who alleged that the deal had mortgaged their political interests for personal gains. New Telegraph learnt that those who are opposed to the governor’s leadership of the party lost out in the power struggle. Specifically, they are the senator representing Ogun Central, Lanre Tejuoso.
Tejuoso, who had indicated interest in seeking a second term, is facing hurdles as a result of the senatorial ambition of the current Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Taiwo Adeoluwa, who may have Amosun’s backing. Another casualty is the senator representing Lagos West and governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Solomon Adeola, whose supporters boycotted the ward congresses and are considering defecting to another political party ahead of the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, the protests that greeted Saturday’s inconclusive governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State took a new turn yesterday as the police moved in to seal off the party’s secretariat. Protesters, who claimed to be sympathetic to the aspiration of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, had besieged the party’s secretariat on the Ajilosun Ikere road, where they announced the removal of the state executives led by Chief Jide Awe.
The protesters also announced the immediate formation of a pro-Fayemi caretaker committee. Armed policemen, however, arrived the secretariat later and drove everyone out, after which the secretariat was sealed off.
The police also sealed off the Delta State secretariat of the APC over the outcome of the congresses. One person died during the exercise on Saturday. Also, the Delta State Police Command yesterday sealed off the secretariat of the APC in Asaba, the state capital, following the crisis rocking the party in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mustafa Muhammad, said his men were positioned to provide security for the announcement of the result of the contentious ward congress. In Abuja, protesters stormed the national headquarters of the party.
While some party members from Kaduna State protested at the party secretariat against the state governor, El-Rufai, for allegedly hijacking the congresses, the Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, John Owan Enoh, protested against the plot of the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Usani Usani and the Cross River State Congresses Panel of hijacking the congresses in the state.
The Kaduna protesters came with banners of anti- APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and El-Rufai. Some of the inscriptions on the banners read “Baba, please call Kiriku to order,” “APC is dying in Kaduna”, “EFCC, investigate Oyegun and Oyegun return our money”, “EFCC should come to the aides of the Kaduna people.” Other inscriptions include: “Democracy is about people and not committee of friends,” “Say no to Kiriku in 2019,” “Congress must hold in Kaduna,” “Affirmation is undemocratic,” “Oyegun should go,”
“No APC Ward congress in Kaduna, “We stand with Baba Buhari for 2019,” among others. For the Cross River State, Senator Enoh said the ward congresses did not hold in the state.
We discussed Dino Melaye, not impeachment process with Buhari – Bukola, Dogara
The leadership of the National Assembly on Monday reported Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris to President Muhammadu Buhari for his failure to appear before the Senate for the second time over the issue of Sen. Dino Melaye
Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, confirmed this development to State House correspondents on Monday after a closed-door meeting with the President in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Saraki said they raised the issue of Sen. Melaye to the president because of the refusal of the IGP to honour Senate’s invitations.
“Just talking about the issue of the police, we also, of course, raised the non-appearance of the Inspector-General of Police at the Senate and felt that we must continue to ensure there is adherence to constitutional authority.
“He is a great concern, this is the first time it happened and that matter needs to be addressed considering the importance of the constitution that gives investigative power to us.
“And that there is a need for the police to accept that they too are under that constitution and they must obey that; we raised that concern,’’ he said.
The Senate President, who stated that they were in the Villa on the invitation of the president, reassured that the appropriation bill when laid this week would be passed by the NASS, next week.
Saraki said they briefed the president on the recent invasion of the Senate by hoodlums, saying the president in his response pledged to do something about the incident.
He said: “Well, we came on the invitation of Mr President. He wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also the issue of the budget.
“We also talked on the issue of concerns to us, the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and said action will be taken to investigate that. Well, hopefully, it should be laid this.
“If it can be laid this week and passed early next week but we are hoping it will be laid this week.
Dogara, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said they did not discuss the issue of impeachment process which was raised at the national assembly two weeks ago.
He, however, frowned at the way and manner the police handled the case of Sen. Dino Melaye.
He said: “Of course anything that happens to one of our members or any member of the National Assembly is of concern to us. And there is no way we can have this kind of meeting without raising that.
“This is a civilian administration, it is democracy and it is imperative and very very important that all institutions of democracy operate within the ambit of the rule of law.
“There is nowhere, I have said it before, that police will behave in a democracy like a clan of tribesmen, like an upgraded barbarians sort of.
“So there is need for us to act with civility. We are not saying that anybody should be protected and defended. Once you have committed an offense, our law said you should answer it but you just have to utilize the provision of the constitution.’’
The Speaker also condemned the situation where Melaye was wheeled to court by the police, saying that the rule of law must be observed to safeguard the image of the Buhari administration
“A situation where people are wheeled to court, that doesn’t give good image of our democracy. I have not seen a democracy where people are wheeled to court, they are not in the proper frame of mind and they are forced to undergo trial.
“Whatever it is, even if Dino is pretending as some have said it in some section of the media, he cannot pretend forever.
“He is there, he will not run away, he is a senator and he can be tried any time he is in proper frame of mind.
“As a lawyer, I can tell you, any judge that assesses an accused person not to be in a proper frame of mind, even if the accused person pleads guilty, he is duty bound by law to record a plea of not guilty if he is not satisfied as to the soundness of the mind of the accused person.
“So the emphasis is there and I believe the president, being a listening president, will definitely take steps and do something about it,’’ he added.
Melaye is currently facing two separate court trials in Lokoja and Abuja over alleged criminal activity with other arrested suspects and attempted suicide.
APC crisis worsens
- Party members burn LG secretariat
- Parallel congresses in states
- Okorocha battles for survival in Imo
- Amaechi, senator at loggerheads
- APC to aggrieved members: Seek redress through appeal panels
The fallout of Saturday’s ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has further deepened the crisis rocking the ruling party. Reports from New Telegraph’s correspondents across the country revealed that the exercise, which was marred by violence and confusion in most states has also polarized the party the more.
It was further gathered that the violence is yet to subside as hoodlums believed to be political thugs loyal to a faction of the party in Bauchi State, Saturday evening, razed part of Ningi Local Government Area secretariat. Besides Bauchi, other states worse hit by the fallout of the congresses are Kano, Rivers, Ebonyi, Ondo, Kebbi, Kogi, Delta, Kaduna and Katsina.
But, the national leadership of the APC, which hailed the “successful conduct of the ward congresses,” yesterday, called on aggrieved members to seek redress with party’s appeal panels. The panels begin sitting today.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said: “The APC wishes to congratulate all its members for the generally peaceful conduct of the party’s ward congresses, which took place across the country over the weekend. “The party especially commends members who served in the congress committees for their dedication and impartiality.
We, however, acknowledge there are some issues arising from the conduct of the elections in some states. “With this in view, the party had set up various appeal committees which will begin sitting from Monday, May 7.
We, therefore, call on all party members to remain law abiding and where there are issues, they should seek redress through the appeal committees in their respective states.” Bauchi: Hoodlums raze LG secretariat In Bauchi, hoodlums believed to be political thugs loyal to a faction of the APC in the state, razed part of Ningi Local Government Area secretariat.
A source told one of our correspondents that some aggrieved APC members stormed the secretariat at about 6p.m. on Saturday and set it on fire to protest the outcome of the party congresses held in the area.
The source stated that the results of the congresses did not go down well with a faction of the APC in the area. A prominent APC leader in the council was said to have lost out in the exercise as all his candidates failed in the congresses.
Bauchi State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Kamal Datti, who confirmed the incident, said: “Some hoodlums went and set fire on part of the Ningi Local Government secretariat building while the congress was going on.
“It’s unfortunate this could happen when the whole country is preaching peace. We were able to make one arrest and the suspect is in custody providing useful information.”
He added that the command has commenced investigation into the incident and gave assurance that those responsible for the arson would be brought to justice. Ganduje, Kwankwaso conduct parallel congresses While the committee that conducted the ward congresses in Kano State believes that the exercise was without hitches, former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso carried out a parallel congress in the state.
However, a member of the APC Congress committee, Murtala Garo, told New Telegraph that Kwankwaso only carried out his own parallel congress in six wards and that was even not in the legally agreed party offices.
He said the committee allowed an open exercise for everybody to participate provided they met the party’s requirements and that winners have emerged in all the 448 wards of the state.
Garo’s claim was, however, faulted by the chairman of the faction of the party loyal to Kwankwaso, Haruna Doguwa, who said they conducted their own congresses in all wards of the state and will soon take their results to Abuja. Rivers: Amaechi, Abe in claims and counterclaims In Rivers State, it was disagreement between the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senator Magnus Abe over the outcome of ward congresses.
While Amaechi’s camp said the exercise was free and fair and described those complaining of not being on ground, Abe’s camp claimed there was a deliberate move by those working for Amaechi to shut out some members of the party.
The senator had, after results were declared,said that there was no congress in the 319 wards of the state, but Amaechi dismissed Abe’s allegation of hijack of forms for the exercise, explaining that the congress was based on Option A4, where delegates had to queue up and be counted. A day before the election, some party members had protested at the party secretariat over the non-availability of forms, which they alleged had been hijacked by Amaechi.
The lawmaker representing Ikwerre/Emuoha Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Chidi Wihioka (a member of Abe’s camp) also faulted the exercise, but Rivers APC Woman Leader, Mrs. Caroline Nagbor, said that the exercise was peaceful and had the full participation of women who, she said, were mobilized to participate.
Ebonyi: Onu holds sway as faction kicks In Ebonyi State, it was the faction controlled by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu that carried the day.
The party has been polarized into two in the state with a faction loyal to Onu, while the other faction has the support of the party’s governorship candidate in 2015 general elections, Senator Julius Ucha.
The Onu faction has Pastor Eze Nwachukwu as its chairman, while the Ucha faction has Hon. Ben Nwaobasi as its chairman. But, the congress committee set up by the national leadership of the party recognized the minister’s faction.
Nwaobasi had alleged that the seven-man committee was hijacked by the group loyal to Onu. He also expressed disappointment that the committee absconded while the exercise was going on.
But, Nwachukwu dismissed the conduct of parallel congresses during the exercise. Party chieftains kick in Ondo The emergence of candidates of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in the 203 political wards in Ondo State has prompted some APC chieftains in the state to fault the conduct of the congresses. In many political wards, parallel congresses were held while violence marred the exercise in some areas.
In Akure South, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Ifedayo Abegunde, was said to have written the list of the party executives in the local government with the exclusion of other top political office holders.
This development made the lawmaker representing Akure South/North federal constituency, Hon. Afe Olowookere, to allege irregularities in the conduct of the congress.
Similarly, the lawmaker representing Iferore/Idanre federal constituency, Hon. Bolarinwa also alleged irregularities. In Ondo East and West federal constituency, parallel executives emerged as some leaders who were opposed to the handpicking of ward executives organised their own congress. Imo: Okorocha battles for survival The outcome of the ward congresses in Imo State is still clouded by uncertainty. While Governor Rochas Okorocha and members of his faction insist there was no congress in the state and that a new date would be announced for the rescheduled congress, the state chairman of the party, Dr. Hilary Eke, at a press conference yesterday, maintained that the congress held on Saturday has not been cancelled.
If the results of the congresses were upheld, then it means that Okorocha has lost the party structures. Okorocha is contending with a massive alliance of APC leaders across the 27 council areas of the state led by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Ben Uwajumogu, Senator Osita Izunaso and the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere and Okorocha’s former chief of Staff and SSG, Sir Jude Ejiogu.
Others are Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba of TETFund, Jasper Azuatalam, business mogul, Tony Chukwu, and several other former aides of the governor. Kebbi: Party faction rejects exercise A faction of the APC in Kebbi State, yesterday, kicked against the outcome of the ward congresses held in the 21 local government areas of the state.
Addressing newsmen at the state party secretariat, the leader of the faction, Hon. Abdulhai Arugungu, said there were no congresses in the state. He further accused the state government, party officials in the state and members of the congress committee of bias. Kogi: Confusion over parallel congresses It was confusion in Kogi State as the Audu/Faleke and Governor Yahaya Bello’s factions of the party held separate congresses.
While the Audu/Faleke camp held its congresses under the supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that of Bello’s camp was held at the Government House, Lokoja.
The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo, described the action of the governor to hold the ward congresses at the government house as absurd and exercise in futility. According to Ametuo, Governor Bello’s action to run a parallel congress against the decision of the national leadership party, underscores his penchant for killing the party in the state.
Kaduna: El-Rufai, Sani disagree While Governor Nasir el-Rufai said the congress was orderly and an impressive exercise in democracy at the local level, the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, insisted the exercise did not take place in the state.
“I am receiving reports from all the 255 wards showing that the new APC leadership in the wards is emerging in a peaceful and orderly manner. It is an impressive exercise in democracy at the local level.
There are no adverse reports from any part of the state. The reports indicate that things are going well. All the stakeholders are working together to bring about a strong leadership for the party at the ward level,” the governor said in a statement by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan. But Sani, who dismissed the governor’s position, said: “Our political, legal and media team were on the ground in all the 23 local governments in the state.
Any ‘list’ written and presented or any form of ‘affirmation’ will suffer legitimacy, legal and credibility setbacks. Make no mistake about it. Whatever is built on the sand will end in the sand. We can’t claim change and end up short changing.
We have cases of elected people removed from their seats as a result of faulty congresses.” Katsina: Aspirants reject result A group of APC Concerned Candidates in Katsina have rejected the outcome of the exercise in the state.
The group, in a statement signed by its leader, Malam Hassanu Isah, expressed shock and dismay over what it described as hijack of the congress officials from Abuja by officials of the state government.
“We reject the purported release of result as an outcome of the ward congress. We advise the national headquarters of the party to set up a high powered committee to investigate the illegality masterminded by the state government,” the group said.
Adamawa: Complaints over poor logistics It was complaints of poor logistics in Adamawa State yesterday, when the APC ward congresses held. The exercise, slated for Saturday, was shifted to yesterday due to protest by some stakeholders who felt sidelined.
Our correspondent, who visited some of the wards, reports that though there was large turnout of party delegates, some members of the party protested over delay in some wards as a result of late arrival of voting materials.. Lagos: Members protest at party’s secretariat, call for cancellation Some chieftains and members of the Lagos APC, yesterday, expressed their displeasure over the outcome of the party’s ward congress as they stormed the party secretariat to express their grievances.
The APC chieftains comprising some council chairmen, state lawmakers and political appointees, who stormed the party’s secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba, alleged imposition of candidates during the ward congress.
They also accused some leaders of the party of tampering with the consensus list of ward executives and delegates as agreed. Vice- Chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Faud Oki, said that the ward congress was not in line with the party’s constitution and its rules, stating that the exercise should be cancelled.
Addressing newsmen, Oki, who is also a leader of Broom Movement of Nigeria (BMN), accused the organising committee of side-tracking the State Congress Committee sent by the party’s national headquarters from Abuja and committing a lot of shenanigans to ensure that their preferred candidates were elected into office.
The party chieftain, who described the Lagos exercise as a travesty of justice that must be fought and redressed, said that appointment of senatorial electoral officers and local government electoral officers to serve as returning officers instead of the State Congress Committee was against the Nigerian Constitution and that of APC as well as its rule.
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