Chairmanship Primaries: Why We Petitioned Party- Ejigbo APC Apex Leaders
Following the electoral malpractices that witnessed last Saturday’s local government elections in Lagos, the Ejigbo LCDA All Progressives Congress (APC) Apex leaders have submitted petition before the party’s electoral appeal committee at the party’s secretariat at Acme, Lagos.
In a 9-page petition signed by 13 leaders and sighted by journalists on Monday, the Apex leaders said that the primary election was nothing but an exhibition of premediated malpractices which heightened tension, saying that innumerable blank membership slips of the party were hoarded by the incumbent Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Alhaji Monsuru Bello Obe, immediate past Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan , Chairman of All Progressives Congress in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Alhaji Fatai Abiodun Kasumu; his Vice Chairman, Mr. Kola Ojo and Secretary of the APC in Ejigbo, Mr. Remi Gbedegesin.
They stated that voting commenced and ended abruptly when it was discovered that the registers at the polling centers were old registers of 2014.
” If the incumbent Chairman is given the party ticket, it is the continuation of Bamigbetan’s oppression, terror and high-handedness of Party Leaders and Elders in Ejigbo. We wish to draw the attention of our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the fact that Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan who was Commissioner For Information during Akinwunmi Ambode, Hon. Abdullateef Abdulhakeem who was also a stooge of Ambode and the incumbent Chairman are STRONG loyalists of the Former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode. They are already scheming on how to use Ejigbo LCDA as testing ground to restore Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in 2023.
” The posting of LGA and Ward Officers in Ejigbo LCDA as Presiding Officers at various ward is ultra vires to the party’s primaries elections guidelines for the nomination of candidates for LGs and LCDAs 2021, section 15 of the guidelines. This is expressly against the rule of law and principle of level playing ground required at this level. The presiding officers at various wards were LGA and Ward Officers who are unrepentant loyalists of the incumbent Chiarman, Alhaji Monsuru Bello Obe. For example, Hon. Jimoh Aleshinloye Olasunkanmi, the immediate past Councillor of Ilamoshe ward and currently the General Secretary of Ilamoshe Ward was the Presiding Officer at Fadu Ward.
” His facebook page JIMOH ALESHINLOYE OLASUNKANMI can be verified to ascertain his firm allegiance to Alhaji Monsuru Bello Obe. Others are Hon. Tajudeen Sulaiman, immediate past Councillor of Ifoshi Ward and presently the Personal Assistant to the incumbent Executive Chairman on Political matters was the Presiding officer Ifoshi ward. In Ilamoshe Ward, the following loyalists of the incumbent Chairman were the Presiding Officers: Mr. Sulaimon, Mr. Nasir and Mrs. Aina.
” At Oke Afa ward, three loyalists of the incumbent Chairman namely Agiri Adeola, Akeem Oduyoye and Olabisi Muritala were Presiding Officers. In all, the original electoral officers were substituted with the above loyalists of the incumbent Chairman, Alhaji Monsuru Bello Obe”, said the Apex Leaders.
They said ” In Aigbaka Ward, the electoral materials came behind schedule. The teeming members of All Progressive Congress (APC) thronged the Ejigbo Model Primary School venue of the primary elections with high expectations to elect their preferred candidates. The elections stopped suddenly due to the unruly interference of the Ward Chairman, Mr. Sunday Merit who was at the polling booth to direct party members of whom to vote for. Two big Ghana Must Go Bag filled with written names of the incumbent were uncovered but were swiftly rescued and taken away from the polling center to avoid being recorded by members present at the venue. The police officers snubbed the whistle blowers while they called their attention to it. Also, good number of voters were manipulated and forced to vote under untoward influence. This action was rebuffed and it consequently resulted to chaos. Moreover, an old register was paraded at the polling center and the names of party members were conspicuously missing. This led to the voting exercise going on to end abruptly.
” Also in Oke-Afa Ward, there was mass rigging, pocket of intimidation and undue influence by government functionaries serving currently under the incumbent Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA. The situation in the ward however was the affirmation of a sole Councillorship aspirant.
” The chairmanship election on the other hand was marred, defaced and mutilated by the unruly influence of the serving Special Adviser to the incumbent Chairman, Mr. Olufemi Ibine, a.k.a BAMBAM who went about with thugs and hoodlums to harass and beat loyalists of our preferred aspirant. Also, a party Chieftain, Alhaji Lateef Gbadamosi masterminded the rigging in the ward and even boasted that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu or Governor Babajide Sanwoolu cannot punish him for such act.
The Ejigbo APC Apex Leaders added ” In Fadu Ward,the primary election in this ward was flawed with impunity and malicious irregularities. Fadu Ward is the ward of the incumbent Chairman, Hon. Monsuru Bello Obe and as such, much havoc, as highlighted in numbers 1 and 2 were encouraged and incited. For instance, people with no membership cards were allowed vote unhindered. Secondly, fake and padded membership register was used for accreditation. Some party members not loyalists of the incumbent were not accredited for voting till crisis arose and the voting process came to an end abruptly. The incumbent Councillor who is also recontesting, Hon. Tajudeen Shonde, was seen with numerous ‘Blank Membership Slips’ distributing them to loyalists.
” In Ailegun Ward, old register was paraded at Ejigbo Mini Stadium venue of the primary elections. One of the two Chairmanship Aspirants, Hon. Peter Ajayi’s name was conspicuously missing in the register due to the status of the register. An attempt to prevail on him to cast his vote was proved abortive as he insisted that his name ought to be in the register, if the one used for revalidation early this year was used. The willing party members who were in the shoe of the Chairmanship aspirant protested the display of an old register for such an important election and that ended the exercise abruptly.
” In Ifoshi Ward,the situation was a complete charade. This is the base and stronghold of the former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan who instigated mass electoral fraud and intimidation of party members who rejected his offer to use Ejigbo Local Council Development Area as testing ground to test and restore Former Governor Ambode’s gubernatorial aspiration come 2023 through the re-election bid of the incumbent Chairman, Alhaji Monsuru Bello Obe. The immediate past Councillor of Ifoshi Ward, Hon. Tajudeen Sulaiman P.A. to the incumbent Chairman on Political Matters and a Presiding Officer at the same Ward threatened to kill voters who go against his instructions. Bamigbetan openly directed thugs to beat up any member who go against his instruction and vote against the incumbent chairman.
” Ilamose Ward’s situation during the primary election was peculiar and pathetic as the register brought to the polling center didn’t belong to the ward. This is the ward of Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (MC OLUOMO), the NURTW state chairman in Ejigbo. The voters were largely disenfranchised and beaten up by thugs loyal to him”.