A new twist has been added to the ongoing controversy trailing the outcome of All Progressives Congress (APC) Local Government primary election held last Saturday.
The deputy governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat who has been accused of planning his 2023 political ambition of becoming the governor of Lagos state working in cahoot with some politicians to impose some chairmen that will be loyal and do his bidding.
The allegation against the three chairmen in Epe, Eredo and Ikosi-Ejirin was that they worked against his political aspiration in 2015, while he contested the Governorship primary, against former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The modus operandi of Hamzat and his henchmen was to scuttle the process once it’s clear that they won’t win. And this they were able to do successfully in a number of local governments and Local Council Development Areas across the state last Saturday.
According to the results signed by the returning officer, Miss Omowumi Ogbara who covered Epe and sighted by Newsnow, only two wards conducted the primary before It was disrupted. The results shows that the incumbent chairman of Epe local government, Mr. Adesanya Adedoyin, who is also an aspirant won in the two wards by wide margin, scoring 803 votes to defeat his closest rival, Animasaun, who polled 304 votes.
In Eredo and Ikosi-Ejirin, primary election did not hold. It was disrupted by Hon. Dahunsi Ogunkelu, aka ‘Sketel”, representing Epe Constituency 2 at the Lagos House of Assembly. Ogunkelu was on rampage while the primary election lasted and was overheard telling Hamzat after the deed has been done that , “ mission accomplished sir. A ti daru, meaning, we have scuttled everything.”
Now, instead of conducting another primary, Hamzat has gone ahead to Assure his candidates that it was a done deal. In Eredo, his Coordinator for Governorship project in 2015, Ismail Akinloye has received the LASEIC nomination form, without contesting a primary election.
In Epe, his personal assistant’s elder sister, one Suzan Olayemi Animashahun has been imposed as the party’s candidate.
In Ikosi-Ejirin, Wale Anamo from Ijebu-Ode is Hamzat’s Candidate. Wale, who has now added ‘Raji’ to his name to conform with Epe’s typical name, is a total stranger in the community, where he is now being imposed as the party’s Chairmanship candidate, by Hamzat.
Despite the fact that the local government primary election was disrupted across the three local governments in Epe, Hamzat has been able to use his contact to give the LASIEC nomination forms to some of the aspirants loyal to him. Sources informed Newsnow that there was wild jubilation in the camp of Hamzat yesterday, celebrating that everything has been ‘ signed, sealed and delivered’ with Asiwaju’s imprimatur.
The three chairmen are however undaunted. They have insisted that they would retrieve their mandate from the usurpers. In a Facebook post on behalf of his colleagues, Spokesman of the group, Niyi Saliu , who’s also the incumbent chairman of Eredo and an aspirant said; “ This daylight robbery will not stand. I appeal to all our supporters to remain calm. We will do everything lawful to reclaim our mandates. We are persuaded that all is not lost , especially given the assurance by our leader and national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who hinted recently during the south west meeting with governors that he’s not imposing anybody. We are excited that he has through that pronouncement deflated the ego of those dropping his name to perpetuate illegality in our party. Our leaders have also assured us that everything will be resolved amicably.”. He said.
Saliu maintained that Epe, Eredo and Ikosi-Ejirin performed creditably well during the last Lagos East Senatorial election won by Senator Tokunbo Abiru to lift APC to overwhelming success.
For now, it’s not clear how the APC wants to wriggle out of the logjam it created through the botched local government primary election.
Sources within the party hinted that Tinubu who was not too happy with the way the party officials and electoral officers bungled the process will convene the meeting of the Governors Advisory Council, GAC, tomorrow (Thursday) to resolve the imbroglio.