How Incumbent Chairman, Ahmed Apatira Substituted 3 Councilorship Candidates, Barred Vice Chairmanship Candidate From Gaining Access To Party Headquarters
Chairman of Itire/Ikate Local Council Development Area, Ahmed Olanrewaju Apatira, has continued to flout the directive of Governors’ Advisory Council, GAC.
He has removed the names of three of his seven Councilorship candidates and replaced it with his own candidates.
Incidentally, the chairman, (Apatira) His Vice and all the seven Councilorship candidates were all agreed upon by the party leaders as consensus candidates due to the peculiar situation of the LCDA.
But as soon as Apatira was returned for the second term, he allegedly started working in concert with the state chairman of the Caretaker committee, Tunde Balogun, his younger brother, Rasaq Balogun and his elder brother, Akeem Apatira to upturn the decision of the leaders who also endorsed him.
More worrisome was the action of Apatira last Sunday when the candidates were to receive the flags at the Acme Road, Headquarters of the Party. Apatira allegedly ensured that his Vice, Yetunde Jimba was prevented from gaining access to the venue to receive her own flag. Balogun’s friend, Yomi Lawrence was instead giving the flag until the following day ( Monday)when the leaders ensured that the Vice, Jimba got back on the ticket.
For the three councilors that were substituted, Apatira allegedly called them to his office and tongue lashed them that he deliberately removed them because they were not loyal to him. He even threatened to deal with them if they continue to protest against his actions.
A source who is familiar with the political crisis in the area described the action of Apatira as the height of impunity and irresponsible.
“Apatira unilaterally removed the three councilors without anyone of them contravening any of the grounds for such replacements which include: bankruptcy, unsound mind, ex convict and those found to have submitted fake credentials.”
Apatira has frustrated all the appeals committee set up from the Otunba Femi Pedro’s committee to that of deputy governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat to resolve the logjam. Less than 24 hours to the local government election, the leaders in the area are angry that Apatira has refused to obey the GAC.
The councilors have, however, threatened to seek redress in court if the party fails to redress the situation and return the three councilors substituted on the ballot for Saturday election .