A dissatisfied group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, ‘Lagos 4Lagos Movement’, on Saturday, held a parallel local government congress at different locations in the state.
This is coming as the mainstream APC group, led by the State Caretaker Committee Chairman, Tunde Balogun, held its congress in designated areas, as spelt out by the party’s Local Government Congress committee.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC LGA congresses held nationwide on Saturday.
The Lagos4Lagos Movement, led by Olajide Adediran, alleged impunity, imposition and marginalisation in the party for its action.
In Agege LGA, the group held its congress separately from the designated venue of the mainstream party in the state.
At the congress, 27 LG executives and three national delegates equally emerged, with Babatunde Odikunrin as Chairman, Ogunleye Babatunde as Vice Chairman, and 25 other executives.
The names of the three national delegates elected by the group were Sunday Ajayi, Kayode Opeifa, and Afolabi Rasheed.
Speaking with journalists after the congress, Mr Ajayi, Vice Chairman, Apex Committee of the Lagos4 Lagos Group, said the group was returning the party to the people.
Mr Ajayi, who alleged impunity and imposition within the party, said the group had conducted its LGA congress as directed by the national body of the party.
According to him, the group on Friday inaugurated all the ward executives that emerged in its camp, at the July 31 ward congresses in the state.
Mr Ajayi said the group used the consensus method, according to the party guidelines, to elect its LGA officers across the 20 recognised LGAs in the state.
“Our executives are the legitimate executives of the party in the state today. Lagos4Lagos Movement is for everybody. We will run the party according to the wishes of members,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Mr Balogun said he was not aware of parallel congresses.
“It is news to me, I am just hearing that. The reports I got from those local governments are different from what you are saying.
“So, by tomorrow, if you call me I must have gotten enough information and I will get back to you.
“I am not sure of the parallel congresses. I can’t react to such news; I want to confirm that,” the APC state caretaker chairman said.
In Ifako/Ijaiye LGA, the Balogun faction held its congress at Ifako-Ijaiye Annex office popularly known as NRC building while the Lagos4Lagos Movement group camped at Ojokoro area of the council.
Each camp produced separate sets of 27 LG executives and three national delegates for the party in the council.
Diversion of forms?
In Amuwo-Odofin LGA, some APC members seeking reelection in the party’s LG Congress alleged diversion of their nomination forms.
Speaking with journalists, Ayodele Ogungbiye, Chairman of APC in Amuwo-Odofin, said nine aggrieved executives and him were eligible to be reelected because they had only served one term.
He alleged that the State Caretaker Committee led by Mr Balogun deprived them of the nomination forms and opportunity to contest, despite paying into the bank account of the national body.
He also claimed that Mr Balogun gave nomination forms to the council chairman, Valentine Buraimoh, to allegedly share with his loyalists only.
Mr Ogungbiye expressed surprise over the development, saying that only those who had served two terms or relocated should not be returned according to the party.
The aggrieved aspirant said he went with the bank tellers of all aspirants to the state secretariat to obtain the nomination forms.
“Despite showing all the bank tellers to the state chairman, we were not given the nomination forms,” he said.
Mr Ogungbiye said he was accused of belonging to a splinter group, Lagos4Lagos Movement. He said he has never met the leader of the group “in his life.”
He accused the state caretaker chairman of not doing things in accordance with the directives of the national body, saying that the nomination forms were supposed to be given to those who paid for them.
But Mr Balogun described the allegations as “unsubstantiated,” adding that the allegation were, however, not new to him.
He also reacted to his purported suspension, explaining that it was not true.
Mr Balogun said he had sworn in newly-elected ward chairmen of the party across the state.
Meanwhile, the APC Publicity Secretary in Amuwo Odofin, Ayodeji Oyefeso, and the Assistant Women Leader for the council, Funmilayo Oladimeji, expressed dissatisfaction over the alleged manipulation.
They called on the national body not to honour the outcome of the local government congress in the area.
Other aggrieved executives seeking reelection were, Wasiu Oladimeji (Legal Adviser), Tomson Adio (Assistant Publicity Secretary), and Ayodele Okusaga (Youth Leader).
Others were Peter Okoli (Assistant Youth Leader),
Ogbechi Francisca (Ex-Officio 2), Femi George (Physically Challenged), and Starling Uguike ( Ex-Officio 3).
NAN reports that 27 executives and three national delegates emerged at the congress. (NAN)
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