The cracks within the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress became apparent on Tuesday with the emergence of the Broom United Movement, a group of aggrieved members of the party.
At the launch of the group in Lagos, Fouad Oki, the convener, said the group is a coalition of all members in one big and united enclave that will accommodate all shades of opinion, views and aspirations in “a collective and healthy competitive atmosphere.”
“Our party suffers from low organisational capacity and lack of internal democracy,” Mr. Oki said.
“The resultant effect of this has been its incapacity to support our democracy as expected. Its inability to serve many important functions, including citizen mobilisation, interest aggregation, public policy formulation, leadership recruitment and government organisation.
“This apparent weakness underscores the need for reform and institutionalisation of a process whereby professionals become more central to the running of our party.”
For years, issues of lack of internal democracy as well as the imposition of candidates during elections have dogged the state chapter of the party.
In 2014, dozens of party members marched to the office of the then governor, Babatunde Fashola, to protest against the imposition of candidates for elective positions.
A few months later, in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the party’s National Legal Adviser and a former commissioner in the state, Muiz Banire, spoke out strongly against the “tendency of imposition on the people.”
Mr. Banire’s persistent campaign against imposition of candidates set him at loggerheads with the party leadership in the state, with some members calling for his expulsion from the party.
In his statement, Mr. Oki said the desire to form the Broom United Movement came out of the need to thoroughly interrogate and dissect the issues militating against deepening synergic cohesion which had eluded the party since inception.
“The party has not been able to engender peace, trust and confidence in its membership. The undesirable cleavages of mistrust between the principal stakeholders is encouraging perfidious little minds at the local levels to further sow the seed of discord among the stakeholders in the naive belief that the could gainfully exploit the cleavages for personal purposes.
“Our party in Lagos State has never been this divided and disunited, the current graveyard silence that permeate our political landscape with a siddon look A O mu erin j’oba syndrome is very dangerous. Political parties are vital organisations in a democracy, and democracy is stronger when citizens become active members of political parties.”
“Today, our party in Lagos State is fading into insignificance. Massive membership exclusion is becoming the order of the day with members withdrawing from the political space and constituting themselves into internal opposition.”
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