An aspirant for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), AbdulAhmed Mustapha, has expressed displeasure at the just concluded gubernatorial primary in Lagos State.
Mr Mustapha, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday, said he was prevented from accessing the venue of the primaries on the day of the event.
“I was turned back at the gate of Onikan Stadium along with my agents despite introducing myself as a gubernatorial aspirant to the security men on duty,” Mr Mustapha said.
“Efforts to get the State and National Officials were not successful until I was finally able to reach Dr. Mohammed Bashir. R (Lagos Committee Secretary) who surprisingly claimed that I was not cleared to participate in the election.
“This information was news to me as I was hearing it for the first time.”
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was the only aspirant cleared by the party’s electoral committee.
Mr Mustapha and Wale Oluwo, the third aspirant, were disqualified.
The governor polled 1,170 votes to emerge as the winner of the primaries held at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium in Onikan, Lagos.
Read Mr Mustapha’s statement below:
RE: ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY ELECTION HELD ON THE 26TH DAY OF MAY, 2022 AT MOBOLAJI JOHNSON ARENA (ONIKAN STADIUM) LAGOS STATE.
DELIBERATE EXCLUSION FROM THE NOMINATION PROCESS
I, AHMED OLORUNFEMI MUSTAPHA (LAGOS STATE GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT) *wish* to express my displeasure at the just concluded gubernatorial primary in Lagos State. Let me state the facts of the matter first before my comments.
On the 10th day of May, 2022, I purchased the Expression of interest and Nomination forms to contest the Lagos State Gubernatorial seat which was completed and submitted on the 11th day of May, 2022 (Within the time frame allowed to do so). I was also screened satisfactorily on Saturday the 14th day of May 2022 at Fraser Suites, Abuja by the Party’s inaugurated Committee. I have no doubt that I met all the screening criteria as contained in the Party’s guidelines, the Party’s Constitution, the Electoral law, and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The screening report was scheduled to be published not later than Sunday 15th May 2022. I protested via a letter dated the 24th of May 2022 on the non-publication of the screening report which was not done before the gubernatorial congress of 26th May 2022. I had the impression that all was well and continued with my consultations on ward to ward basis in the State.
My profile during the consultation increased exponentially amongst delegates, party faithful, and the good people of Lagos State at large. I made several efforts at getting the details of the process at the National and the State Party headquarters but all efforts met brick walls. Specifically, I submitted a letter to the State Chairman’s Office in Lagos and also, the National Chairman’s Office on the 25th day of May 2022 for the following materials;
1. GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT’S TAG.
2. LIST OF STATE DELEGATES
3. LIST OF LAGOS STATE GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANTS CLEARED TO CONTEST.
4. GUIDELINES FOR 2023 ELECTIONS.
5. AGENTS TAG FOR ALL WARDS.
None of the details requested nor materials listed *were* made available to me. I now believe the silence and elusion was deliberate and calculated to technically shut me out of the race and trample upon my rights with gross impunity.
On getting to the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, through speculations on the 26th day of May 2022, I was turned back at the gate of Onikan Stadium along with my Agents despite introducing myself as a Gubernatorial Aspirant to the security men on duty. Efforts to get the State and National Officials were not successful until I was finally able to reach Dr. Mohammed Bashir. R (Lagos Committee Secretary) who surprisingly claimed that I was not CLEARED to participate in the election. This information was news to me as I was hearing it for the first time. Even though the arrangement shown on TV gave the impression that there are 3 gubernatorial aspirants to deceive the public, the purported disqualification was only announced at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, and was thereafter published by several news media on the selection rather than election of the sole candidate schemed for, by the Party Officials.
I have raised an appeal despite the difficulties encountered along the process. I have reasons to believe that I, with the other aspirant were deliberately shut out to give the Party chieftain’s aspirant the opportunity to emerge despite being an incumbent Governor.
The process and actions taken by the National and the State Officers violated all relevant laws of the land and amounted to a gross abuse of power as well as breach of the trust of members of our great Party which had been vested in the Party Officials at the State and National levels.
I strongly request that the exercise as carried out be nullified and a fresh exercise be conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner in the State. The All Progressives Congress is a beacon of truth and hope for us and future generations. It should not and must not be seen as condoning such high-level impunity in its operation. It is my firm belief that the right step would be taken by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Finally, I wish to implore our teeming supporters and well-wishers to remain calm while we explore all the necessary party mechanism to redress these glaring irregularities.
I thank you all.
Abdul-Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha
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