Mr Abayomi Adesanya, the Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, has warned leaders of the party in Lagos against imposing candidates in the forthcoming local government elections in the state.
The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has fixed July 22 for the chairmanship and councillorship elections in the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas.
Adesanya, in a statement in Lagos on Friday, urged party leaders to always abide by the party’s constitution on the conduct of primary elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the APC chairmanship primaries in the local government polls on Saturday, May 27, ended abruptly following violence over alleged imposition of candidates by party leaders.
Those against the imposition of aspirants refused to accept the imposition, while the Chairman of the Elections Committee, Sen. Tokunbo Afikuyomi, was attacked by some supporters.
Adesanya said:“It is unfortunate that the primaries conducted by our party, APC, in the third tier of government in Lagos State ended in fiasco.
“It is important to note, now, that Nigerians are more aware, informed and educated about their civic and democratic duties.
“Failure to allow things to take the normal course, resulted in this current situation APC is experiencing in Lagos State.
“It is high time, leaders of our party in Lagos State, stopped the culture of imposing candidates in the party politics. Internal democracy should be allowed to thrive in our party”.
Adesanya advised APC in other states to emulate and take a cue from the success recorded in the Ondo State Governorship Primary held on Sept. 3, 2016.
“It was free, fair and transparent in the history of governorship primaries in Nigeria.
“Although, there were attempts to impose candidate from the Lagos chapter of APC, but we all resisted it and at the end, the most popular candidate emerged.
“The openness of the primary resulted to the landslide victory of our candidate at the governorship poll on Nov. 26, 2016 which the opposition parties could not even challenge at the Elections Petition Tribunal.’’
The APC chieftain, therefore, admonished the Lagos State chapter of APC and other state chapters to always abide by the party’s constitution on Article 20(ii) about the conduct of party primary.
“Most importantly, the interest and supremacy of the party and its constitution is sacrosanct and non negotiable,’’ Adesanya said. (NAN)