The inauguration of chairmen local government area executives of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State was disrupted on Wednesday. The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions lamenting what they described as a deliberate attempt by the new party chairman, Babatunde Balogun, to subvert the will of the people and alleged substitution of their preferred chairman.
The newly inaugurated APC Chairmen at Local Government Areas, level of the 20 LGAs and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, were elected during the recent congresses. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Do not cause chaos, we don’t need it here in Apapa’, ‘No to tyranny’, Make our votes count’, ‘Follow the rule of law/ party and let peace reign in Apapa’,’On congress we stand’, ‘Oyinbo is our party chairman’, ‘Tunde Balogun don’t divide the party’”.
They alleged that their preferred chairman, Mr. Taiwo Adeleye was substituted by Fatai Sanni, despite the fact that Taiwo’s name was mentioned as a delegate from Apapa at the State Congress, that brought Balogun on board having been duly elected at the local government congress. Meanwhile, APC state chairman Balogun, who had earlier been inaugurated has urged all party chairmen in the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs to embark on a massive membership drive and also reconcile aggrieved members.
The new party chairman gave the charge while inaugurating the council chairmen of the party at the APC state secretariat at Acme, Ikeja. According to Balogun “All chairmen inaugurated here today have emerged through democratic processes of Congress to show that APC is genuinely democratic. “I implore you all to make membership drive in your area a needed attention; mobilize more people to register and as well claim their Permanent Voters Card.
Balogun also urged them to let benefits cut across divides, to ensure the party’s victory in the general elections. He also urged the newly inaugurated chairmen to keep the certificate and the list of members in their trust jealously from being snatched or stolen by the protesters or aggrieved members as doing so could be costly. Barrister Ademola Sodiq, the APC state Legal Adviser, administered oath of office and oath of allegiance to the elected Chairmen.
Factional Chairman kicks Reacting to the inauguration of the state executive and the council chairmen, the factional state chairman, and immediate past Vice Chairman, Central, Fouad Oki, who emerged as APC Chairman in another state congress held by the factional group, described the inauguration “As a mere exercise in futility.”
According to Oki: “They are putting the cart before the horse by the singular act of inaugurating executive without waiting for the nod and approval of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, which has the sole right to approve inauguration. “I am sure they are aware that the reports of congresses held across the states recently, are still being collated and attended to by NWC and not when they are done and satisfied with the reports, inauguration cannot come up.