Alleged manipulations as Lagos plans council poll
Ahead of the July 22 local government elections in Lagos State, interested aspirants on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have accused some leaders within their parties of trying to manipulate the primaries.
For the APC, the Alimosho Youth Development Association of Nigeria (AYDAN) said its attention was drawn to an alleged conspiracy aimed at disenfranchising some eligible aspirants with the aim of imposing non-popular candidates of their choice.
While in the PDP, the ongoing crisis of leadership over the national chairmanship is taking a negative toll on the Lagos chapter especially as preparations towards the council election are in top gear.
In a statement yesterday, the general secretary of AYDAN, Thanni Kamil called the attention of the leadership of APC and the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to the activities of a group called G18, a self-acclaimed political group in the APC, which is attempting to violate the electoral laws and the constitution.
The group alleged that contrary to LASIEC’s directives that the primaries for the chairmen and councillorships should be held on May 13 and 20, 2017 respectively, the G18 came up with a sudden announcement that all aspirants, especially those within the Alimosho LGA, should conduct their primaries before the scheduled time, in apparent violation of the Commission’s guidelines.
AYDAN said the plan was hatched to favour some aspirants over others. It alleged that the G18 is favouring aspirants from Egbe while it relegated those from Idimu, which was a violation of the electoral structure.
AYDAN also argued that the development was a fraudulent move to truncate the desire of the six million people of Alimosho, and therefore called on Nigerians to resist the act of imposition.
Meanwhile, the State publicity secretary of PDP, Mr. Taofik Gani has expressed the readiness of his party to participate in the exercise.
He said the crisis within the Lagos PDP would not constitute any hindrance as pessimists were thinking.
He said the election was supposed to hold before the exit of the administration of Babatunde Fashola, whom he accused of failing to conduct the poll knowing that the result would not favour his party.
On the crisis in the PDP and its strategy, Gani said, “Yes, you can notice APC posters everywhere but posters don’t win election, winning election is your acceptance and your popularity among the electorates. We are not contesting this election because we think we can match them money for money or poster for poster, we are going into the election in the belief and power of the electorate.”
He said the PDP does not have any problem that can thwart its ambition, adding: “The orchestrated fight in the party was sponsored by the APC.”
Confirming his party’s readiness for the election, the Lagos State chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Mr. Fatai Ibuowo said the party was ready to prove its worth.
Ibuowo said the fees charged by LASIEC for the exercise would definitely deprived some parties the opportunity to participate.
According to him, “The government has not provided a level playing field for parties in the state; in a meeting we attended with LASIEC boss Justice, Ayotunde Phillips (rtd.), we were told that each person contesting for the chairman position will pay N100, 000, N75, 000 for vice chairman while those vying for councillorship will pay N50, 000.
“We objected in the sense that, in 2003, in a legal battle between late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and LASEIC, the matter of fees payable to the commission was laid to rest.”