Lagos PDP warns APC not to manipulate Assembly election
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State Chapter, has called on the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) not to interfere in the democratic selection of the leadership of the State House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, the PDP has admonished its eight lawmakers in the Assembly to vote according to their best assessments and conscience for the betterment of the state.
In a statement yesterday, the PDP spokesman, Taofik Gani, said the party’s stance on this development is provoked by alleged moves of lobbying and coercion of legislators by the APC leadership to vote in favour of a particular candidate, which the PDP has described as “not likely to represent the masses interest, but the interest of his godfathers.”
The PDP’s reaction is coming on the backdrop of insinuations that the Lagos APC has already penciled down Mudashiru Obasa from Agege Constituency 1 and Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni from Lagos Island Constituency 1, as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, while Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1) is set to take office as the Majority Leader of the Assembly.
The party also claimed that the appointment of immediate past Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), was done to douse the tension from the Lagos Central, which appears not to have benefited from the three principal offices, which are governor, deputy governor and Speaker.
In the light of the situation, the PDP has therefore tasked the APC to justify their slogan of ‘change’ by deviating from the old ways of stage-managing elections and particularly calls on the leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, to call other leaders to order so as to allow free, fair selection of the Assembly leadership.
According to Gani: “We have it on good authority that some powerful leaders of the APC are lobbying and coercing the legislators to select a particular member as Speaker.
“We hear huge sums in foreign currencies are already being disbursed to achieve this task. This person has pledged to do the bidding of these leaders if selected.”
The party, which averred that this situation is inordinate and a threat to good governance in the state for the next four years, posited that the APC should not be allowed to arm-twist the legislators, saying: “Lagosians are tired of rubber-stamp Assembly as witnessed in the last 16 years and particularly the out-going Seventh Assembly headed by Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who was allegedly imposed on the Assembly by the leaders of the party.”
Gani further said that the challenge at this time is for Tinubu to call the lobbyists to order in order to ensure the process is manifestly free and fair.
According to him, “The members are encouraged to vote in the manner best appropriate for democracy to thrive in the Assembly.
“We recommend also that the gallery should be open to all interested observers. At least, the state media like the Lagos Television (LTV) and radio stations should be allowed to run a live transmission of the procedure for Lagosians to attest to.
“This is an auspicious time for Lagosians to test the progressives in the APC, if any at all.”