The Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted the call by one of its chieftains, Mr Fouad Oki, that the results of Saturday’s ward congresses should be cancelled. APC Mr Funso Ologunde, Vice-Chairman of the party (Lagos West), condemned the call while speaking to newsmen on Monday at the party’s secretariat in Ikeja. Other chieftains at the party who condemned the call include the state Secretary Mr Hakeem Bamgbola and Lagos East Vice-Chairman, Mr Musibau Gafar, as well as other party executives. Newsmen report that Oki, a Vice-Chairman of the party (Lagos Central), had described the ward congresses as a charade that ran foul of the party’s rules and constitution. He alleged that the results of the congresses were manipulated, calling for outright cancellation and conduct of fresh ones. Ologunde, however, told journalists that the call was unnecessary, insisting that the congresses were peaceful in almost all the 377 wards in the state. He said that the call was in bad taste, adding that the fact that there were issues in one or two wards should not warrant calling for total cancellation of the exercise. “The ward congresses in the state were largely peaceful, and the party is proud that we did not have serious issues during the congress. “Yes, there may have been issues in one or two wards; this is normal in a democracy, the party surely has a mechanism to resolve all issues amicably. “His call that the entire congresses should be cancelled is unnecessary. The conduct was peaceful and satisfactory generally,” the APC chieftain said. Ologunde said Oki, who is also the convener of “The Broom United Movement” — a group in the party –had been suspended for over seven months for leading a splinter group within the party. He said Oki was not in tune with happenings at the state chapter and his view could not represent that of the party in the state.
Also speaking, Bamgbola said the ward congresses were adjudged free and fair and the call by the chieftain was unfortunate.. Bamgbola said that Oki had not been relating with members as a result of the suspension and had no right to speak for the party. “The congresses were successful in almost all the wards in the state. This call was not expected,” he said.
In his submission, Gafar urged party members not to be distracted by the call, imploring them to continue to work for the peace of the party. According to him, Oki was representing some interests averse to the progress of the party in the state. “We are not comfortable with him because we are sure he is representing some people to undermine the party in the state. “We want the party leadership to do something about this in the interest of peace and progress of Lagos APC,’’ he said. The Chairman of the party, Chief Henry Ajomale, acknowledged receipt of a petition from a group on the issue, saying the letter would be attended to.
Meanwhile, the sales of forms for APC Local government executives have commenced with the Chairmanship aspirant are to pay 25,000 naira each and other officers and national delegates are to pay 10,000 naira each. Closing date for the submission of completed forms is Thursday 10th May.