• PDP, LP hope to make significant impacts
• Banire, ruling party bicker
Five days to the scheduled July 22 local council elections in Lagos, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be gradually resolving the challenges that emanated from its controversial February 27 council primaries.
Although, most of the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the APC started their campaign behind schedule, the party has however placed the setback caused by the primaries behind as it moves around the nook and cranny of the state soliciting for support of the electorate.
During the weekend, the lawmaker representing Lagos East senatorial district on the platform of APC, Senator Gbenga Ashafa led a grassroots campaign to solicit support for the party’s candidates across the district during the 18th Gbenga Ashafa Town Hall meeting.
According to him, “Through this, we would be able to harness the development we are witnessing in Lagos at the grassroots level, through the synchronized effort of the state and the councils.”
He said “the success of the APC at the council election would prepare the groundwork for it to win at the 2019 general elections. The election of APC into the local governments will also ensure the success of Ambode in his relentless effort to building and developing Lagos.”
Ashafa said APC lawmakers in Lagos are not relenting in their legislative responsibilities to empower members of their constituencies, saying that was part of the individual efforts to complement government empowerment policies, “Mrs. Remi Tinubu, who represent Lagos Central and the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila have been doing fantastic jobs in their district as well as Senator Olamilekan Solomon Adeola, who represents Lagos West and others. If we also have our representatives manning the council the job would be easier.”
In similar vein, the lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency on APC’s platform, Mr. Jide Jimoh said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would pose no threat to his party on Saturday.
Contrary to the propaganda that APC is set to collaborate with the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) with the aim to either manipulate or postpone the exercise, Jimoh said that PDP couldn’t win any of the councils because of the excellent performance of Ambode.
According to him, “The performance of Governor Ambode within his two years was superlative, outstanding and heartwarming. The PDP would have difficulty in persuading the electorate to vote for its candidates with what Ambode had put on ground in terms of infrastructure, job creation, security apparatus and social welfare.
MEANWHILE, the opposition PDP is still battling on how to resolve its in-house fight following the Supreme Court verdict, which recently recognised the leadership of the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi’s Cataker Committee.
In a statement yesterday, the PDP Spokesman, Mr. Taofik Gani said it has noticed that Mr. Segun Adewale, a factional chairman loyal to Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff leadership, who lost in the apex court verdict, is still parading himself as the Lagos chairman of PDP.
Gani said what Adewale is doing was fundamentally a contempt, provocative and obviously mischievous to weaken the chances of the party in the Saturday council election.
He added that actions relating to the nominations of candidates by Adewale for the election stand null and void and unless ratified by the Moshood Salvador-led state executive.
He also confirmed that the Labour Party (LP) and PDP alliance remains the force into the election, saying’ “Our candidates shall use the LP platform to contest the LG Polls because it is now no longer possible to make any change of names.”
THE LP is also not free from internal bickering few days away from election. Some its members were aggrieved and have announced the removal of the state chairman, Pastor Segun Popoola.
It was alleged that the embattled chairman did not carry his members along in the alliance with the PDP, which was the bone of contention.
But refuting Popoola’s expulsion, the National Chairman and National Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadir Salam and Julius Abure in a statement said the party would resist any attempt to remove and replace Popoola by individuals who are not known to the leadership of LP.
According to the party, “For avoidance of doubt, the national leadership of our party hereby state categorically that the only leadership known to the LP in Lagos is the one led by Popoola and no other.”
Banire/APC imbroglio ahead of the council poll
While it was taken that the ruling party had overcome it challenges, an unresolved one was the ongoing legal battle between the party’s National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire and a group, under the aegis of Concerned Leaders, which had called on the National Working Committee to consider as a matter of urgency, the relieve Banire of his position subsequent expulsion him the party.
Messrs Kehinde Babatunde and Tayo Williams, who spoke for the group accused Banire of conducting himself in what they described as “embarrassingly moral deficient, which he exposed himself and consequently affecting the image of the party.”
In his reaction, Banire did not only describe the signatory to the letter “as jesters, but also faceless individuals, who are not even members of APC. I can tell you categorically that they are ignorant of the APC’s constitution.
“I am not a political lawyer, but a professional lawyer and I was appointed, not to deceive the party, but to advice and guide the party on issues that has to do with law. So, if in doing that and I don’t believe in doing contrary to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it’s well and fine if people resort into blackmailing and name-calling.
“But my position is always to be on the side of the law, both the Nigerian law and party’s constitution.”