By Dare Ojelade, Lagos
Since The Gazelle News.com broke the news of the endorsement of Yakub Balogun by the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership as the man to fly the party’s flag in the bye election to elect a new member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Kosofe State Constituency 2, series of opposition have been mounting against the decision.
Recall that the incumbent lawmaker, Hon Tunde Braimoh died on Friday, 10 July, 2020 which necessitated the need to organise a bye election to pick his successor.
On Tuesday, 4 August, 2020, The Gazelle News.com reported exclusively that the leadership of the party has endorsed Balogun for fly the party’s flag during the bye election.
No sooner had the story became public that loud protest erupted which has been threatening the unity of the party in Kosofe Local Government.
Not a few politicians in the local government have vowed to contest the alleged decision of the party.
“It is outright imposition and I know it won’t stand. For me, I believe that they are just dropping the names of Asiwaju (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) and other party leaders,” a notable member of the party told The Gazelle News.com.
Investigations by this medium revealed that many posers have been raised to question the rationality of picking Balogun.
One of such, this medium learnt, is his alleged closeness to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa. The Gazelle News.com learnt that it was the Speaker who is the chief promoter of the Balogun candidacy. Investigation revealed that both Balogun and Obasa are bossom friends and it was Balogun that the Speaker presented during the screening of members of the state Audit Commission to replace the nominee of the Governor, Abiodun Akhigbe, when Akhigbe was disqualified by the House. Eventually, Balogun clearance by the House was not ascented to by the Governor and Mrs Kafilat Ogbara has been screened, cleared by the House and sworn-in by the Governor.
The feeling in Kosofe is that of resentment, “how can somebody from Agege be imposing candidate on us in Kosofe? It’s not acceptable, even if the person is the Speaker, it is still unacceptable”.
Another major point raised against Balogun was his Ikosi Isheri home. He is from Ikosi Isheri Local Council Development Area. Two LCDAs made up the Kosofe state Constituency 2: Ikosi Isheri and Agboyi Ketu. This medium investigation revealed that there is an unwritten agreement that the two councils share the slots in the House of Assembly. The last occupant before Braimoh was Ajibayo Adeyeye from Ikosi Isheri who spent two terms in the House. The late Braimoh from Agboyi Ketu was serving his second term hence the logical reason for someone from the council nominated to compete the term.
Another reason why Balogun’s candidacy may not survive was the fact that the present member of the House of Representatives from the Kosofe, Hon Rotimi Agunsoye is from Ikosi Isheri. “Picking the House of Assembly candidate from the same council leaving Agboyi Ketu with nothing is unjust. Even if it is to complete the term of the late Tunde Braimoh, Agboyi Ketu should be allowed to pick replacement for the late Lawmaker,” our source added.
The Gazelle News.com learnt further that party leaders and members are seriously pushing for a primary to be organised to pick the candidate of the party for the bye election.
“Let them go to the field and test their popularity. And I believe the best candidate who has the support of the majority members of the party will emerge,” another member of the party told The Gazelle News.com.
As it stands, the stage is set for a titanic battle which seems to threaten the unity of APC members in Kosofe Local Government.
The Gazelle News.com is on ground to give you update as events unfold in the drama of the unending season film.