A group within the Lagos All Progressives Congress, known as “New Lagos Movement,” on Monday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly demanding that internal democracy be upheld in the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protesters carried placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “Autocracy is not democracy,” “Internal democracy must prevail,” “Practice what you preach,””Let us be democrats,” “Allow the voice of the people” and “No to imposition.”
Other inscriptions read: “Let us build institutions not oligarchies,” “No absolute power for politicians in Lagos,” “No to autocracy,’’ “Direct primaries in our constitution,” and “Leaders are not rulers.”
Mr Niyi Akinsiju, who led the protesters, said the imposition of leaders on the party would not be allowed and urged its leadership to adopt direct primaries in electing party leaders.
“It has become imperative for us to notify the members of our great party of the dangerous trend.
“Our party recognises direct primaries in electing party leaders and the culture of imposition of leaders on the party would not be allowed.
“We call on all lovers of democracy to support this effort as nothing worse can come out of this whimsical declaration of zoning offices.
“It is completely alien to our constitution and we hereby make it clear that it will never be tolerated,” he said.
Mr Taiwo Kolawole, the Deputy Speaker of the House, who spoke on behalf of the speaker, thanked the protesters for the peaceful nature of the protest.
He also commended them for not taking the law into their hands, but said he would have advised them to take the protest to the party’s secretariat.
The lawmaker said that every member of the House is a delegate to the national convention of the party which makes them stakeholders as well.
He assured them that the House would take their complaints to the appropriate quarters.
“We are progressive minded people, we not only listen to complaints, we also resolve them,” Kolawole said.