The Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been accused of disqualifying some aspirants who were initially cleared to contest the party ticket at the Saturday primaries. Some of the affected aspirants and party faithful from Surulere Local Government Area believe their sudden exclusion is a premeditated and deliberate move.
This medium is in receipt of a list of disqualified aspirants from ‘Ward E’ in Surulere LG. They are Thomas Babatunde Akinwande and Bello Nurudeen Olanrenwaju. Another aspirant so excluded is Ogunlana Babatunde Kayode, who reportedly failed to appear before the screening committee.
As learned, one of the disqualified aspirants Thomas Akinwande had initially been cleared by different screening organs of the party. His disqualification, however, was revealed late on Thursday – the same day the appeals committee hearing grievances of affected aspirants concluded it assignment.
The only aspirant approved to contest the primaries is Barakat Akande, the incumbent councillor representing the ward. Akande, a protégé of Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of House of Representatives, is equally the Leader of the local government parliament.
Before now, Gbajabiamila was reported to have pressured other candidates to step down for Akande and her eight other incumbent councillors. While some aspirants heeded Gbajabiamila’s call, others shunned him.
Gbajabiamila’s alleged action is viewed as his attempt to undermine internal democracy and was condemned by party members who preferred anonymity.
“We did not know Barakat from Adam. Femi (Gbajabiamila) brought her from London. This time around, party members want popular choices to emerge as candidates of the party but these agents of confusion want otherwise. We don’t want people of questionable character. We are appealing to Femi Gbajabiamila to let peace reign and not impose Barakat on us,” said a woman leader in Surulere APC.
Moreover, the aggrieved party faithful have alleged the APC state chairman Tunde Balogun is in cahoots with Gbajabiamila on the disqualification of popular aspirants. Also mentioned in thie is Shakiru Ajao, the party chairman at the local government level.
The disqualification is reported to have further polarised the party as supporters of disqualified aspirants have vowed to resist the party.