Group decries imposition of candidates
• APC flag bearer pledges change in Agege
The United Action for Change (UAC) has decried alleged imposition of candidates by some leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos State for the local council election holding on Saturday.
While addressing the press yesterday, the Deputy Convener of UAC, Kunle Adegoke lamented the development, which he described as detrimental to democracy.
Adegoke also faulted the protest by some “miscreants within the party” against the National Convener who also doubles as the National Legal Adviser of APC, Dr. Muiz Banire because of his call for transparency in the party.
Banire who had earlier posited that a credible primary election should be conducted instead of handpicking candidates, has been accused of causing disunity and confusion in the party.
National Coordinator of the group, Niyi Akinsiju also remarked “if the organisers of the jejune rally believed that they had a genuine crowd of democratic elements, why didn’t they use their population to do a primary election where their candidates can emerge in flying colours.
In the same vein, UAC also kicked against the efforts of the legislators in the Lagos State House of Assembly to amend the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) law to allow APC feature unqualified candidates in the elections.
“UAC is against this development on the basis of the process of amending the law which was done hurriedly after the decision of the High Court of Lagos State to nullify the imposition of a candidate from Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area.”
The group also revealed that the primary election conducted in Odi-Olowo two days ago was haphazardly done not minding the fact that the time for nomination of candidates had elapsed and a host of members did not partake in the activities giving rooms for the few favoured candidates to emerge in the process.
The group alleged that it is a case of legislative indecency for the legislature to pass a law in the middle of the game and of which majority of the Assembly belonged to the ruling APC.
“The said bill passed through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings within 10 minutes and same was presented to the governor Akinwumi Ambode for his immediate assent.”
The UAC alleged that the amendment was to favour APC not minding the interest of other political parties thereby wounding democracy in the state.
“UAC is not interested in anyone winning the coming poll but for the interest of all Lagosians to be respected and upheld. In order to avoid loads of cases after the elections, why must APC go to an election with imposed candidates? The only way our democratic dispensation can work effectively is where every aspirant for political office, who is qualified to contest an election, is given a level playing ground.”
Meanwhile, the election, which is scheduled to hold next Saturday, has drawn the attention of local and international observers. In ensuring a free and fair election, LASIEC has also promised to conduct the exercise in a free and fair manner. The commission is also determined to announce the results of the polls at the different collation centers across the state to ensure fairness and credibility.
In another development, the APC chairmanship candidate for Agege local council, Alhaji Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi, has promised to run an inclusive and very transparent government if elected.
During a chat yesterday with newsmen in Ikeja, the 42-year-old noted that he went into politics to provide selfless service to his people, having lived all his infant and adult life in Agege community.
His words: “If I provide good healthcare facilities for my people, by this, I have taken care of their welfare. Same applies when I build more schools with modern learning facilities, roads as well as provide potable water in strategic locations and support law enforcement agents to beef security for their overall wellbeing.”
He continued: “More importantly, my administration intends to widen the economic space by making Agege a more conducive hub for doing businesses. By this, our market women will be gainfully engaged and the youths actively involved in income-earning activities.”
On how he intends to raise funds in this austere time for his programmes, Egunjobi noted that since he would be running an administration that embraces all in the formulation and implementation of policies, it would not be too hard to convince the residents to perform their civic duties, including payment of tax, as promptly as possible, since they know that they would transparently monitor the government as a team.
He regretted that what was missing majorly in the political setting is trust, stating that if leaders win the confidence of the people, it would not be difficult to get them to support government policies and pay taxes and levies.
To plug leakages, Egunjobi pledged to deploy Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools with a view to ensuring transparency, probity and accountability at the third tier of government.
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