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Lagos PDP urges cancellation of HoA, HoR primaries as Oyo aspirants allege intimidation

By Kehinde Olatunji
25 May 2022   |   2:48 am
A fresh crisis has broken out in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos as the state working committee has called on the National Working Committee (NWC)
PDP chairman

PDP Chairman Iyorchia Ayu. Photo: facebook/IAOkowa

A fresh crisis has broken out in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos as the state working committee has called on the National Working Committee (NWC) to cancel the House of Assembly and House of Representatives primaries held on Sunday.

The Lagos State Chairman, Philips Aivoji, addressing a news conference alongside other state excos, governorship aspirants and party leaders in Ikeja, said that the ad hoc delegates list brought by the electoral committees for both primaries was compromised.

The Guardian gathered that since last Sunday’s primaries, there had been uncertainties, tensions and apprehensions.
According to him, this is the responsibility of the state executive committee (state exco) of the party, and therefore totally unacceptable.

He said that the committee chairman and the secretary of the election committee meant to conduct the State House of Assembly Primary election have not reported to the state chairman or state organ of the party.
The chairman said that if the exercise was allowed to carry on, it would also lead to a plethora of endless litigation afterwards.
He said that the process of throwing up the authentic delegates list was done in consonance with the constitution of the party as all relevant stakeholders were consulted and carried along.

MEANWHILE, three aggrieved aspirants vying for a ticket to run for the House of Representatives seat in Ibadan South East/North East Federal Constituency, Oyo State in the 2023 general election under the PDP have decried the alleged use of force and intimidation during the party’s primary at the Goodwill Hall, Adekunle Orita Aperin, Ibadan, yesterday, saying that no election held on the occasion.

Three aspirants, namely Deji Aboderin, Dr Kazeem Adesina Oladupo and Niyi Aborisade, are vying for a ticket for the National Assembly seat, alleged Hon. Abass A. Adigun, member, House of Representatives for Ibadan North East/South East Federal constituency, of muscling them down with the use of force.

Aboderin said that what was seen today showed that the PDP government in Oyo State is a failure.

“We are going to challenge what happened today because there was no primary. What transpired at the venue of the primary showed that the PDP government in Oyo State is not about people but about cliques.

“Honourable Agboworin came with personnel of the armed forces, thugs and the Deputy National Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.

“Honourable Adeleke was seated, Ambassador Arapaja, the Deputy National Chairman of PDP was there. These are the people who want to rule us in 2023. The thugs said that I should leave the venue and that if I failed to leave, they would shoot me down.

“There was no primary in Oyo State. If they just write names, and the national body of the party in Abuja approves it.

“Immediately they came in people were shooting. The thugs came, they wanted to attack us. They were armed with guns, knives and charm.”

Oladupo said, “There was no primary election in Ibadan North East and South East Federal Constituency today. Although they might come up with a winner as you can see there was no primary. The atmosphere was not conducive and it was really discouraging and sad. This is not democracy.”

Insisting that democracy is allowing the people to choose their own representatives, he said, “However, as you can see today, there is a lot of tension in the atmosphere. One of the national leaders of the party was moving around with soldiers and thugs to intimidate aspirants and delegates so as to arrive at a predetermined result. This is not going to be the end of it. We are going to do the needful.”

Aborisade said, “There was no (primary) election today; the three of us who are contesting for the party’s ticket were there. There was no enabling environment. The leadership has failed us totally by not providing us with an enabling environment where free and fair elections could be held.

“We were chased out by the likes of Ambassador Arapaja, Akeem Ige, Dare Adeleke, and co and thugs. We should be allowed to exercise our civic rights. It costs more than N3million to get form. We were not approached on what to do. We were not told to step down for Agboworin. They were just using might as if might is right. The governor (Seyi Makinde) as the Chief Security Officer failed to provide us security for free and fair primary. We were sent out by the thugs of Arapaja and his co-travellers.

“We were not allowed to exercise our franchise. It is a big shame that things are happening like this under the governor who we think should do better.

“This is not what the Electoral Act stipulates that should be done. If there would be a consensus, all of us had to sign. There was no signature. Nothing took place, so I don’t know how they could just raise his hands. He was not validly elected and this would be challenged in the law court.”