Democracy, they say, is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. But for the Commissioner for women affairs in Lagos, Mrs Lola Akande, the definition does not seem to apply after different attempts to impose a councillorship candidate on members of ‘Ward A’ in Ojodu LCDA.
There were various forms of anomalies and political gimmicks in the just concluded APC primaries in Ward A, Ojodu LCDA from delay to confrontation and violent attempts all in the name of ensuring that the people’s voice is suppressed and the choice of the powerful minority be upheld.
How Did It All Start
It all started after the APC announced that some former Executive Chairmen who performed well could run again for another term. Some leaders in the party especially in Ojodu LCDA took that as a license to share every political office amongst the big guns not having regard for the demand of the people and allowing them perform their rights of choosing who they want as the party’s flag bearer in the LCDA.
A leader in the APC Ojodu LCDA who pleaded anonymity revealed to newsmen that Mrs Lola Akande said in a meeting “it is my right to pick a councillorship candidate first in this LCDA and ward because I have served and still serving here.”
The Story Unfolds…
As preparations were on top gear, another report reaching the media said some big-wigs in WARD A, Ojodu LCDA showed that despite a democratic move by the leaders of APC in the ward to hold primary election after a 12-4 by-election gave way for primary above consensus. However, honorable Lola Akande was not satisfied with the democratic rule, she went ahead to lure aspirants to step down that her candidate may emerge as the sole candidate so as to avert primary.
Meanwhile, democracy in this ward looks to be getting more mature than expected as majority members of the “ward a” community rally-round their favored candidate and even matched in a protest to the APC Lagos state secretariat in Acme road, Ogba, to ensure that the process of selecting who emerges as the party’s flag-bearer was done democratically through primary election.
The Final Joker
It was thought that Honorable Lola Akande would throw in the towel after the state leadership of the party adjudged that a real and well contested pry be held instead of a staged polls, alas, that was not the case.
An eyewitness told newsmen that Mrs Akande on the eve of the primary election, 29th May, 2017 at about 9:00 pm came in company of a man to plead with Mrs Taiwo Apatira to speak to her son, Mr Opeyemi Apatira to step down for Mr Olatunji Kogbodoku, his opponent at the polls set for few hours afterwards.
The Election Begins…
Mr Olatunji Kogbodoku while speking with newsmen at the venue of the election noted that: “This place is not supposed to be the venue of the election because one of the aspirants resides here. I have not seen it in the constitution that it is supposed to happen this way.”
“There is going to be violence and I am not safe. For God’s sake this is supposed to be a primary election and there are so many people here, I am not expecting this crowd.” The environment looks peaceful now because nothing is happening, but when elections begin, there will be violence.”
Meanwhile when journalist asked further questions regarding the venue of the election, the ward Chairman told newsmen that that was the approved venue by the State APC.
Former Executive Secretary of Ojodu LCDA Malam Moyosore Jaji, who also granted newsmen audience affirmed to the fact that the venue of the election had been approved by the party authorities.
People had been seated from 7:30 am waiting for election materials and none arrived until about 11:30 when some of the electoral committee members arrived. However nothing could really begin as the register for accreditation of members was left with the leader of the team, Mr Johnson who was said would arrive later.
At about 3:10, the much expected list arrived with Mr Johnson but still, members of the Kogbodoku camp did all they could including harassing pressmen to ensure that the election does not hold.
One Mr Segun Ademola while speaking to the electoral team head said: “this election cannot hold because this is Ramadan period and our members have gone back home to rest after a long wait.”
He further threatened to slap a photo journalist for taking a public shot and said he was going to break any recording device used by pressmen.
The Final Result…
At About 4:15 pm after a lot of hustle and bustle, the electoral committee decided to call both aspirants out and as Mr Apatira marched out, Mr Kogbodoku was found missing.
Mr Johnson raised the hands of Mr Apatira declaring him as the only available candidate visible on the field but said the state would be left to decide who the winner is.
Post Poll Politics
Another report reaching media revealed that after the declaration by the electoral committee presiding officer, the report expected to get the collation centre did not get there as at when due and fingers are crossed waiting to see what happens to the people’s mandate against the wish of the small but powerful minority.