There are indications that the Ikorodu chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may be stepping on landmines in the aftermath of the just held Ikorodu Constituency II Lagos State House of Assembly primaries following the inability of the party to select its candidate through a free, fair and transparent voting process.
The party primaries held in Igbogbo Baiyeku at MICKSON ONAS HALL in Ikorodu constituency II, it was learnt, was marred by cases of secrecy, irregularities, manipulations of the process, and harassment of journalists followed by refusal of the Independent National Electoral Official to declare results.
The primaries, which was slated to hold at exactly 10:00 am did not commence until around 3:30pm few minutes after the accreditation of delegates who already had their tags on before their screening at the venue.
Some aspirants and supporters could be seen trying to protest the secrecy shrouding the selection and tagging of delegates for the primaries. They demanded to see the list of all accredited delegates before the election would be allowed to start, but their demand was ignored by the presiding officer.
The delegates’ list, it was alleged, was changed overnight while efforts by some aspirants and stakeholders to examine the names on it were snubbed by the INEC presiding officer.
Few minutes after delegates and aspirants were led into the voting hall, journalists trying to cover the event were prevented by the team of Nigeria Police Force details at the gate and some aspirant’s loyalists.
One of the aspirants, Honourable Oluwatosin Onamade, who spoke to journalists after the elections described the primaries as a “total disregard for the rule of law.”
According to Onamade, “The election was not concluded, neither was there a declaration of result to affirm the outcome of the primaries. The presiding officer took a unilateral decision disallowing the counting of votes in the hall, but rather, packed all the ballot papers and dashed out of the venue along with his team, with an instruction for all concerned to meet him at the Igbogbo police station, Ikorodu.
Onamade condemned the conduct of the electoral officers who, he said, acted fraudulently with a high level of partiality visible in the way and manner they conducted themselves.
“They asked us to meet at Igbogbo Police Station for the announcement of winners, but when I and my agent got to Igbogbo Police Station, we didn’t see them there. I called to find out what was going on and I was told to go check the APC secretariat in Igbogbo, but they were not there either”.
According to Onamade, contrary to what was stipulated in the guidelines guiding the conduct of the primaries, “it is shocking to note that the delegates list being presented were changed overnight while all the fake delegates were issued tags in a private hotel a night before the primaries.”
“The primaries was slated to hold on Thursday but later postponed till Friday. It is depressing to note that there was no proper communication to the postponement. I only got to know via the social media pages.” Onamade stated.
“I have never witnessed a party primaries held in this manner before. This is a shambolic and fraudulent arrangement and I will take necessary legal action to express by dissatisfaction over the outcome of this fraud.” Onamade declared.