The wave of protests and problems besetting the ward congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reared its ugly head Lagos with some aggrieved members storming the party’s secretariat on Wednesday to protest a publication that excluded their wards in the ward congress re-run elections in the state.
The protesters, who came from various wards across the state, were seen chanting songs, displaying placards, demanding justice and fair play from the party at the APC’s state secretariat in Ogba.
The re-run’s publication, which was carried by some national dailies, was credited to the Dr. Garuba Abari-led APC Congresses Committee for Lagos State.
According to the publication, the party has fixed the re-run congresses in some wards in the state for today (Thursday April 10).
Out of the 377 wards where congresses were held on April 5, the committee declared re-run in 102 wards.
Disagreements, controversies and protests had trailed the ward congresses, resulting in the committee scheduling the re-run in areas where polls were considered inconclusive.
However, Great Jonathan, from Ward B in Ikeja Local Government Area, who led the protest, said his ward was not included in the re-run even when congress did not hold there.
“We sent in our petition just like others and we are shocked to see the publication this morning announcing re-run in some wards and excluding our ward.
“We will go to any level to protests this marginalisation,” said a visibly angry Jonathan.
A former Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area, Chief Demola Doherty, was also unhappy pointing out that out of the seven wards in the area where congresses were not held, only one was slated for a re-run.
Doherty said: “There was no congress in any of the seven wards in the council.
“Based on our protest over last Saturday’s congress, they included just Ward C2 for re-run, which is unacceptable to us.”
Doherty said that the committee should hold fresh congresses in all the wards in Lagos to avert issues that would befall the party if members remained aggrieved over the outcome of the congresses.
The Interim State Chairman of the Party, Chief Henry Ajomale was not available for comments.
However, the Lagos incident is coming on the heels of the congress in Akure, Ondo State ending in bloodshed with one person killed and 17 injured in the fracas that characterised the exercise, while in the Kano the exercise did not hold at all.
According to Dr Mustapha Inuwa, the Chairman of the Congress Supervising Committee in the state, congress will now hold this weekend.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Wednesday, Dr Mustapha Inuwa said the decision to shift the congress for the second time was taken during the party stakeholders’ meeting held on Monday in Kano.
He explained that the decision was due to the late arrival of the materials and officials charged with the responsibility of overseeing the conduct of the exercise.