By Ibidapo Balogun
The Chairman of the Lagos State All Progressives Congress Election Committee 2017, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, has defended the processes employed to pick the party’s chairmanship and councillorship candidates across the 20 Local Government Councils, 37 Local Council Development Areas and 377 wards of the state.
In a statement signed by him, the Senator said in line with the party’s constitution, a combination of direct and indirect primaries, the consensus option was employed in picking the candidates.
Heated disagreements and bitter complaints had greeted the exercise in some areas. But Afikuyomi said these were normal in any democratic system and that these had been resolved through the conflict resolution mechanism put in place.
He commended the party leadership for the feat achieved, the candidates for their victory and those who did not win for their courage to step forward to contest.
Governor Ambode speaking at APC Stakeholders’ Meeting before the primaries
Below is the full text of the statement on the APC Local Government Election Primaries
The process of choosing candidates for the forthcoming Local Government Election in Lagos has been successfully completed. Across the 20 Local Government Councils, 37 Local Council Development Areas and 377 wards in the state, All Progressives Congress chairmanship and councillorship candidates have emerged. We have forwarded our list of candidates to Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission in conformity with election guidelines. I congratulate the leadership and teeming APC members for this achievement.
Our party’s constitution provides for both direct and indirect primaries to pick the candidates. In its wisdom, the APC leadership in Lagos opted for a combination of primaries and the consensus option in compliance with the provisions of Articles 20 (ii)a, (iii)a and 21(xi) of the APC Constitution.
That was done to ensure the emergence of real grassroots leaders and knowledgeable party men and women who can positively impact the lives of the people at the local level, who can make the much-needed difference in governance and deliver dividends of democracy to our people. This is what we need to complement the wonderful work Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has been doing.
The process had started from the Stakeholders’ Meeting where the decision on the modality for the election and other decisions were taken and ratified. However, this is not to say the exercise has been without hitches. These are normal with any democratic arrangement. No system is devoid of its problems and challenges.
Disputes and disagreements are necessary fallouts of democratic processes. No system is infallible. In the extant case, in a few areas where there have been disagreements arising from the process, these have been resolved through the conflict-resolution mechanism we put in place.
It must be pointed out, however, that if these internal squabbles and arguments were found to have been heated in APC, this should be understandable. It can only be because all the aspirants and contenders know that once they get the party’s ticket, they are as good as elected as Chairmen and Councillors. There was generally a rat-race for these positions. Truth is APC has no opposition in Lagos State.
We thank our party leadership for the confidence reposed in us by entrusting us with this responsibility. It was a call to duty and we have discharged this to the best of our abilities. We also like to use this medium to commend the entire APC members in Lagos for helping us to successfully accomplish the task. We congratulate those who have emerged as candidates to fly the banner of APC at the election. A big task has been put on their laps to represent the party and all that our party stands for.
Those who have not emerged this time also deserve commendation for their courage to step forward and contest. We believe their time would also come. This is the time to rally round the candidates to ensure overwhelming victory for the APC at the election. The conclusion of the exercise is a victory for APC. It’s our collective triumph.
SENATOR TOKUNBO AFIKUYOMI
Chairman, State Election Committee 2017