By Paul Dada
The All Progressives Congress may boast of a large turnout of voters at the various centres on Saturday for its local council chairmanship primaries in Lagos but cases of violence and allegations of malpractices are things it cannot be proud of.
At Surulere, three persons lost their lives and many others were injured when thugs said to be loyal to the aspirant which had the support of a high ranking federal lawmaker went on the rampage.
The hoodlums who were said to be in their hundreds, it was learnt, attacked those who had gathered to vote.
At Ejigbo, a chairmanship aspirant, Peter Ajayi, claimed that the Local Government Area party chairman , Alhaji Fatai Kasumu diverted electoral materials and officials to his house.
Ajayi, who made the accusation while speaking with journalists on Saturday at Ejigbo playing ground, said Kasumu was not neutral in the primaries and that he redirected the officials to unknown areas of the local government area.
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He alleged that over 30 of his supporters were unduly arrested by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the area but that with his intervention they were later released.
Ajayi explained that the incumbent chairman induced the electoral process in a manner that contravened the APC guidelines. He added that open membership cards were hoarded, thugs instigated and umpires were from the camp.
He added that the electoral officials were substituted with party LGA executives and Ward executives who are loyalists.
” The Electoral and Retruning Officers left Acme at about 8am and got to Ejigbo at 8:45am but up till now, they are in the house of the LGA Chairman, Alhaji Fatai Kasumu. This is 12noon they have not started the process and people are not happy.
” Some of my supporters were arrested for doing nothing by the Ejigbo LCDA and I have called him to release them. This shows my opponent has influenced him. Those arrested are not thugs, they are eligible party members with cards to vote.
” Based on reports reaching me, the names of party executives who are been used as electoral officials by Alhaji Kasumu are Agiri Adeola, Akeem Oduyoye and Olabisi Muritala (Oke Afa ward), Hon. Jimoh Aleshinloye (Fadu Ward) while Olufemi Ibine popularly known as BamBam is used to intimidate and harass my supporters in Oke Afa ward,”he said.
Ajayi further alleged that at the polling units, the electoral officials were telling voters on who to vote for.