By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
Ahead of the forth- coming bye-election in Ifako-Ijaye federal constituency in Lagos, a chieftain of the All Progressive Party (APC), Chief Wale Ojo has warned the party leaders against imposition of a candidate on the party.
He averred that such act might cost the party the election, saying that majority of the party members are against it.
Ojo, who said that there were speculations that some party leaders are planning to foist their choice candidate on the party, urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to prevail on them to jettison the idea.
Emphasizing that imposition of candidate is undemocratic and could lead to defection of party members, the APC chieftain implored that all interested aspirants must be allowed to test their population in a free and fair primary election.
According to him, all interested aspirants, who meet up with the party guidelines should be allowed a level playing and the party members also allowed to choose whom they want to represent them.
The APC stalwart claimed that the party leaders had most times in recent past imposed non-residents on the party, which according him ends up in the area not being developed by the candidate after being elected into office.
His words, “It is a common knowledge that candidates are being imposed on electorates by party leaders when there is election and we don’t want this to happen in the forth coming bye-election in Ifako- Ijaye federal constituency. That is why we are calling on Governor Ambode to prevail on the party leaders against such act because there are speculations that they are already planning to do that. If they are not careful, it might cost the party the election.
“Majority of the party members are averse to imposition and we want to warn that the party members should be allowed to pick whoever they want to represent them and not those who do not live or understand the terrain or area they want to represent, they should allow a free and fair primary election”.
Speaking further, Ojo cited the recently conducted governorship primary election of the APC in Ondo state, stating that the wishes of the people prevailed over the alleged plan by one of the party’s national leader to impose his preferred candidate.
The APC chieftain, who also opposed consensus arrangement, maintained that it also deprived interested candidates and members of the party, active participation in the process of electing their representative.
“By reaching a consensus arrangement is also undemocratic, it does deprive interested aspirants and party members active participation in electing their representative.
“Again, what happens most times is that the leaders would either bring somebody from abroad or another constituency, who does not reside in the place he or she is seeking elective post, person who does not know the streets within the constituency or local government area or the boundary with other area and foist them on the people. This must stop, no consensus, a level playing ground must be offer all the interested aspirants”, he further warned.
It will be recalled that the person representing the Ifako-Ijaye federal constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Elijah Adewale slumped and died last month in Abuja.
By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.