Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Ward Congress appeal committee in Lagos State, Hon Ibrahim Akaje has said his committee received only four petitions from aggrieved groups within the party in the state, Nigerian Tribune reports.
Hon Ibrahim Akaje, in his address at a stakeholders meeting held at the party secretariat in Lagos while acknowledging the receipt of the petitions said petitions were received from the Lagos4Lagos, AAMCO, The Lagos Conscience and The Democrats factions of the party.
He stated that regardless of the complaints and grievances expressed by these groups, Lagos APC will remain one, saying, it is expected that while engaging each other in the course of party activities, imperfection will manifest.
While expressing the commitment of his committee to a free, just and peaceful hearing, he said, “As Chairman of the Committee, I have always cherish the idea of fairness, justice and peace and I want to assure you that this committee will do its best to listen to your complaints and advise the national secretariat appropriately”
Addressing newsman at the meeting, he said,” On the 11th of August 2021, Chairman of the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni constituted and inaugurated our committee to look into all issues that might have arisen from the recently conducted ward congress of the party in Lagos State.
As you may be aware, our great party has constituted similar committees in other states of the federation consequent to the recent congress which was held successfully with little hitches. It is a public knowledge that Lagos State was among the state whose congress was peaceful and conducted seamlessly by the ward congress committee.
It is an acknowledged fact that Lagos State is the cradle of politics and a determining factor in politics of the country. Today, our party is the ruling party in the country because of the vital role played by the political juggernaut in the state in alliance with other political heavyweight across the nation. We are very optimistic that this victory will be repeated come 2023.
Nevertheless we are here in Lagos as appeal committee to attend to the complaints made by members aftermath the congress. It is normal that in any kind of democracy, you are bound to have committed contestants who will raise issues and our party is very much oblige to provide an avenue for it members to hear their views.
So far, our committee has received four petitions from the conduct of the congress. There was a petition from Lagos4Lagos, The Lagos Conscience, The AAMCO and the Democrats political groups within the party while we expect more petitions from others within the next 24hrs at the party secretariat here in Lagos.
We have sorted out the petitions and they have been given to members of the committee to digest and deliberate on issues raised by the petitioners and make the appropriate recommendations to the national body.”
Following a rowdy session that was triggered by the appeal committee’s chairman statement that Lagos APC is one, a chieftain of the party and an aide to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu , Joe Igbokwe said there is an infraction in the party which cannot be resolved by noises from the aggri3ved members.
He said, “We have infractions within the party and this cannot be resolved by noises and argument. We are one in the party. There are issues and I am sure whatever issues that are can be resolved amicably but definitely not through noise and rowdiness.”
Stating the grievance of his faction, representative of the Lagos Conscience, Mustapha Dabiri lamented non-inclusion of his group in the affairs of the party.
According to him, there won’t be any petition if the party is one and indivisible. He said, “If there is no petition, we won’t be here today. APC is one party but we have many groups within the party. If we have chairman of the committee saying APC is one without any faction then our being here cannot be justified. APC is one but there is no inclusion within the party. There are division within the party. We are seeking for everyone to be carried along from the state to the ward level. All we are saying is inclusion and for everybody to be carried along. APC is one but we are calling for everyone to be carried along.”
Representative of the Lagos4Lagos, Hon Sunday Ajayi, said the Ward Congress was not free, fair and credible.
Ajayi added that there were groups in the party and that the groups are challenging the ward Congress process.
He identified the major groupares the Balogun led group and the Jandor led group and so the ward Congress process was not fair to the group.
Meanwhile, the committee has said that petition from the Lagos4Lagos and AAMCO factions will be heared tomorrow at 10am and 3pm respectively while hearing of petitions from the Conscience and The APC Democrats is slated from Friday at 10am and 3pm at the party secretariat in Acme, Lagos.