…Council leaders deny Obasa’s involvement, insist congress held, seek investigation of killing
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Agege Local Government Council, Mr Jubreel Abdulkareem has faulted the conduct of the party congress in the local government, saying no congress was held in the council.
Abdulkareem, the former Executive Chairman of the council told newsmen that a group allegedly loyal to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa in connivance with the police barred other delegates from the venue.
According to the immediate past council chairman, there are two factions of APC in the council, one loyal to the party and the one loyal to Obasa.
However, Obasa and the chairman of the local government, Alhaji Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi denied any such thing, insisting that the congress took place in the council without any incident.
But, Abdulkareem said that following the crisis that greeted the ward congress on May 5, an apex leader of the party, Prof. Tunde Samuel, called a peace meeting before the congress where the posts were shared between the two factions.
He said that Samuel, a GAC member and other leaders gave 60 per cent of the offices to Obasa while the party faction took 40 per cent.
“The problem we have is that an individual feels that he is bigger than the party. Before the congress, there were two factions, the party caucus and those in government headed by Obasa.
“Since then, there was non patronage for the party, but when the congress came, we have to do it together and the leaders asked us to harmonise things.
“An harmonised list was created, but today, it was only delegates from Obasa camp that were called to vote, hence there was agitations from our own end.
“One person was killed among our excos in the process while some of our local government members who were supposed to vote were arrested by the police,” he said.
The former council boss, said that the atmosphere was still tense as members were being threatened.
He said, “It is not possible for a group to dominate all the executive positions, there is no way an individual or a group can win election for the party.”
According to him, there was no election at all at the last ward congress, development which necessitated the harmonisation in the current council congress.
The party chieftain, who called on his people to be calm, said that the marginalisation would be resolved by the leaders of the party and everybody would be carried along.
One of the eye witnesses, who preferred anonymity, said that the reading of list of delegates by the police, which favoured one faction, triggered the crisis.
“When party members saw that it was police reading the list and their names not mentioned, so they asked to be able to exercise their franchise which led to agitations.
“There were shootings from inside the school, it was the bullets that actually killed Mr Nurudeen Lanase, the congress was held at the Central Primary School, Oniwaya, Agege.
However, Leaders of the APC in Agege have unanimously called for investigations into the circumstances that led to the death of the party member at the party’s local government congress on Saturday.
They equally called on relevant security agencies to ensure that culprits indicted in the incident be brought to book.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Sunday, the party leaders led by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Obasa, decried the violence that erupted after the congress had been successfully concluded leading to the death of a party member, Nurudeen Olanose.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Agege Local Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi, stated that the congress had been concluded successfully before supporters and thugs loyal to an House of Assembly aspirant in the local government unleashed terror on the people.
“I was even back in my office after the successful completion of the congress when I was informed the violence being unleashed on the people,” he said.
Rt. Hon. Obasa stated that the leadership of the party should investigate the killing of Olanose. “The police should also do the needful by not only investigating the death of Olanose but also ensuring that those found culpable be brought to book,” the Lagos Assembly Speaker said.
According to him, the APC is a united party in Agege. “You can see that all the party leaders are here, so we have no crisis. It’s the inordinate ambition of one man that’s causing this violence,” he said.
Others who spoke at the event including Hon Taofeek Abiodun Adaranijo, member representing Agege Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives; Hon Oluyinka Ogundimu, member representing Agege State Constituency 2 in the state House of Assembly;
Dr Samuel Babatunde Adejare, state Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure; pioneer Chairman of the local government, Chief Owolabi Dada; and the party leader in Agege, Chief Safari Adaranijo; all condemned the violence that led to the killing and were unanimous in their call for investigation into the matter and culprits being brought to book.