The Lagos State Chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Thursday condemned cases of violence during primaries conducted by some political parties ahead of the July 22 council polls in the state.
The Chairman, Mr Kola Ajayi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the recorded violence was an embarrassment to IPAC and a threat to grassroots democracy.
Ajayi said the deaths and destruction that characterised some of the primaries meant that some politicians still believe in do-or-die politics.
“We are worried about cases of violence which resulted to deaths and destruction in the primaries of some political parties.
“The development is disturbing as it raises some fear that the main election might record some violence with the way some people are going about politics.
“Look at the case of somebody that was shot dead at Shogunle during a councillorship primary on Monday, we hear that the killer’s mother has been hacked to death as a reprisal attack.
“You ask yourself, what for? I think we should not allow all this to continue. Something must be done to stop it,” he said.
Ajayi said findings by IPAC had revealed that intra-party violence was mostly caused by absence of internal democracy in the conduct of party affairs.
He said the idea of imposing candidates on people was anti-democratic and urged parties to stop the practice.
The chairman said the country’s democracy would not thrive if it remained under the control of godfathers.
He urged politicians to stop using hoodlums for violence as they might end up being victims of the bad practice.
Ajayi advised the police to restrategise by ensuring security at political gatherings and elections.
“Also, we at IPAC, established to foster inter-party harmony, would do our best to address the problem of violence at elections.
“We would hold a workshop where experts will educate representatives of parties on how they can go about their business without violence.
“We will also sensitise the people on the need to practice responsible politics through the mass media and other platforms,” he said.
Ajayi urged the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to live up to its promise of a free and fair council election on July 22, to guarantee peace.