- Ambode: APCâ€™s internal rift detrimental to Lagos
Gboyega Akinsanmi,Shola Oyeyipo and Sunday Okobi
The Lagos State Government wednesday extended the restriction of movement across the state, noting that it had been slightly expanded and would now be enforced between 7a.m and 3p.m. on July 22, to allow for a smooth conduct of the local government elections and unhindered participation.
In a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the government also reiterated the call for a peaceful and orderly conduct by the electorates on Saturday as the state holds elections that will usher in new nhairmen and councillors in the 20 local government areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) across the state.
According to the commissioner, the state government and security agencies would leave no stone unturned in ensuring a free and fair election, while ensuring safety of electoral officials and voters.
He also urged residents to be peaceful and orderly in casting and protecting their votes in their respective wards for Chairmen and councillors who are expected to drive development at the third tier of government.
Meanwhile, ahead of the elections, there are growing indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is heading for the polls as a divided house as barely 48 hours before the elections, the party is still at loggerheads with National Legal Adviser of the party, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN).
While some groups in the party have been protesting and calling for the expulsion of the APC chieftain over alleged anti-party activities, as Banire and his loyalists have continued to allege imposition of candidates for the elections.
A legal practitioner and Deputy Convener, United Action for Change, where Banire is the convener, Mr. Kunle Adegoke, who addressed a press conference yesterday, described those who protested against Banire last Tuesday as engaging in â€œinglorious show of self-immolation.â€
Prior to the May 27 APC primary at the National Stadium, Banire had maintained that the party must give room for internal democracy in the processes of electing candidates for the election.
But Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has urged all aggrieved chieftains and members of the party to end their all differences they have with the party, saying internal rift could be detrimental to the state at large.
He therefore asked all the aggrieved chieftains and members of the APC to work for the victory of the party, noting that there â€œare still 1001 positions to compensate and placate those left in a negative way.â€
The governor made the appeal after the Chairman of Lagos APC, Chief Oladele Ajomale presented flags to all chairman and vice chairmanship candidates at the State House, Alausa where he said any crack â€œwill be detrimental not just to the progress of the APC, but also the state in general.â€
Ambode personally apologised for all the party might have done wrong during the primaries, appealing â€œto all chieftains and members to work together as a team. If we break the house, there will be no canopy. So, it is better to call the plumber, the bricklayer, the electrician to come and do repair works, so that there will be somewhere for us to lay our head and sleep.
After presenting flags to the candidates, Ajomale assured that the party would emerge victorious in all positions at the polls as a befitting gift to Ambode and Tinubu, noting that the party had worked hard in the last few months to ensure total victory for all its candidates at the polls.
Ajomale added that it was imperative for the party â€œto maintain its grip so as to complement Ambodeâ€™s efforts to deliver more dividends of democracy to every part of the State, charging all party leaders at the local government level to ensure victory on Saturday.
Also, a chieftain of the party, Alhaji Ganiyu Kola Egunjobi, has quelled the rumours that the party is experiencing crisis at different levels.
At a media chat with journalists yesterday in Ikeja, Egunjobi, who reflected to the recent party local council primaries that was reportedly flawed, clarified that it was just a brotherly misunderstanding which has long been resolved.
He added: â€œWhat happened was that the leaders and party faithful agreed on a voice vote, and that was what took place.â€
According to him, â€œThe is no crises in APC; we are firmly on ground to win in all the local government elections coming up on Saturday in Lagos State, as the party has really done well at the state and national levels in the provision of solid foundation for Nigeriaâ€™s unity and progress.
Egunjobi who is also the chairmanship candidate for Agege Local Government Area, promised to run an inclusive and very transparent government if elected.
The 42-year-old politician noted that he went into politics to provide selfless service to his people, having lived all his infant and adult life among his people in Agege community.
He submitted that his vying for the office was to cater for the welfare of the residents, adding that â€œIf I provide good healthcare facilities for my people, by this, I have taken care of their welfare.