5th September, 2011
Councillors in Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, have exonerated themselves from alleged attack on members of a political group, Igbo United Political Coalition, at the councilâ€™s premises last Thursday. The grassroots lawmakers claimed that no assault was led against the group, as they are considered members of the council whom they are voted to serve.
Mr. Olanrewau Emiabata,the spokesperson for the councilâ€™s legislative arm, described the groupâ€™s allegation as a blatant lie and a ploy to seek relevance in the build-up to the local government election coming up soon. Emiabata said the hall which the group claimed they were denied use of was not a public hall as alleged, but a temporary office for civil servants in the council. He explained that councillors usually seek permission from the occupants before using the hall. The councillor showed P.M.NEWS a circular restricting the use of the hall, and wondered where the group’s permission to use the hall came from, claiming that no one would have granted such.
On the allegation ot threat to life and violence against the group for not supporting the chairmanship candidate backed by the councillors for the coming local government election, Emiabata said that was not true, saying; â€œThe issue of supporting a particular candidate is a personal thing and it cannot be forced on any individual or group.â€
He accused members of the group of double dealing, saying the group did not support the party during the governorship election but APGAâ€™s candidate and that it was when their candidate lost the election that they came back to ACN. He called on the leaders of the party in the state to disregard their appeal; adding that at no time was any threat issued to any member of the group.
The group had earlier protested the alleged manhadling by the councillors and urged the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state to restrain them. They alleged threats to their lives and intimidation by the councillors.
â€” Paul Sanusi