14th September, 2011
Scores of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members in Apapa/Iganmu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, peacefully protested at the partyâ€™s secretariat on ACME Road, Ogba and the stateâ€™s House of Assembly, Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday, to register their displeasure over the reelection bid of the council chairman, Dr. Adesola Samuel Adedayo, alleging that he failed to broker peace among the warring gangs in the area.
They also appealed the assembly members to prevail on their behalf to the leadership of the party not to make the chairman its flag bearer in the coming local government election.
According to one of the protesters, Mr. Taiwo Osai, â€œit is a leaderâ€™s responsibility to carry his people along not with coercion but with reasoning and persuasion. When the chairman assumed office, he had a covenant with the people, but his selection has become a big burden to everyone in the community and it is on this ground that we want him to go.â€
Osai said all efforts to reconcile factions in the council area has been made fruitless by the chairman, alleging that he hires armed thugs to threaten his perceived enemies and that is why the people of the area donâ€™t want him again.
â€œWe want a change, we need someone with Christ-like mind, who is humble and able to share our problems. We want someone who will be persuasive in governance, that is our demand. If he is made a chairman over us, we will make the place ungovernable for him. That is why we are saying that he should be kind enough to quit and drop his reelection ambition.
â€œWe have not come here to inundate the lawmakers and party leaders with complaints, but to appeal to them not to make him our chairman,â€ Osai added.
A woman leader, Alhaja Raliat Adebisi Bello, who also spoke to Lagos Bulletin on the objection of the people of the community to the reelection bid of the incumbent chairman, said â€œwe donâ€™t want Dr. Adedayo Samuel as our chairman again. Ever since he became chairman in the local government, there has been no peace, rather, it is killing and maiming everyday, he has been harassing us with men of OP-MESA and policemen under the pretence of bringing peace, still there is no peace.
â€œHe has used the money meant for the development of the council to arm hoodlums and thugs, that is why everyone in the area is saying that we donâ€™t want him again, the leadership of the party should give us another person as our chairmanship candidate.â€
Another resident, Mr. Ayuba Adegbite, accused the chairman of rendering some street sweepers and board members jobless and that he refused all appeals to him by the party leaders to reinstate the sacked persons, adding that
several people have lost their loved ones, while some of the youths in the area are now languishing in prison.
He urged the lawmakers to use their good offices to convince the partyâ€™s leadership not to field the chairman as its candidate for the October local government election in the state.
Responding, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, a House of Assembly member, commended the residents for the peaceful demonstration, saying that all their requests will be looked into and that the chairman will be summoned to defend every allegation levelled against him.
He, however, told them that the legislature has no power over who represents the party in any election and urged them to meet party leaders at the state level.
During the protest, the aggrieved residents armed themselves with placards bearing different inscriptions such as Leaders, all we need now is change, Leaders, save us from Gaddafi of Apapa/Iganmu, We give you our votes, but you give us pains and death, go now Jimsam and many more.
LGA chairman, Alhaji Moruf Gbadamosi, who spoke with Lagos Bulletin on phone, said the party has tried to reconcile all aggrieved parties in the area but to no avail.
â€œWe had our LGA meeting on Monday and tried to see that peace reigns in the council area. Although everyone has a right to protest and since we have intervened, I expect things to calm down. We are the ruling party in the state and all they are doing now is a big disgrace to our party,â€ Gbadamosi said, while admonishing every member to maintain peace for the progress of the party, more so that the local government election is near.
Reacting to the protest, the man in the eye of the storm, Dr. Adedayo Samuel Adesola, said the protest was sponsored by some aspirants who are desperate for power, but refused to join issues with anyone, saying that the matter is already before the leadership of the party.
â€œThere is no way I can pick up arms against my people, especially in a community where Iâ€™m a stakeholder. I have been trying in make the council area better than what it was and our leaders believe in us and that is why they put us there, but I donâ€™t know why they are doing this.
â€œWhy are they protesting when the party has not come out with the candidatesâ€™ list? They should have waited till the release of the list before they start to protest, in fact, this is to tell you that the protest was sponsored,â€ Adedayo stated.