30th January, 2015
The list of candidates for the House of Assembly election in February released by Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has finally put paid to two contentious seats at the Lagos State House of Assembly, western Nigeria.
Two aspirants on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, who defeated incumbent lawmakers lost their tickects. The two seats are Lagos Island Constituency 1 and Amuwo-Odofin Constituency 2 occupied by Hakeem Masha and Ramotallahi Akinola-Hassan respectively.
Though they were trounced at the primaries, the duo had put up a strong fight to reclaim the tickets, while their constituents and supporters watched with anxiety as events unfolded.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, primaries for Lagos Island Constituency 1 was won by Wasiu Sanni-Eshilokun, former chairman of the Lagos Island Local Government council.
However, the cry against Eshilokun was that he wanted to take the position of a judge in his own case.
Eshilokun, who was already being touted as one of those scheming to become the Speaker of the House when the eighth Assembly begins, was accused of not properly resigning as the Secretary of the APC in Lagos State before seeking elective position as stipulated in the party’s guideline.
He was also accused of trying to place personal interest above party interest as being the Secretary of the party made it the first time he was appointed to serve the party since he had always enjoyed holding various positions including as lawmaker and aide to governor.
It was learnt from sources at the Acme Road, Agidingbi secretariat of APC that the party was not comfortable with the complaints from people against the former council chairman. It then convinced Eshilokun to step down.
In Amuwo-Odofin, Suleiman Rauf had floored Akinola-Hassan, leading to serious tension in the area that lasted for weeks.
It was learnt that Akinola-Hassan had been confident that she would win the primaries, but was allegedly betrayed by some elders of the party.
Apart from these arguments, the APC, it was learnt, had given special consideration to lawmakers who are serving for the first time. Out of the 16 first term members of the House, Masha and Akinola-Hassan were the affected lawmakers who got back their tickets after losing the party primary.
Adebimpe Akinsola, a representative of Ikorodu Constituency 2 was not so lucky. She was beaten at the primary election by Nurudeen Saka Solaja.
Contacted, Masha, who reluctantly spoke about the development, said he could only thank the APC for considering him for a second term as lawmaker.
He also promised to remain loyal and double his effort and contribution to the vision and mission of the APC.