By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Hundreds of aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Somolu on Thursday staged a protest to the Lagos House, Ikeja over alleged imposition of a candidate in the forthcoming local government election.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as “Crisis is imminent in Somolu, avert it,” and “Illegality cannot be condoned in democracy”.
They blocked the entrance to the Lagos Governor’s Office while chanting: “On your mandate we shall stand.”
The placard carrying residents alleged that the incumbent Chairman, Abdulhameed Salawu, popularly known as Dullar, was being forcefully imposed on them for the July local government polls, stressing that he is not the choice of the people.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr Femi Olowole-Denmark maintained that the APC did not hold primary election in Somolu as four of the contestants had signed an agreement, nominating the current Vice-Chairman, Bowale Sosinmi, as their preferred candidate for the Chairmanship position.
He claimed that this would be the second time a candidate would be imposed on them and appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to prevail on the party leadership to ensure that the will of the people reign supreme.
Another APC chieftain in Somolu, Jaiye binutu, said they were protesting to retrieve a stolen mandate from Dullar.
“How can somebody in a contest with our candidate declare primary election cancelled? They said he has won. The party declared that we should hold primary election and we held primary election, on the day of the primary, it did not hold. He declare the primaries cancelled. We won’t take that,” he said.
Addressing the protesters, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat commended them for coordinating themselves in a peaceful manner and urged them to present evidence of the agreement nominating Mr Bowale as the consensus candidate, with an assurance that recognised leaders from all the eight wards in Somolu would be invited to a roundtable for amicable resolution of the matter.