GUBER/ASSEMBLY POLLS: Tinubu gives marching orders to APC chieftains

2019-03-01
VANGUARD Newspaper


Lagos—All Progressives Congress, APC leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday gave marching order to the party’s chieftains in Lagos State to deliver maximum votes for the party, failing which they would be stripped of their positions.

Lamenting their poor delivery in Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, the party leader warned that nobody, including the chairman of the state chapter of the party, Alhaji Tunde Balogun was indispensable.

Speaking to stakeholders after a closed-door meeting with members of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, at the secretariat of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Independent Campaign Group, BOS-ICG, in Ikeja GRA, he lambasted party chiefs for failing to deliver maximally for APC at last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly polls.

He said the party’s strong membership did not show in last weekend’s election. Warning that any chieftain of the party who failed to attain in its mandate would be shown the red card.

“Please, don’t praise me, I don’t need your praises, after the poor performance you all put up at the presidential and National Assembly elections in the state,” the national leader was quoted as saying.

“It showed that most of the chieftains and council chairmen did not mobilize the grassroots after all the support from the party.

“I will not condone this act any further. Party leaders and council chairmen who fail to perform to expectation at the next governorship and House of Assembly polls on March 9, should be ready to resign or face the music. “We have over three million registered APC members and yet the performance last Saturday was poor.

“The chairman of the state party, (Babatunde Balongun) should know that his position is not a permanent one. If he fails, he will have to go too,” the party leader said.

In attendance at the meeting were: GAC members led by Prince Tajudeen Olusi, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Dr. Yomi Finnih, APC Governorship candidate in the state Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his running-mate, Dr. Femi Hamzat, APC state chairman, Tunde Balogun and executive members, among others.

Police disperse ‘Orange group’
Meanwhile, a move to upset the political order in Lagos in Lagos was yesterday forcefully stopped by the Nigerian Police.

People suspected to be loyalists of a major political party were also visibly involved in attacking the organisers of the rebellion themed: “Orange Movement for a Free Lagos.”

The move was directed against the unofficial political leadership of the state.

The press conference to announce the birth of the Orange Movement for a Free Lagos was inspired by a coalition of political parties, Afenifere and civil society organisations, led by Mr. Olisa Agbakoba.

It was, however, aborted after heavily armed policemen numbering more than 30 stormed the Airport Hotel, Ikeja Lagos venue.

The police contingent led by a female officer arrived the venue in about six patrol vehicles and one black police truck (black maria) belonging to the State Task Force.

They were said to have ordered the blockade of all gates into and out of the hotel and prevented people from gaining access to the Oranmiyan Hall where the press conference was to hold.

Scores of people, who had come for the event in about five fully-loaded BRT buses, were stranded at the main gate as they were prevented from entering, while those already seated, including journalists were not allowed to come out. Some of the members of the group who tried to force their way into the venue were resisted by the policemen with tear gas canisters. While the people were still protesting the police siege, an eye witness told Vanguard that some loyalists of a major political party came and started throwing stones, broken bottles at the protesters. The development led the police to fire several tear gas shots into the air to dispatch the crowd. The commotion in and outside the hotel led to panic along the adjoining Obafemi Awolowo Road as pedestrians on the road ran helter-skelter. When calm returned, Mark Adebayo, a member of the Orange Movement, addressed the few people left in the hall. However, as he ended his speech the police stormed the hall and ordered everyone out of the hall. Adebayo was himself directed to immediately report for questioning at the State Police Headquarters at Ikeja. Adebayo had decried the violence that characterised the presidential and assembly elections on February 23 in some parts of the state. He said the problem prevented many voters from exercising their civic rights as they were intimidated by those he called agents of the ruling APC. He said the development was not good for democracy as it threatens the emergence of the choices of the people. Adebayo said the movement was deeply concerned about the control of the state’s resources by a group of people for several years. Adebayo said it was time to free the state from what he called bondage and allow the will of the people to prevail. He asked residents to challenge what he called the political hegemony that had maltreated them and cornered their resources. “Are we so stupid and ignorant in Lagos to allow one man manipulate and maltreat us this way? The clear answer is resounding No. “So Lagosians, Enough is Enough, Lagosians arise and shine. Liberate yourselves from the iron grip of one man. “Stand up and free yourselves and your future from the captivity of a roguish system of power succession that lacks basic respect for free choice of leadership,” he said. Explaining why the group was dispersed, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zubairu Muazu said: “Information was received from organizers of the event that they were being attacked by some hoodlums. Based on the information the Divisional Police Officer in-Charge of Ikeja Division swiftly deployed his men to the area. “It is against the law for anyone or group of persons to organize any public procession without getting approval from the Police, considering the tensed situation of the state.”

 

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