Some members of the House of Assembly, who lost out in the last All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries have accused Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of playing key role in making them to lose their return tickets.
The accusation was levelled against the governor during plenary on Monday when the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade anaylsed the report from the legislative training the members attended last week in Ogere, Ogun State.
The lawmakers lamented that the delegates’ lists were doctored in many constituencies in favour of aspirants whom they believed were backed by the governor during the primaries, saying that the process was not credible and devoid of democratic practices.
Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo 1), who was first to comment, narrated his ordeal and how the delegate system was used to schemed him out for an aspirant allegedly backed by the governor.
Akande said that Sanwo-Olu had successfully made an in-road into the House with the emergence of those who won the primaries, even as he expressed the need for the House to quickly curtail the governor’s influence.
According to him, the governor, instead of supporting their return to the House supported his own candidates against them.
The lawmaker said that there was need to speak out on their experiences during the primaries, saying that the House would never be a rubber stamp.
He added that it would be a waste of tax payers money if after being trained, they have suddenly been schemed out by not clinching return tickets.
“After spending huge amount of money on training lawmakers and acquiring legislative knowledge and experience, and at the end of the day one is suddenly removed by way of not given the party’s ticket.
“Like you (Speaker) who have been in this House for years and have been able to garner experience, it is because of your experience that made me to join APC. And I cannot stand to be shortchanged for a system that does not work. I think the primaries need to be looked into because most of the delegates were not even elected. In some constituencies, the delegates’ lists were written. This is not a good system,” Akande said.
Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1), said their failure to clinch the party’s tickets was not because they were not popular among their people but was due to the incursion by the powers-that-be.
Olowo said that the incursion might be dangerous to the independence of the House, saying that the electorate were angry with how the party conducted its primaries.
He said: “I am not speaking for myself alone. One of our colleagues was rigged between the election location and Acme. The election result was manipulated. In some areas, nothing like election. This does not apply to Lagos alone but across Nigeria. In Ondo State, it was only six members that returned. In the House of Representatives, it was less than one-third that returned. Some Senators have defected from our party to another party because of the failed process.
“But more importantly is ours here, where another arm of government fingered in all constituencies because the House is irrepressible, independent, proactive, and pro-masses and will not submit to any other arm of government . And that if our sin is because we treat issues how it should be treated without sentiment, we want to commit more sins”.
While reacting to their comments, the Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, said the issues raised were of party affairs and that it can only be handled at the party level.
“You have the right to raise your observations but we must understand that whichever way, its all about democracy.
“We refer to people in other parts of the world who serve many years. These people you are talking about still go back to their people who make decision as to who their representatives would be, so I still want to believe if there is an issue with the process of the election, it is still more of a party affair that can be discussed,” Obasa said.