By Ebireri Henry Ovie
Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, on Saturday reviewed the destruction in Ikorodu over the National Assembly primaries in Lagos East, describing the action of the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Bayo Osinowo, and his associates as dangerous trend.
Mr Ogunleye said it was the party’s duty to hold free and fair primaries but it has miserably failed to do so.
Addressing journalists in Ikorodu, the politician stated that open secret voting remain a vital process for the development of democracy in Nigeria.
He described the APC primary in Ikorodu as a charade.
“It was supposed to be affirmation. The party disqualified Bayo Osinowo. The exercise was disrupted by thugs, electoral officers and government functionaries who disappeared with materials in Ikorodu,” he said.
Mr Ogunleye condemned Mr Osinowo for not quitting the senatorial race after disqualification by the National Working Committee of the ruling party.
Similarly, former Secretary to Lagos State Government, Chief Olorunfunmi Basorun has urged politicians to eschew violence and rigging.
He said Osinowo was disqualified from standing as a candidate by the appropriate authority.
“We expected a primary to affirm Ashafa’s candidature and our current House of Representatives candidate who has no opponent. The only person who opposed him stepped down. The National Working Committee cleared Senator Gbenga Ashafa. We got to the venue, I started smelling foul play. We got to the field, I saw my own chairman directing people to the other side. Unfortunately for them, the votes in Ward C2 exceeded the number of people accredited. This was replicated in all the wards in Ikorodu. They eloped with the materials and went on to write the results” he said.
Mr Basorun, a lawyer and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) director, described Mr Osinowo as an ineligible candidate.
“They are doing nothing. The result is nothing. Bayo Osinowo cannot contest. Once a single candidate has been cleared by the appropriate authority, there is no opponent. Ashafa is our sole candidate for Lagos East senatorial district” he stated.
He said the fake votes cast in favour of the Lagos State House of Assembly member should be treated as thrown away.
“Osinowo has no respect for the party’ he said.
The former Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman who scolded some government officials for working against the interest of the party advised politicians to abide by the rules of the game.
He also urged the party to discipline Mr Osinowo.
“The party must be strict on this particular matter. Some people cannot sit somewhere and think they are above the party. The party must discipline the man who asked people to vote for him in Lagos East senatorial district,” he said.
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