Outcry over Lagos Assembly primary as intimidation, harassment mars election at Ikorodu, other constituencies

Ayodele Olalere

The All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election into the Lagos House of Assembly which was held on May 28 has been described as a kangaroo election which was marred by harassment and intimidation of delegates and some journalists by political thugs.

Indication that  the primary was going to be one of controversies emerged on Thursday, May 27, the day earlier selected for the primary,  as the election was  postponed to the following day by the party without formal communication to aspirants and delegates.

At the Ikorodu 1 and 2 constituencies, It was observed  that the election which was supposed to start at 2pm did not take place till delegates and other journalists left the venues around 6:30pm when there were no traces of electoral officers or party executives.

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There was also no formal communication from the party secretariat as regards the postponement of the election.

One of the contestants, Hon. Oluwatosin Onamade, an aspirant for Ikorodu Constituency 2, who spoke with Nigerian Xpress Newspaper  said there was no information from the party secretariat to know if the election had been postponed, adding it was later in the evening he saw the announcement of the postponement on social media.

However, trouble began on Friday, the day of the election,  as the primary  slated for 10am  did not start till 3pm.

At the commencement,  journalists were prevented from entering the venue of the primary. Some journalists had their cameras seized by electoral officers,  while delegates were also barred by party representatives  from using their mobile phones to record proceedings.

Drama ensued at 5pm immediately after the conclusion of the primary as electoral officers, rather than count and announce the results of the election,  rushed out of the election venue with election results without declaring the winner, and disappeared to unknown destination.

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While lamenting the shoddy conduct of the primary,  Hon. Oluwatosin Onamade described the election process as a fraud as none of the aspirants was declared winner.

He alleged  none of his delegates were allowed into the election hall. He also alleged the list of delegates used to conduct the election were fake.

He said he was not pleased with the turnout of the event and threatened to take legal action against the party.

The same scenario played out at the Ikorodu Constituency I as no winner has been declared till date. Other parts of Lagos where the primaries  were also conducted  witnessed several cases of harassment.

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