Politics

Protest at Lagos APC secretariat exaggerated – Spokesman

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State says the protest by some party members at its secretariat on Monday was exaggerated by some media platforms.

A section of the media had reported that some angry APC members from Alimosho Local Government Area on Monday protested at the party secretariat and nearly beat up the State Party Chairman, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi.

Reacting, the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of APC, Seye Oladejo described what happened as mere tempest in a teacup.

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Mr Oladejo said: “Our attention has been drawn to the news going round about a purported protest rocking Lagos APC.

“As much as this sensational piece of news might throw the opposition camp into premature celebration, the incident was a storm in a tea cup.”

According to him, since assumption of office ,the State Chairman Ojelabi, has continuously sought peaceful co-existence of all party members in all parts of the state.

He added: “It is on record that he has , at various times, been able to successfully reconcile warring party members across board to ensure cohesion.

“The incident today was about a meeting conveyed to reconcile the different factions of the party in Alimosho Local Government Area, which was unfortunately infiltrated by uninvited thugs with ulterior motives.”

The party’s spokesman, however,said security agencies promptly brought the situation under control.

He said that the victory of the progressives in the state since the inception of the present dispensation had been due to life-changing policies by various responsive and responsible governments and strict compliance with party discipline.

“Lagos State APC has a time- tested mechanism for settling disputes and will not hesitate to wield the big stick if need be.

“The sacrifices of the founding fathers of the party to engender democracy cannot be sacrificed on the altar of indiscipline and intolerance.

“We acknowledge protests as an integral part of democracy, but it has to be within acceptable norms without infringing on the rights of others,” Oladejo said.

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Speaking with NAN on the protest, Mrs Omotayo Oduntan, who represented Alimosho Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly for three tenures, described the protest as unfortunate.

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Commending Ojelabi for his peace moves, Oduntan said that the protest was instigated by some leaders from The Mandate Movement ,who felt their people were not recognised at the reconciliation meeting initiated by the state party chairman on Monday.

Oduntan, a former Deputy Chief Whip, who was also at the secretariat for the meeting, said the Mandate Group and the Justice Forum were the two major groups within APC in Alimosho LGA.

According to her, some leaders and members of Mandate Group (led by Alhaji Abdullahi Enilolobo) moved out of the group to form the Mandate Movement (TMM).

She said Ojelabi invited three people from each of the two major groups (Justice Forum and Mandate group) to the Monday meeting with some party officials and council chairmen in local government area.

Oduntan alleged that some leaders in Mandate Group felt they were not recognised and mobilised thugs to protest and disrupt the meeting.

*It is not we in Justice Forum that have issues. It is the Mandate;It is Mandate versus Mandate now.

“The people that instigated the protest were people who left Enilolobo’s Mandate Group ,they were the people fighting among themselves”,she said.

Oduntan said that the group should have resolved the issues amicably among themselves instead of using violence and protest to vent their grievances.

“They should allow peace to reign. Nobody can be in government forever, Some will go and another set will come in. I don’t think that should bring a problem.

“If the party asked you to go and sit down after you have benefitted many times from the party, let us try to sit down.

“Another thing will come to you. There are thousands of people outside there who haven’t benefitted anything.

“We don’t want our people to suffer, because at the end of the day ,it is the people that will suffer. We should allow peace to reign,”
NAN