Stakeholders in Lagos East on Sunday were full of praises for the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Gbenga Ashafa.
They also distanced themselves from the fake victory of the member representing Kosofe Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Bayo Osinowo.
The leaders who met in Epe lashed out at Osinowo for claiming victory in a primary that affirmed Ashafa as the party’s senatorial flag bearer.
They lambasted Osinowo for encouraging anarchy in the ruling party.
“The victory story of Osinowo is spurious, shocking and repulsive. It is a fabrication aimed at causing confusion in the party. It is also a figment of his imagination and that of his cohorts” the leaders said.
Meeting under the auspices of Lagos East Political Leaders Forum (LEPLF) to articulate the position of the senatorial district in the 2019 general election, the astonished leaders listed envy, selfish ambition and gluttonous appetite for power as reasons for Osinowo’s action.
“Senator Gbenga Ashafa did not call Osinowo. He never congratulated him” the leaders said.
They condemned the push by Osinowo and others to reverse the decision of APC faithful in the senatorial district.
In a statement entitled; Lagos East has spoken, the leaders lauded the role of the National Working Committee (NWC) in the fight for the ideals of democracy.
They commended APC members in Lagos State for affirming Gbenga Ashafa, Oluremi Tinubu and Olamilekan Solomon.
Signed by LEPLF Chairman, Alhaji Abdul-Aleem Mujeeb, the leaders advised Osinowo and his co-travelers to lend support to Ashafa in his effort to develop Lagos East.
Specifically, the leaders urged the Lagos State House of Assembly member and his associates to stop bringing the district into disrepute and ridicule.
“The last day for the conduct of party primaries is Sunday, 7th October, 2018. The submission of forms CF001 and CF002 for the Presidential and National Assembly elections is 10th-18th October, 2018. These documents have not been submitted to INEC. Osinowo’s name is not in any list. The NWC did not give Osinowo the nod to run for the seat” the leaders said.
Similarly, 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, Hon Bayo Osinowo and his associates as dangerous trend.
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, Ogunleye 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.
Ogunleye condemned Osinowo for not quitting the senatorial race after disqualification by the National Working Committee of the ruling party.
Equally , 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.
Basorun, lawyer and former Central Bank of Nigeria director, described 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 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”
Meanwhile, the Director of Communication, Ashafa Campaign Organisation, Ayodele Adio is optimistic that Senator Gbenga Ashafa will be pronounced the rightful flag bearer of Lagos East Senatorial Constituency alongside Senator Remi Tinubu and Senator Olamilekan Solomon as the only candidates cleared for Lagos State Senatorial elections by the APC NWC.
“We urge all our supporters and the good people of Lagos East Senatorial Constituency to remain calm as we are sure the party’s decision remain supreme”.