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APC primary erupts in violence in Lagos

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State primary election to elect chairmanship candidates for the July 22 council polls in the state on Saturday ending in chaos.

Indeed, visibly aggrieved party members engaged one another in a free-for-all, damaging ballot boxes over what they called imposition of candidates at the primary election.

The Teslim Balogun Stadium venue of the primary election erupted in confusion and violence as party members and supporters ran belter shelter with many injured seriously in the fracas that engulfed the venue.

The Chairman of the Elections Committee, Sen Tokunbo Afikuyomi, was not spared in the attack, as he was accused of being partial. He had to run for his dear life.

This was after security officials was able to help him out of the grip of angry youths. He was later escaped by the security men.

Reports said the trouble began when some party members in Surulere and Lagos Mainland protested against the names of candidates being read out by Afikuyomi for endorsement as consensus candidates.

They alleged that the party leadership was foisting candidates on them and said the decision of the leadership to approve consensus candidates in 18 councils was wrong.

They allege that names of initially agreed aspirants had been substituted.

A party faithful, Mr Wale Tokunbo, had said shortly before the violence broke out that the substitution of Mr Tajudeen Ajide for the Surulere Local Government Area Chairmanship for another candidate was unjust.

“The removal of Ajide’s name for the name of somebody we don’t know is not acceptable to us.

“If we talk about democracy, we should be able to practise it. This primary is a sham; we would resist it,” he said.

Another party faithful in Mainland Local Government who pleaded anonymity had told NAN that party members were surprised at the mention of Yaba Local Government as one of the areas with a consensus candidate at the primary.

He said there were aspirants contesting for the post in the area and that nobody knew of the consensus candidate until they got to the venue.

“What consensus candidates are they talking about? We are just knowing that Yaba is one of them now. This is wrong,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the party, Mr Henry Ajomale, had urged the delegates and other supporters not to be violent.

“I welcome you all to this election and I urge you all conduct yourselves in a peaceful manner.

“We have the information that some people are here to cause trouble. We shouldn’t allow them because they are saboteurs, “he said.

The names of Mr Toba Oke (Ifako Ijaiye) and Mr Kamal Bashua (Lagos Island East) were among the few candidates out of the 57 endorsed at the primary before violence broke out.

Dele Fashomi
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93.Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism.He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002.Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013).He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers.He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor.Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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